LinuxWorld to put focus on managing mixed nets

IT executives attending the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo this week will find a bounty of management software and server appliances that ease the monitoring and control of mixed Linux, Windows NT and Unix server-based networks.

"Linux is maturing and [vendors] are becoming more business-oriented this year," says Bill Claybrook, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc. "A lot more large systems manufacturers are developing systems and network management tools. . . . Linux is moving into installations where there are Windows NT and Unix servers, and people want a tool that can manage anything."

Shipments of Linux operating system licenses outpace all but Windows, according to International Data Corp., and the research firm predicts an annual growth rate of 28 percent through 2004.

Hewlett-Packard Co., Veritas Software Corp., Computer Associates International Inc., Dell Computer Corp. and Silicon Graphics Inc. are expected to preview new software products and appliances at LinuxWorld in New York. The products include:

  • Systems management packages for Linux from HP, Dell and CA.
  • Enterprise network back-up software for Linux servers from Veritas and CA.
  • E-commerce server and software, a Web server, and Internet server configuration and installation software from SGI.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the biannual show.

HP will demonstrate the Process Resource Manager (PRM) for Linux, which lets IT staff prioritize resources and set up systems so that tasks can be handled appropriately. PRM allows dynamic CPU modification, real-memory and disk bandwidth allocations, as well as optimizations of system resources by important applications. The software also runs on HP-UX and will be available at the end of March.

The company will also show off Service Control Manager (SCM) for Linux, which lets administrators enter commands once to invoke the execution of simultaneous tasks. SCM also runs on HP-UX and will be available in the third quarter.

An HP spokesman says the company's Web-based TopTools network and systems management product will be ported to Linux in the third quarter. However, HP has no plans to port HP OpenView to a native Linux platform.

Storage giant Veritas will add Linux server back-up capability to its data-intensive NetBackup DataCenter and branch-office BusinesServer disaster-recovery software.

Veritas NetBackup for Linux automates the back-up process with a scheduler that supports tape libraries and has tools that let network administrators configure, monitor and control back-up and recovery jobs from a graphical interface using built-in wizards.

Managing diverse environments from the same interface is important, says J. Lance Wilkinson, systems design specialist at Pennsylvania State University. Using the same software to back up all servers gives "ease of management and a reduction in hardware costs gained by using a single tape robot/library for protecting all servers," he says.

The software also runs on Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Compaq Tru64 Unix, SGI Irix and Windows 2000. The first Linux version supported is Red Hat Inc. NetBackup DataCenter will be available this quarter starting at $5,000.

CA will add the Cluster Management Option to Unicenter TNG, which allows uninterrupted monitoring of Linux clusters when failures between servers or processes occurs. The Cluster Management Option works with HP, IBM, Reduced Instruction Set Computing or Intel-based clusters and Sun Sparc and Microsoft Cluster Services. It will be available by July.

The company also is expected to announce that it will ship a variety of management software offerings for Linux running on IBM S/390 mainframes. Included will be the Unicenter TNG Framework, ARCserve backup and recovery, performance management and e-commerce software.

Dell also is expected to launch a new component for its OpenManage server software called the OpenManage Server Assistant for Linux, which will run on Red Hat servers. Its features include installation and setup support, as well as remote management and integration with systems management suites from Tivoli, HP and CA. The tools can be downloaded from www.dell.com.

"People are now taking Linux seriously for real applications," Claybrook says. "More and more companies will develop e-business and network management products for Linux that will compete with proprietary operating systems."

SGI's Linux play

SGI is introducing several products that use Linux. The company will ship a compact Intel-based server, Internet Server for e-Commerce, and software that makes it faster and simpler to install an Internet server.

The Internet Server for e-Commerce is a single or dual Pentium III processor box that is built in a 1.75-inch rack-mount configuration for Internet data centers or service providers. It is bundled with Mercantec SoftCart e-commerce software and bill processing software. Capable of handling 150 storefronts, the server and software, which runs on Red Hat Linux, starts at $4,500.

SGI's new software, the Internet Server Environment, lets systems administrators install and configure Internet servers with automated scripts that handle Bastille security lockdown, and Apache and Sendmail Inc. installation and configuration. The small-form-factor SGI 1100 rack-mount server costs $2,750. The Internet Server Environment costs $100 per server.

This story, "LinuxWorld to put focus on managing mixed nets " was originally published by Network World.

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