UnitedLinux readies telecom package

New software is intended to help equipment makers and telephone companies making a cost-cutting transition to standard, commercially available products.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane
The Linux operating system is continuing its spread across industries, with UnitedLinux releasing technology designed for telecommunications carriers.

The new Carrier Grade Linux package was developed by software maker SuSE in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Intel. Initial versions are designed to be used with Intel-based hardware. UnitedLinux is a consortium of companies including SuSE, the SCO Group, Turbolinux in Japan and Conectiva in Brazil.

The new package has been customized for telecom applications, and it includes technologies defined by the Carrier Grade Linux working group initiative of the Open Source Development Lab, a group funded by Intel, IBM, HP, and others to advance Linux for high-end computers.

The availability of carrier-grade features should help telecommunications equipment manufacturers and telephone companies making a transition to commercial, off-the-shelf products, by reducing development costs and the time it takes to get new products to market, UnitedLinux said.

"This represents a milestone for telco and other high-availability markets intending to use standard, commercially available components on Linux," said Hernan Vega, vice president of IBM's Global Telecommunications Industry operations.

Linux market leader Red Hat recently released its own version of a "carrier grade" operating system for telecommunications companies.

The CGL features in the UnitedLinux offering will be available as a service pack in the first quarter of 2003. The full product, as well as supplemental services, will be available from UnitedLinux partners.