Information Week: Linux Support: Who Ya Gonna Call?

“It’s no secret: Linux is everywhere. In PCs sitting under desks
and in closets at businesses around the world, the open-source
operating system is chugging away, managing print queues, running
Web sites, and forwarding E-mail. And because Linux doesn’t crash
much, these systems haven’t required a lot of attention from
business IT departments. But running a few departmental servers is
different from running large, complex-perhaps even
enterprisewide-applications. And as a growing number of IT shops
contemplate using Linux on a broader scale, they’re grappling with
a new question: If you want to base a critical, enterprisewide
system on Linux, where do you turn for support and systems

“When The Home Depot Inc., the $38 billion home-improvement
chain, asked itself the Linux support question about a year ago,
the answer it came up with was to turn to Linux distributor Red Hat
Inc. for help.”

“Home Depot is using Red Hat Linux 6.1 as a key building block
for a huge in-store system that its employees will use for tasks
such as receiving, ordering, and inventory management. Thin clients
will download Linux from the company’s Hewlett-Packard and IBM
servers in each store. Applications, written in Java, will also be
downloaded to the thin-client terminals from the servers.”