IBM teams with ACT to expand Linux Lab

IBM Australia plans to boost its Linux development operation located in the ACT with support of the local government.

IBM Australia plans to boost its Linux development operation located in the ACT with support of the local government.

The company expects to double staffing levels within its Linux Technology Centre (LTC) in the Canberra suburb of Barton over the coming months.

Launched in March 2001 after IBM it acquired San Francisco-based dot-com start-up, LinuxCare, the LTC currently employs around nine full-time Linux developers with more joining the company this week.

With support from the ACT government, IBM plans to increase the number of developers working at the centre to approximately 18 over the coming months.

John Harvey, IBM's Director of Corporate Affairs Australia and New Zealand, said Linux and open source provided an ideal vehicle for Australia to shift its focus to the high value-added services area.

"Almost all of the developed counties, and a large number of developing countries, are looking really closely at what work on open standard and open source can bring to their governments for natural cost savings and advantages," Harvey said.

According to Harvey, "the days that people can base their entire systems on proprietary systems are gone".

"I think I think the cost is now too high for people to maintain a sustainable base on proprietary systems -- and people are looking for open standards that they can build their software systems for the future," he said.

The LTC's pool of talent currently includes individuals considered to be among the Australia's brightest and most experienced open source software developers. Centre manager Hugh Blemings oversees the work of Samba creator Andrew Tridgell; Paul Mackerras -- who helped develop the Internet protocol, PPP; kernel hacker Paul Russell and Linux standards guru Christopher Yeoh.