VNU Net: SAS to unveil Linux strategy

By Lisa Kelly, VNU Net

SAS Institute will tomorrow announce plans to offer Linux
versions of its data warehousing and decision support software.

A Linux version of the SAS System software suite will be
available in the fourth quarter of this year, vnunet.com
can exclusively reveal. The suite will initially be available for
Red Hat Linux on Intel hardware and be extended to all major
distributions of Linux.

Analysts said the move is good news for the Linux operating
system. Some had previously expressed concern about a lack of
commitment from some major enterprise software vendors.

Bob Moran, research vice president at the Aberdeen Group, said:
Many IT managers are attracted to the reliability and ease of
use of Linux, but are worried about the dearth of heavy-duty
business applications on the platform. SAS’s intent to port SAS
software to Linux will help allay these concerns.

SAS said the move is in response to customer demand. Of 550
customers the company surveyed last year, more than three quarters
were already running Linux, and nearly 90 per cent were interested
in licensing a production release of SAS software for Linux.

SAS plans to field test the Linux version of its software with
customers and academics for feedback on hardware configuration,
compatibility, software installation and other issues before
hitting full-scale production.

Researcher the GartnerGroup last month warned users to delay
deploying Linux at the core of their IT systems until 2001 because
of the lack of support from some packaged-application suppliers.
There are exceptions, however, such as SAP, which has Linux
versions of its software available.

Keith Collins, SAS’s vice president of research, said: “Based on
positive customer feedback, as well as the increasing number of
Fortune 1000 companies looking seriously at Linux as a viable
operating system choice for their enterprise-wide business
applications, we felt that the time was right for us to offer a
Linux version of SAS software.”

“We are pleased by the recent moves to support Linux by IBM,
Intel and other SAS technology partners.”

Moran said the announcement “adds to the overall viability of
the Linux platform and will help bolster the confidence of
companies deploying Linux”.

SAS already supports all the major operating systems including
Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Windows 2000, Windows NT and mainframe
operating systems.