Red Hat Joins Intel ISP Program

Open-source software solutions developer Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) announced yesterday that it will work with Intel’s recently-established Internet Service Provider (ISP) Program to foster development through product, service and support offerings.

Under the terms of the agreement, Intel will include Red Hat’s distribution of the Linux operating system (OS) with the Internet server platforms made available through its ISP program. Both Red Hat and Intel will offer service and support for program users.

Internet Powered by Linux

“The unique demands of ISPs and other enterprise server environments are well addressed by the stability and power of open source and the Red Hat Linux operating system,” commented Tim Buckley, senior vice president and COO of Red Hat. “Intel’s rapidly growing ISP program and server building blocks, coupled with Red Hat’s open source and open source services expertise makes this a promising collaboration for both companies.”

The new program is designed to provide ISPs and their business customers products, services and support through an Intel maintained Web site. “We anticipate a healthy demand for Intel-based Internet server platforms with the Red Hat Linux-based solution for our growing ISP sales program,” stated Scott Richardson, general manager of Intel’s communications and Internet server division.

Intel hopes to capture a portion of the market for Linux-based servers, which International Data Corp. (IDC) indicates was the fastest growing sector in 1998. According to IDC, Linux grew more than 190 percent last year, capturing 15.8 percent of the $4.4 million (US$) revenue shipment server OS market segment.

Red Hat Momentum

The Intel ISP program agreement is just the latest in a series of coups, according to industry analysts, for the Durham, North Carolina-based company. Other strategic relationships include Dell, Gateway, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Silicon Graphics.

Red Hat also recently moved, with Compaq, to offer international enterprise users call center support for its OS package through the Compaq Customer Services organization. Additionally, the Linux vendor is tapping Compaq’s customer base to customize its open-source software distribution, examining modification suggestions for possible inclusion in future versions of its OS.

According to IDC, Red Hat Linux currently holds 68.7 percent of the U.S. Linux user market. Version 6.1 of Red Hat’s OS, which focuses on ease-of-use and installation features, was recently made available through the company’s Web site.

SuSE in the UK

In other Linux-related news, SuSE, Inc. has continued its European expansion, opening an office in London to support its business customers throughout the United Kingdom.

“The already established and substantial UK customer base using SuSE Linux, coupled with the growing demand for consulting and support services — especially from corporate users — have made it imperative for us to establish a base in the UK,” commented Roland Dyroff, SuSE Linux AG CEO.

Nurnberg, Germany-based SuSE, who last month opened offices in Prague, recently become a charter member and sponsor of the Linux Internationalization Initiative (Li18nux). Through the efforts of a working group of volunteers, Li18nux will focus on software/application portability and interoperability issues “in the international context.”

“SuSE as part of this group will help to create a localized and internationalized Linux OS (operating system) from a single code base,” stated Markus Rex, SuSE director of development. “We are very glad that we can help the open-source community with our efforts to reach this goal.”

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