Red Hat Inc. and Computer Associates said today they have struck a distribution deal to provide more out-of-the-box systems-management tools for Red Hat Linux users.
Beginning in April, Red Hat will ship the first in a series of Red Hat Linux Enterprise Edition products, which will include the open-source Linux operating system, technical support, and optimized versions of CA's ArcServeIT backup module, InoculateIT antivirus software, MasterIT Web-site management tool, and NetworkIT network-management module. In addition, CA will sell Red Hat Linux through its direct sales force and resellers.
CA president and chief operating officer Sanjay Kumar said Linux could account for 15% of CA's open-systems business by the end of next fiscal year, which closes in March 2001. In a conference call with analysts, Kumar said customers are becoming more "confident and comfortable" with Linux, and predicted Linux adoption would largely represent new business, rather than cutting into sales on the Windows and Unix platforms.
CA officials also cited a survey of 5,000 customers conducted last summer in which 48% of users not running Linux planned to deploy it within the next year. CA already offers its Unicenter TNG systems-management platform on Linux; it also supports the four models included in the Red Hat deal, though CA had not previously optimized the modules for Red Hat's platform.
"The big thing here is integration of support," said Red Hat chief operating officer Tim Buckley in an interview. "When companies look at this product, they'll know exactly how its going to be supported." Red Hat hasn't set pricing for the Enterprise Edition, but said users would pay a premium over current prices of Red Hat Linux, which ranges from $30 to $150.