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SGI takes stake in Linux distro SuSE

Wants help getting enterprise apps over to Linux

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SGI has invested in Linux distributor SuSE, part of what the two companies are calling a "strategic partnership" to grow the open source OS' applications market.

The value of the investment was not disclosed. However, the duo did say that the alliance will also involve their close co-operation on the "development, deployment and support of the Linux OS and infrastructure code".

That suggests that SGI plans to roll-out boxes based on SuSE's distribution of Linux rather than Red Hat's, which is what it's shipping in its desktop systems today. However, the partners also said they will also be collaborating on high-end enterprise applications - at least that's what they claim their customers will get out of the arrangement - so SGI could be looking at SuSE as its high-end distribution and Red Hat for workstation-class systems.

Certainly, the tone of the two companies' joint statement on the alliance doesn't mention SGI's traditional visual computing business.

SuSE and SGI have some history of collaboration. Earlier this year, they both ported SGI's FailSafe advanced clustering system over to Linux from SGI's variety of Unix, IRIX. That would imply this new alliance is an extension of SGI's plan to port key Unix technologies over to Linux, and as before, it's doing so with SuSE's help, securing that aid with a stake in the company.

The two companies are also working together - with others too - on the version of Linux for Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor. ®

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