Tokyo, JAPAN — IBM announced major Linux initiatives aimed at speeding the ability of Asia Pacific customers and key software vendors to increase productivity within the Linux operating environment.
IBM will invest more than $200 million in the Asia Pacific region within the next four years on seven Linux Development Centers, Linux Competency Centers, alliances with Linux-focused business partners, Linux research and development and other programs, along with rapid deployment of more than 300 specialized Linux consultants, hardware and software specialists, researchers, product developers and services professionals.
As a key part of this initiative, IBM announced that it is opening a series of Asia Pacific Linux development centers to help software vendors port their applications to the Linux environment. These centers will be located in Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, Bangalore which also supports other ASEAN countries, and Sydney. Linux developers can get in contact with these centers and access other Linux resources through the new IBM Linux website for Asia Pacific ( http://www.ibm.com/linux/ap ).
“The Asia Pacific region will see growth in the Linux area as our customers, business partners and government organizations recognize the growing importance of Linux as a key e-business operating system,” said Kakutaro Kitashiro, president of IBM Asia Pacific. “There is tremendous interest today in Linux as the platform of choice for e-business because it provides an affordable solution that can be tailored to meet regional and customer demands.”
“With the establishment of these centers and other investments we are making, IBM will aggressively promote Linux applications that will run on our already Linux-enabled servers to help our customers take full advantage of the benefits Linux provides. IBM is a very strong supporter of Linux and we believe our efforts will further the adoption of Linux in the Asia Pacific region.”
The centers will be open to all software vendors, from enterprise application leaders to start-ups working on software for embedded technology in wireless devices. The centers will be equipped with Linux-ready servers, storage systems and IBM middleware products, including WebSphere products, Lotus Domino and DB2 Universal Database. At the centers, IBM will support application development on all IBM servers – Netfinity, AS/400, RS/6000 and S/390, and provide assistance from software and server information technology specialists.
Key parts of the IBM Linux initiative are Japanese and Chinese language versions of developerWorks ( http://www.ibm.com/developerWorks ), IBM’s comprehensive on-line resource for the developer community. It provides Linux zone, Open source zone, Java, XML, Security, Web architecture zones. The Japanese developerWorks is available today, while the simplified and traditional Chinese versions will be available in the fourth quarter. IBM also will increase the use of the English developerWorks around the rest of Asia Pacific.
As part of this initiative, IBM is engaged in Linux research and development facilities at its Yamato Software Development Lab. and Tokyo Research Lab. in Japan and China Research Lab.
IBM also is establishing Linux Competency Centers in Yamato, Beijing, Seoul and Bangalore. These centers will work with the Linux community to develop standards such as Li18nux, Motif Globalization, and GNU Text Tools Unicode support.
The Linux Competency Centers are actively participating and leading the Free Standard Group Li18nux project. AP Linux Competency Center is chairing the Li18nux project and established Linux Globalization specification.
Key alliances, such as Intel, will work with IBM to promote the development of the Linux market in Asia Pacific. “We believe the Linux operating system will play an important role in the evolution of e-business and we see a very strong Linux interest across Asia Pacific,” said Chak Wong, Intel’s director, Product Marketing & Business Management for Asia Pacific. “IBM’s work on Intel platform-based Linux applications is a significant step towards creating the best e-business environment.”
TurboLinux, one of the world’s largest developers and distributors of the Linux operating system, also is partnering with IBM to bring Linux developments to the Asian Pacific market.
“We are pleased to team up with IBM and look forward to a continued cooperation,” said Ted Liu, Vice President, Marketing, Alliance & Business Development, TurboLinux Asia Pacific. “TurboLinux already is preloaded on selected Netfinity models. In addition, we are working on joint promotion of IBM’s middleware software such as DB2 and WebSphere. Web and database servers are two of the key growth areas. Here, TurboLinux with our clustering technology and skills can build very powerful systems using IBM’s scaleable Netfinity and middleware. We are also actively working with IBM on the largest servers, S/390, as well as the new thin clients, Net Vista. Looking forward, TurboLinux will work with IBM to continue the development of the Linux market.”
The Linux community in Asia Pacific is also moving to support IBM Linux initiatives. Establishment of the Asia Pacific centers is part of IBM’s strategy to embrace and support Linux throughout its portfolio of e-business software, servers and services. These centers will offer the following services: – Startup Studios, which focus on Netgens and startups – Netfinity-proven programs for Linux – Remote electronic validation based in Sydney – Technical consulting and enablement services
For example, RedFlag Software Company in China is working with IBM to support the development of the Linux market.
“We are very pleased to work with IBM and look forward to a partnership in which we jointly develop the Linux market in China.” said Professor Sun Yufang, founder and Chairman of RedFlag. “Linux is very important to China. The open source nature gives us the opportunity to make enhancements to Linux which address the unique requirements for China. The wide range of scalability of Linux from the embedded devices to desktop PCs to PC servers to Unix workstations and all the way to high-end mainframe computers make Linux applications available on a variety of hardware platforms. The Chinese are determined to make Linux the most popular operating system in China. RedFlag has strong Linux skills. The partnership of RedFlag and IBM will accelerate the development of the Linux market in China.”
The IBM China Research Lab already is working on several Linux projects, such as WebSphere Commerce Suite 4.1, IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite Market Place Edition, Chinese ViaVoice and Internet Solution Set.
IBM also is assisting universities in China on Linux education programs. For example, Beijing University has already implemented Linux on S/390.
In Japan, The Yamato Software Development Lab already has developed several Linux products already on the market, such as WebSphere Home Page Builder, Java 1.3 for Linux, King of Translation and Desktop On-Call. Home Page Builder is the leading web-page development tool in Japan with over 60% market share.
The Tokyo Research Lab. is involved in leading-edge Linux technologies such as the Java JIT compiler, and the recently demonstrated wrist-watch running Linux.
The Yamato PC Development already has developed Netfinity Linux BundleModel in cooperation with TurboLinux Japan. Every Netfinity 1000 comes with a customized version of TurboLinux. All Netfinity models currently support Linux.
In Korea, Linux Korea is working with IBM to support the development of the Linux market in Korea. “We are looking forward to a good partnership with IBM in the local Linux market,” said Hyuk Jin Park, CEO of Linux Korea, Inc. “As Korea is interested in Linux, the partnership will bring us momentum to lead the local Linux application market. And total solutions from IBM on Linux will help Korea customers go into the Linux world.”
On another front, Proton Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is working with IBM to support the development of the Linux market in ASEAN market.
“Our vision is to develop not only technology frameworks, but to provide content and best practices training to customers through the internet. As a proof of concept, we have developed a Document Archiving Solution on Lotus Domino R5 for Linux.” said Srikant Pandit, Technical Director, Proton Solutions and former Executive Director of Indian IT giant Infosys Ltd.
“The solution was tested on Red Hat Linux 6.0 using the Mercury Load runner at IBM’s Solution Partnership Center in Bangalore. Linux on Netfinity has proved to be a far more stable combination for Lotus Domino than any other we have tested so far. Our policy of developing solutions with a high degree of interoperability has a special meaning for developing applications that are compatible with Linux. “With continued support from IBM we hope to aggressively expand the markets for Lotus Domino based solutions in the hitherto under-explored Indian market.”
Proton, a pre-IPO Technology Startup focuses on developing Industrial Scale Knowledge Management Solutions for the next wave of Online Knowledge Sharing. Having extended KM frameworks to encompass Business Solutions in Sales Force Automation, HR Automation & Project Management, Proton would like to build a community of professionals that creates wealth by building and implementing innovative and effective solutions for Business, Education and Knowledge Management.