EDS: Linux 'strategically important'

EDS: Linux 'strategically important'

Summary: Outsourcing specialist EDS said it was "proactively engineering" Linux into its product portfolio, backtracking on previous statements that the open-source software was insecure and unscalable. EDS' management in the United States moved to clarify its position on Linux in a statement issued to ZDNet Australia  today after Robb Rasmussen, the vice-president responsible for alliances, unleashed a storm last week by denigrating the open-source platform's readiness for large enterprises.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Linux
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Outsourcing specialist EDS said it was "proactively engineering" Linux into its product portfolio, backtracking on previous statements that the open-source software was insecure and unscalable.

EDS' management in the United States moved to clarify its position on Linux in a statement issued to ZDNet Australia  today after Robb Rasmussen, the vice-president responsible for alliances, unleashed a storm last week by denigrating the open-source platform's readiness for large enterprises.

At the launch of EDS' Agility Alliance -- a grouping of IT heavyweights including Cisco, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Dell, Oracle and EMC -- in Sydney, Rasmussen told attendees that Linux was not suitable for such users because it had issues with security, scalability and could possibly fork into different flavours.

Rasmussen's comments not only caused uproar in the pro-Linux community, they also directly contradicted statements and case studies on EDS' Web site that applauded Linux specifically for its security and stability.

However, the clarification -- issued from the office of EDS' global chief technology officer -- said the outsourcing heavyweight would not slam the door on Linux, and planned to embrace it in future.

"An important and growing portion of our clients are asking to look at Linux and OSS [open-source software] as a part of their total solution package.

"Provided that Linux and OSS solutions meet EDS' standards of performance, reliability and client 'fit,' we will provide the level of support consistent with our promise to clients. Moving into 2005, we are proactively engineering Linux and OSS into our portfolio of hosting and desktop services. Furthermore, as we evaluate Linux and OSS products and the associated services required, we will include these in our standard portfolio as appropriate,"it said.

However, the statement also revealed only a small percentage of its clients currently run Linux. Although the operating environment is not the company's preferred platform, it is "strategically important," the company said.

"EDS believes that we will continue to see a mixed client environment with .Net, Java/Unix, z/OS -- and over time an increasing role for Linux and OSS. Our next generation hosting services are based on leading-edge EDS Agility Alliance partner technologies that use industry-recognised operating systems. EDS Hosting Services believes that in order to provide a well-rounded utility offering, inclusion of Linux -- alongside Windows and Solaris -- is strategically important," it added.

Topics: Open Source, Linux

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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3 comments
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  • Now that linux is the OS for more than 300 out of the top500 supercomputers there is some idiot talking about lack of scalability, security etc.
    The world is changing faster than some uneducated prics know.
    anonymous
  • It is interesting to see how disturbing is EDS love for Linux & OSS.
    This is not a new love for EDSers.
    In a so huge company working on the infrastructure, how Linux & OSS can be ignored !

    Let's have a deeper look.

    EDS customers are like the others, they are asking for Linux & OSS. Of course, this is not the main demand. But, it is growing.
    Some EDS strategic partners, like EMC, CISCO, Dell or Sun are engaged in Linux & OSS.
    Some EDS competitors are engaged in Linux & Open Source and they still have good relationships with Microsoft.
    EDS has contracted with Sun to provided a full range of services for Java Desktop System.
    Check the press and you will see that EDS is already delivering Linux and OSS for the City of Berlin, the German Federal Ministry of Interior, the European Institute of Telemedicine, the French Air Traffic, France Telecom, the Italian Ministry of Education,...

    If you look inside EDS, you see a real understanding of communities of practices with more than 50 communities.
    One of the biggest is the Open Source Community with more than 520 members worldwide using RING an internal sourceforge-like environment.

    A big service oriented company is embracing Linux and OSS. Whatever the reason, it doesn't scare me.
    anonymous
  • I find it interesting that the ZDNet reporter doesn't consider the possibility that Mr. Rasmussen did _not_ say the things ZDNet claims he did. Perhaps the only thing that is "contradictory" in the whole mess is ZDNet getting it so badly wrong in the first place that EDS felt it needed to respond directly.
    anonymous