December 27, 2000, 8:51 AM — TRYING TO accelerate the adoption of Linux in enterprise accounts, Red Hat last week announced its Red Hat Enterprise Edition product line that will see the company working hand in glove with leading application developers to test and integrate Linux-based solutions.
As part of the new initiative, the company announced the Red Hat Linux Enterprise Editions for Oracle8i database, for Computer Associates' systems and storage management products, and for RealNetworks' streaming video line.
Red Hat officials said future versions of its Enterprise Edition will target other significant enterprise application areas, including directory services messaging and ERP (enterprise resource planning), although they declined to say when those versions would be available.
"This is a new line of products that will include new enterprise-level functionality created in concert with our partners. Fundamentally, it is the same source code as our core product, but we are creating multiple versions," said Paul McNamara, product marketing manager at Red Hat. "We are trying to bring those functions that appeal to enterprise users and make it available as open source."
As part of the collaborative effort with its application partners, Red Hat will not only test and help integrate tailored solutions in an IT shop, but will also work with them to configure that solution to achieve the best performance and reliability, McNamara said.
"This is just the sort of program we need, given what we need to do in putting up a couple of important database applications around Oracle," said Josh McCabe, a senior network engineer at a large Midwestern pharmaceutical company.
"The support and integration stuff is at least as important as the products," McCabe said.
The Enterprise Edition for Oracle8i will be available sometime in March, and the Enterprise Edition for Computer Associates' products should arrive by the end of April, a Red Hat representative said.
"Our studies show that Linux is new to most IT managers, but they are open to using those possible solutions," said Dan Kusnetzky, program director for operating environments and serverware at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass. "But while they are interested in open source, they [also] have concerns about things like applications, tools, middleware, and support."
"I think this [Enterprise Edition] product line can reduce some of those concerns," Kusnetzky said.
Individual pricing on the various versions of Red Hat Enterprise Editions will depend on what application, service, and support packages users choose.