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IBM, Red Hat sign bundling deal

IBM and Red Hat have expanded their partnership to make it possible for customers to order Red Hat Enterprise Linux and accompanying support options directly with purchases of Big Blue servers that use its Power processor. Currently, the open-source operating system must be bought separately; IBM didn't disclose when the new ordering option would go into effect.

Historically, Power-based servers have run IBM's AIX version of Unix and its OS/400 operating system for midrange servers, but the company began an aggressive push for Linux for Power chips this year. The agreement means that Red Hat's Linux will be available for all Power-based servers, including the dual-processor JS20 blade server. Those blades currently support Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 and a variant sold by Turbolinux.