The buzz at LinuxWorld last week was the state of readiness of Linux to serve as the platform for major enterprise applications, including enterprise resource management, customer relationship management and supply chain management applications. In his keynote address kicking off the conference in Boston, Jack Messman, chairman and CEO of Novell, announced a multi-pronged initiative to "harden" Linux for mission-critical applications. "Linux has been on the edge of the network and has been used for file and print, and workgroup serving," Messman said at a press conference following the keynote address. The current challenge, he said "is to truly harden Linux for mission-critical data centers with tools for complex transaction processing."

"There are a lot of deployments at the heart of the enterprise running sophisticated workloads," noted Daniel D. Frye, vice president of the IBM Linux Technology Center. According to Frye, several questions that have long surrounded Linux and open source technology in general have been resolved. "The open source process is another accepted way for professional software development," Frye said.

The Novell efforts will be directed in five key areas, Messman said. They are application development, storage software, virtualization, systems management and security. To advance in those areas, at LinuxWorld, Novell announced that it has the CAPP/EAL4+ security certification, an emerging requirement to work with the federal government and other major customers. Moreover, the company signed an OEM deal to resell Polyserve's Polyserve Matrix Server virtual storage and clustering software. For more about the activities of the IBM Linux Technology Center, go here.

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