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Motorola joins Linux hit parade

MCG's HA Linux operating system will boast a "five nines" rating

Motorola Computer Group (MCG) said on Monday that it will ship its own version of the Linux operating system, named High Availability Linux, or HA Linux.

The Motorola division claimed HA Linux will offer 99.999 percent availability, a rating commonly called "five nines" that will amount to no more than five minutes of downtime per year.

HA Linux is aimed at large, high-end telecommunications applications that require extreme stability, such as call servers and IP gateways. David Peters, Motorola director of strategic partnerships, said the HA Linux project was brought about in response to specific requests from its telecom customers. "Our partners wanted a Linux that met their particular needs," he said.

Peters said he sees a place for HA Linux in other markets as well. "We expect to see deployment in Web servers, certainly. There's also demand for this kind of OS for other mission-critical applications: component testing, medical/diagnostic apps, possibly military and aerospace settings," he said.

In order to meet availability requirements, HA Linux will permit hot-swapping of system components, such as processors, I/O controllers and power supplies. Other new additions include active/standby support and an intersystem communications interface, which is intended to minimise disruption while switching between CPUs. The new OS will support Intel- and PowerPC-based servers.

Motorola said it expects to ship HA Linux in May.

Last autumn, Microsoft and its partners announced their plans for achieving "four nines" availability for Windows 2000. Microsoft, Cisco Systems, EMC, Unisys and other partners are collaborating on a Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Datacenter configuration (called "the data center of the next millennium") to showcase Windows 2000's high-availability capabilities.

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