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HP leverages Linux, less known for contributionJay Lyman, June 9, 2010 @ 5:29 pm ET
The 451 Group has published another open source strategy Spotlight report, this time turning our attention to longtime Linux server vendor Hewlett-Packard, which continues to dedicate resources to Linux and other open source software communities, but which also has a lower profile than others known for their open source contributions.
HP has long been a big supporter of Linux and other open source software, particularly through its testing, certification and support of Linux on its ProLiant x86 and now Integrity IA-64-based servers. But despite its top market position, the company has also historically been overshadowed by others similarly supporting Linux and open source.
HP’s work with Linux centers on enabling, qualifying and supporting Linux on hardware and with its management software, and this may help explain why its open source contribution is sometimes viewed as more self-serving than for open source community. Still, with its contributions to the Linux kernel in architecture, virtualization, security, filesystems and hardware device drivers, the company’s support and contribution have a significant impact.
In addition to numerous printer drivers contributed and embedding open source in more than 200 of its own products, HP is responsible for initiating more than 3,000 open source projects, providing more than 200 open source tools, utilities and libraries, paying 300 Linux developers and supporting some 2,500 Linux and other open source developers. The company also works with Intel and Yahoo on the Open Cirrus cloud testbed and partners with other open source players, including Cloudera, which bases business on the Hadoop data management framework and Canonical, distributor of Ubuntu Linux. Although HP cannot support every flavor of Linux (it estimates there are more than 700 of them) the company offers arguably the largest range of enterprise Linux support, spanning from unpaid community Linux such as CentOS to enterprise subscription versions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).
HP recognizes that users and customers – in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare, and among other early adopters – no longer need to be convinced on Linux. What they need now is guidance on adapting their strategy and effectively incorporating Linux and other open source software.
More is available in the HP Spotlight report, which is available to existing 451 Group clients. Non-clients, as always, may apply for trial access via the same link.
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