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Making Open Source Play Nice In The Data Center

Now that Linux and a variety of open-source applications have reached a high level of credibility among some business-technology managers for use in data-center environments, vendors of open-source products are trying to convince more IT shops to give serious consideration to implementing open-source technology. The latest moves came Tuesday when Novell pledged in separate announcements to certify a number of software applications running in high-performance computing environments on Hewlett-Packard servers and to offer technical support for users of JBoss Inc.'s Enterprise Middleware System.

Novell now offers a high-performance computing option as part of the company's Validated Configuration Program, which the company unveiled in March. When companies in the electronic-design-automation, financial-services, life-sciences, manufacturing, and oil and gas markets are looking for a highly tuned package of high-performance operating system, server, and applications, Novell and HP want Linux on x86-based blade servers to be a no-brainer.

As such, the companies have tested and certified SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 and HP BladeSystem servers running a variety of relevant, high-performance applications, including Scali's Manage/MPI Connect for infrastructure and ongoing management; Altair Engineering's PBS Professional for workload management and job scheduling; PolyServe's Matrix Server and Cluster Volume Manager for NFS file serving; TurboWorx's Suite Builder, Enterprise Hub, and Cluster Manager for workflow management and application performance; Meiosys's MetaCluster HPC for application virtualization and checkpoint restart; and Axceleon's Enfuzion for parametric scheduling and job management. Other industry-specific components include DataSynapse Inc.'s GridServer for resource management in the financial-services market and United Devices Inc.'s grid software for life-sciences applications.

Novell in May launched its first Validated Configuration Program option, which included SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, JBoss Application Server 4.0, Oracle Database and Real Application Clusters, and HP BladeSystem servers. Novell created the program to help companies figure out how different types of open-source and proprietary hardware and software fit together. The company and its partners "take on the challenge of putting together frequently used components in a test environment, validate that they all work, and then provide configuration and testing information," a Novell spokesman says.

Novell, long a fan of JBoss' open-source application-server technology, also said Tuesday it will provide support directly to customers of JBoss' Enterprise Middleware System, which includes JBoss Application Server, the Hibernate object/relational mapping engine, the Apache Tomcat JSP/servlet engine, and JBoss Portal.

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