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Library of Congress taps into IBM, Linux

The Library of Congress will use Big Blue's pSeries servers running Linux, models that historically have run Unix.

IBM announced that the Library of Congress will run Linux on its pSeries servers, models that historically have run Unix.

The Library of Congress will use the servers for an online catalog of film, video and TV archives that are stored at museums, broadcasting companies and other locations, IBM said Wednesday. The goal of the project, called the Moving Images Collection, is to provide a single site on the Internet that will let people search for video images.

IBM has been avidly embracing Linux, an open-source operating system closely similar to Unix, but the pSeries models were the last of the company's four server lines to be endowed with the ability to run Linux. Although Linux competes with IBM's existing operating systems, the company's top server executive, Bill Zeitler, has argued it's better for IBM to embrace Linux than to be left behind as customers adopt it.

The National Science Foundation has provided $900,000 to the University of Washington, Rutgers University and the Georgia Institute of Technology to set up the project, IBM said. The Library of Congress plans to take over administration of the project in 2004.

The project will use two four-processor p630 servers, which use the current Power4 processor, and two two-processor p610 servers, which use the older Power3-II. The systems will run the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 operating system.

All four of the top server sellers--IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Dell--have embraced Linux. But unlike its competitors, IBM is pushing Linux not just for Intel processor-based servers but for its in-house models as well.

SuSE has been more aggressive than its U.S. rival, Red Hat, in supporting IBM's non-Intel server lines. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, due in early October, will bring full Red Hat support to IBM's complete server line.