Turbolinux signs up HP, Compaq

The company signs deals under which Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Computer will promote and sell its Linux server management software.

Turbolinux has signed deals under which Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Computer will promote and sell its Linux server management software, the company plans to announce Wednesday.

Turbolinux got its start selling a version of the Linux operating system, with a stronghold in Japan. However, it's been diversifying into other software, with an emphasis on proprietary products that don't share the open-source qualities of Linux, which may be freely copied, modified and redistributed.

PowerCockpit, introduced in September, is one such proprietary product. It lets administrators control Linux servers remotely, sending out bug fixes or even a completely new operating system and software. The company plans to release a version soon that will control Windows servers as well.

HP will co-brand the PowerCockpit product and resell it for its Intel servers beginning in the first half of 2002, said Dino Brusco, vice president of marketing. "We anticipate a good number of their Linux Intel servers will be using this technology," Brusco said, though he declined to describe financial terms of the deal.

Compaq, currently locked in a battle with Dell Computer for the top spot in the Intel server market, has a lesser but still significant partnership under which it will jointly promote PowerCockpit on its servers.

PowerCockpit costs $2,400 for an installation that can control 10 servers. After that, each additional server costs another $180.

Roughly half of Turbolinux's developers are working on PowerCockpit, with most of the rest working on the Linux version itself.

Turbolinux had filed to go public, but it canceled the plan amid the Internet crash and after a flopped acquisition of Linux services company Linuxcare. Turbolinux competes primarily with Red Hat and Caldera International, which did manage to go public before the technology market started its rapid decline in 2000, and SuSE, which sells Linux mostly in German-speaking countries.

Turbolinux sells other software as well, including its enFuzion product that harnesses unused processor time on Linux, Unix and Windows systems.

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