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Enterprise Linux Today: In Context: IBM Integrating Sendmail into Linux Product Offerings

Nov 08, 2000, 09:28 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Wolley)

"The bottom line for Linux: IBM has just launched another major initiative that can be expected to increase Linux adoption in the enterprise. Bargain pricing on enterprise applications that its Small Business Server offers will give ISVs and VARs more incentive to support Linux in the small business market, while this IBM/Sendmail combination will do the same for Linux in larger businesses."

"...IBM has decided to incorporate commercial Sendmail into its software offerings so that it can offer businesses a messaging infrastructure that can handle dramatically increasing loads, plus add the bells and whistles that businesses want to support collaboration. IBM plans to do this across all its server lines where Sendmail runs, and across all the operating systems these servers support -- Windows NT and 2000, AIX, Linux, and the AS/400 OS. So why could this be a big deal for Linux?"

"I posed this question to Michael Nelson, IBM's director for Internet technology and strategy. His response reflects the reasoning behind IBM's very broad embrace of Linux, across all of its product lines: while there may be no "one size fits all" for servers, the scope of IBM's Linux support means a business with many different sizes of IBM servers can run Linux with the same applications on all of them, greatly simplifying their support issues. Nelson believes "one OS across all servers" will prove to be a strong selling point for the IBM/Sendmail offering on Linux."

"Dave Anderson, Sendmail's president and CEO, seconded Nelson's opinion. He does expect the initial adopters of the IBM/Sendmail package will be ASPs and ISPs, with corporates mostly using their "proprietary" OSes. But he expects that "over time Linux will become the standard" for corporates as well, as they see the benefit of having one OS running across all their servers."

"Mark Levitt, an analyst with IDC, also concurs with this view. He sees the ability for an organization to deploy a new server, of whatever size, using the same standard set of software, as representing a significant savings in time and support costs."

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