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IBM to target $4.5B telecom industry with hardened Linux servers

Mar 26, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

[Updated March 26, 2002, 2:30 pm] IBM is once again going after Sun Microsystems' customer base, and this time it is to take a bigger chunk of the $4.5 billion telecommunications space, from which Sun receives 17 percent of its total revenue.

IBM today unveiled a “hardened” Intel-based server running Linux that the company claims offers 58 percent better performance than a comparable Sun Microsystems UNIX server, and at substantially less cost. IBM says the growing maturity of the Linux platform has made it possible to introduce a new level of price/performance this hotly-contested market.

To succeed in this endeavor, IBM plans to harness its knowledge of the telecommunications industry and leverage its Linux strengths. The company, with the help of Intel and Cisco, is providing network application providers a one-of-a-kind Linux Service Provider Lab (LSPL) where they can test and validate next generation network Linux-based solutions.

“Today's announcement represents the most recent step in our efforts to make technology infrastructures more open and interoperable. As service providers update their infrastructure, more and more are deciding to use Linux,” said Mike Hill, general manager, IBM Global Telecommunications Industry. “Open platforms allow these customers to have a greater range of equipment suppliers — helping improve the competitive environment and reduce operating costs.”

IBM claims to be among the first server vendors using Intel platforms to implement Linux in the telecommunications industry. The IBM Linux Technology Center is working with the open source community to deliver carrier grade Linux, a “hardened” version of Linux, with new features. Carrier grade Linux will offer customers enhanced functionality in the areas of performance, reliability, availability, and serviceability.

In conjunction with today's announcement, IBM announced that, to accelerate Linux adoption in the telecommunications market segment, they are creating the Linux Service Provider Lab (LSPL), where telecom network application providers can test and validate Next Generation Network Linux solutions.

The new Linux Service Provider Lab, located in Oregon, will provide a next-generation Internet Protocol network infrastructure environment for testing of applications including softswitch, wireless infrastructure applications, unified messaging, and network services. The lab, which is scheduled to open at the end of the month, will include equipment such as the new IBM eServer x343 as well as the IBM eServer x330 NEBS-compliant server. Application developers will be able to test and validate Linux applications on IBM eServer systems in an Internet Protocol network environment, which can result in faster delivery of next generation solutions for service providers.

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