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Red Hat edges into higher-level software

Linux leader has added three collections of higher-level server tools to its line-up.

Linux leader Red Hat is selling subscriptions for three collections of higher-level applications that run Web sites' Java server software.

The three support subscriptions will cost a minimum of $599 per server per year when they become available in the first quarter of 2006, the company said Tuesday.

The move marks a significant expansion of the Raleigh, N.C.-based company's operating system business. It also carries Red Hat into turf occupied by open-source rivals such as SourceLabs and JBoss, as well as business partners including IBM and Oracle.

Red Hat already offers some higher-level software subscriptions along with its operating system. Now the company is offering support for three server software collections--"stacks," in industry argot.

One popular collection Red Hat will certify is the "LAMP" stack--Linux, the Apache Web server, the MySQL database and the PHP scripting language for creating Web pages such as online catalogs on the fly. Red Hat sells this support subscription as the Web Application Stack.

The other subscriptions involve Java, a programming language and execution environment created by Sun Microsystems. Java lets the same program run on a variety of different computers--for example, ones running Red Hat Linux or Microsoft Windows--without it having to be changed for each one.

Red Hat's Java Web Application Stack is for higher-end Web sites that use Java features such as Apache Struts, Axis, Spring, Hibernate, Lucene, Ant, Junit and Jython. It also supports the components of the Web Application Stack.

The highest-level collection, the Enterprise Java Stack, adds support for the Jonas Java application server for support of all the features defined in the Java Enterprise Edition specification.