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HP has kicked off an aggressive Linux clustering campaign with a set of pre-configured hardware packages and a list of software that rivals anything another vendor can offer.

HP is making its presence felt at the Linux World conference with some of its top executives showing up to deliver keynotes. More impressive, however, is the astounding Linux cluster press release issued by the company on Tuesday. Never has a release been so long or so riddled with bullet points. The HP marketing team must have put pictures of SCO executives up around the office for inspiration.

Thankfully, there is some meat tucked away in the marketing fat.

HP has decided to start shipping pre-configured Linux clusters with between 16- and 128 processors. The systems are made up of ProLiant DL380 and DL360 servers along with requisite storage and software pieces.

This is an important move for HP on a couple of fronts. For one, it gives the company a nice competitor to IBM's own pre-packaged Linux clusters. Secondly, it plays on one of the key trends in the Linux space, which is the move of compute clusters out of the scientific labs and into the enterprise. This shift is not happening as fast as some would have you believe - Oracle comes to mind - but it is happening, and HP is now poised to cash in on the trend. Various markets such as graphics and oil and gas are turning to Linux clusters instead of SMPs for their high performance computing needs.

Along with the hardware, HP has upgraded its Linux software offerings. It will now sell the ProLiant Essential Rapid Deployment Pack for Linux. This software handles management functions on HP's Intel-based servers, including blade systems. HP has also started selling the OpenView Network Node Manager Starter Edition 7.0 for Linux. This gives smaller customers a nice GUI and central console for managing Linux servers.

As promised, that's not all. In fact, it's not even close.

HP has tuned its OpenView GlancePlus performance monitoring software for Linux. This application gives users a way to check on resource usage, uptime and Linux diagnostics. HP has prepped its OpenCall Media Platform for Linux as well, giving customers a carrier-grade set of apps for creating voice portals, sending out large volumes of messages and handling voicemail tasks.

Those are the highlights. The rest of the ins and outs can be found here.

We would say more, but SCO is holding another teleconference. Strange as it may sound, our day does not feel complete without hearing Darl McBride talk about "cleaning" Linux users.

Customers running large Linux clusters will have some serious scrubbing to do should SCO get its way. ®

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