IBM opens Unix software lab

Big Blue sinks $200 million into its Unix software development center to encourage technologies that enhance its AIX system.

Alorie Gilbert Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Alorie Gilbert
writes about software, spy chips and the high-tech workplace.
Alorie Gilbert
IBM has opened a $200 million development center to support companies building software for AIX, its version of Unix, the company said Friday.

The center, based in Austin, Texas, gives IBM customers, partners and academics the tools to develop, test and fine-tune programs for AIX, a data center operating system. In addition to IBM pSeries servers and 64-bit Power systems, the AIX Collaboration Center provides access to technical experts, training and remote testing capabilities.

"The AIX Collaboration Center will provide customers and partners with new programs and tools as well as early access to new technologies to refine the capabilities and features of the AIX operating system prior to each release," IBM said in a statement. "(It) will draw on the experience and expertise of IBM Research, Global Services, Software Group as well as multiple external resources."

IBM said it hopes the center will encourage others to build technologies that enhance its AIX system in the areas of security, performance and virtualization. Virtualization software lets people run several applications--potentially on different operating systems--on a single machine to maximize server usage.

Overseeing the center is Satya Sharma, an IBM distinguished engineer and the company's chief AIX architect. Symantec and SAS are among the first software makers to participate in the center's activities.