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Wall Street Calls for Linux Support: Page 2 of 3

Deborah Williams, group vice president at analyst firm Financial Insights admits that some software vendors need “a kick in the pants” from their major customers. “It takes a fairly significant groundswell for an ISV [independent software vendor] to think about porting [an application],” she says.

However, Williams acknowledges that ISVs exist in an extremely competitive environment where R&D can be a massive financial headache. Nonetheless, she feels that many are coming around to porting their applications.

Help may also be at hand from IBM, which clearly sees an opportunity to boost its own hardware business on the back of the open source phenomenon. IBM has already invested $1 billion in Linux, and is now hell-bent on bringing ISVs into the open source fold.

The hardware giant recently unveiled its eServer Application Advantage program, also known as Chiphopper, which aims to help ISVs port their existing Intel-based Linux applications over to IBM hardware platforms.

At least the industry’s message appears to be getting through. Sybase Inc., a key player in the financial markets, is working to extend the reach of its extensive Linux portfolio. Sam Lakkundi, Sybase’s lead architect, told NDCF that its Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) and Replication Server products already run on Linux on zSeries and the firm plans to add this functionality to its Enterprise Application Server offering.