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SGI invests in Linux seller SuSE

The high-end computer maker's investment in the German Linux seller is a shot in the arm for SuSE as it battles Linux leader Red Hat.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
High-end computer maker SGI has invested in German Linux seller SuSE, a shot in the arm for the company as it battles Linux leader Red Hat.

Terms of the investment were not disclosed. SGI, which also has invested in VA Linux Systems and Turbolinux, is banking its company's future on Linux but has seen its stock hammered amid continuing profitability problems. SGI makes high-end workstations and servers and plans to use Linux as the operating system running on new systems based on Intel's upcoming Itanium processors.

SuSE, one of the handful of well-established companies selling Linux and associated services, faces the task of keeping Red Hat at bay in its core German, Austrian and Swiss markets while trying to expand into the United States. SuSE has an office in Oakland, Calif.

Bolstering this U.S. effort is a deal with IntelliWare Systems, also announced Friday. IntelliWare will distribute SuSE's version of Linux for IBM's zSeries (formerly called S/390) mainframes and will install and support the software, the companies said. Red Hat and Turbolinux also have S/390 versions of Linux in the works, but SuSE's is already available as a product.

IntelliWare, based in CNET's Linux CenterArlington, Texas, has been selling mainframe hardware and software since it was founded in 1990.

Meanwhile, as competitor Red Hat cuts one of the chips its Linux product supports, SuSE is expanding. SuSE Friday released its version of Linux for computers based on Compaq Computer's Alpha chip.