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Big Blue Boosts AIX Linux Affinity

Jan 12, 2001, 19:37 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Clint Boulton)

By Clint Boulton

IBM Corp. Friday will roll out the latest trick in its Linux affinity bag with its AIX Toolkit for Linux applications.

The toolkit enables developers to build and package Linux applications for use on the IBM eServer family running AIX, IBM's heralded UNIX operating system.

Although the AIX toolkit for Linux apps offers a fairly common set of development tools and utilities, Tilak Agerwala, vice president UNIX Marketing and Product Management for IBM, said the product maintains open source maxims; namely, by providing customers with greater flexibility in implementing their e-business solutions.

"With the introduction of AIX 5L, customers have more freedom to run the applications they want on the hardware they want," Agerwala said.

Big Blue feels AIX 5L will answer customers' e-business demands for an platform with plenty of headroom and investment protection, without saddling them with a closed solution.

Senior analyst for research firm Abderdeen Bill Claybrook concurred, saying IBM's play was a strong one because it allows the technology giant to solidify AIX as the leading open, industrial-strength UNIX operating system by leveraging its leadership in features/functionality, price/performance, and scalability capabilities on the Power and Intel Itanium architectures.

"IBM's integrated UNIX/Linux OS strategy, with support for simple to complex mission-critical workloads, is designed to make every customer choice the right one," Claybrook said.

The AIX toolkit contains a collection of open source and GNU software built for AIX 4.3.3 and AIX 5L. These tools provide the base of the development environment of choice for many Linux application developers. Applications in the toolkit include, recompiled versions of the Gnome and KDE desktop environments, system utilities such as emacs, Samba and Zip, libraries, shells, GNU base utilities, and application development tools, including gcc, g++, RPMand Autoconf.

The end result IBM is aiming for is to help business customers combine the flexibility of Linux with the advanced scalability and availability features ofAIX including, 32 and 64-bit APIs, workload management, system management tools and cluster software.

For IBM, the deal signals its dertermination to work with Linux as much as possible. In 2000, IBM partnered with Red Hat and invested in TurboLinux, both of which agreed to support Big Blue's new eServer line.

TurboLinux also expanded its partnership with Big Blue Wednesday.

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