Linux In The Data Center? It's Happening - InformationWeek

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Linux In The Data Center? It's Happening

Red Hat's Enterprise Linux 3 is more reliable and scalable

Linux moved deeper into data centers last week when Red Hat Inc. debuted a version of its operating system that sports features designed to improve performance, reliability, and scalability. Enterprise Linux 3, now available for download from Red Hat Network, boasts better performance when running applications with multiple threads operating at once. It also supports larger multiprocessor servers, memory, and input/output configurations.

Enterprise Linux's improved addressable memory should play a key role in the deployment of Adecco USA's next-generation database. The employment-services firm is happy with Enterprise Linux 2.1 on its dozen 32-bit Web and app servers. "They're screaming like a motorcycle," says Joe Pagliaccio, an Adecco IT director, "but you can't fit a lot of people on a motorcycle."

Adecco's employee database next summer will consist of Oracle on a new 64-bit Itanium Hewlett-Packard server running the new operating system. The database platform will handle payments for 130,000 permanent workers and temps each week. "We don't think that 32-bit architecture will handle our volume in the future," Pagliaccio says, adding that the Linux-on-Intel configuration costs about half as much as a comparable Unix system. Enterprise Linux 3 also supports Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s 64-bit-compatible Opteron processor, among other platforms.

Red Hat last week also debuted file-clustering software and developer tools. IDC research director Al Gillen says adding these modular apps removes impediments to deploying Linux. "It's really nice to get these from the same company that you get the operating-system software."

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