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Fujitsu Siemens adds SuSE to servers

The European computing giant will bundle SuSE's Linux Enterprise Server 8 with all its Primergy servers, making the OS more easily accessible to companies on the continent.

European computing giant Fujitsu Siemens said Wednesday it will bundle SuSE's Linux Enterprise Server 8 with all its Primergy servers, making the operating system more easily accessible to businesses on the continent.

The two companies said the deal is in response to increasing demand across Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a solution combining Fujitsu Siemens' hardware and SuSE's operating system. SuSE is one of the biggest Linux vendors, and Fujitsu Siemens is the biggest European computer maker, selling everything from home computers to storage systems and high-end Unix hardware.

Primergy servers use from one to 16 Intel Xeon processors.

SuSE and other Linux vendors have pushed Linux increasingly into the corporate mainstream, with help from large computer companies such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Linux is compatible with many aspects of Unix but is cheaper because its intellectual property is not owned by any one company. It is distributed under an open-source license that lets anyone modify and redistribute the source code, as long as modifications are returned to the developer community.

Fujitsu Siemens said it aims to make complete SuSE Linux systems more easily available to customers. "The package we've put together with SuSE is especially attractive to our sales partners. They can now offer their customers complete solutions based on Primergy servers and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server with relatively little overhead," Bernd Bischoff, a Fujitsu Siemens executive vice president, said in a statement.

He added that demand is expected to be particularly strong for blade servers, which combine a large number of interchangeable servers in a single, compact chassis, as well as for TX series towers and RX series racks. The company will work with SuSE to calculate software maintenance charges based on server capacity.

Enterprise Server is the version of SuSE's software customized for corporations that is more thoroughly tested and less frequently upgraded than other versions. It is validated for enterprise applications such as mySAP Business Suite and for Oracle databases. It also forms the basis of the UnitedLinux operating system, which is sold under various brand names by Conectiva, the SCO Group and Turbolinux.

Late last month, SuSE introduced a "carrier-grade" add-on to Enterprise Server for telecommunications companies. At the same time the company named several new executives and hired advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to develop a global branding campaign.

Fujitsu Siemens is a joint venture between the two industrialists and sells Intel-based servers in Europe.

ZDNet UK's Matthew Broersma reported from London.