SCO Readies New OpenServer Unix

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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SCO readies the next version of its OpenServer Unix operating system, but partners worry about SCO and vendor's support for it.

LAS VEGAS— On Monday, The SCO Group Inc. will announce the release of the developer preview of Legend, the next major release of its flagship Unix operating system, SCO OpenServer, at is annual partner show, SCO Forum.

This new version of SCO's OpenServer goes into beta in September. SCO hopes to release it to distribution in January 2005.

The latest OpenServer will bring in features from SCO's other Unix operating system, UnixWare. These will include performance improvements, symmetric multi-processing (SMP) and load balancing. "The Legend Developer Preview already demonstrates performance increases in several areas including a 100 percent improvement in file system speed," according to Sandy Gupta, SCO's new VP of Engineering.

In addition to fundamental performance improvements, Legend will come with new Java server functionality and include the open-source PostgreSQL and MySQL relational database management systems. SCO will also be incorporating its SCOx Web Services substrate to help developers build XML-based Web services to the OpenServer platform.

The new release also includes security features to make it attractive to security conscious customers. These will include an encrypted file system and virtual private network (VPN) support.

At the same time, SCO announced new developer programs designed to encourage developers to build applications for both the current OpenServer platform and Legend, and to encourage legacy OpenServer ISVs (independent software vendors) to port their programs to Legend.

As Gupta noted, "It's extremely important that we continue to have a solid developer program around our operating system products."

Next Page: Reseller concerns.

Tim Carlson, national accounts manager for DTR Business Systems Inc., a major distributor and SCO partner, agrees.

"Resellers want reassurance that OpenServer will get the software and hardware support it needs to survive from both SCO and software and hardware vendors," said Carlson.

Referring to SCO's Linux lawsuits, Carlson said, "It's never good news to read about SCO in USA Today. I constantly hear from resellers who worry that SCO will abandon OpenServer because it's distracted by all of its legal stuff. Microsoft can shoot itself in the foot any number of times, SCO can't."

To provide its VARs and VSPs with the software they need to deliver end-user solutions, SCO is deploying open source programs like Apache and Samba on OpenServer.

"We have several sessions on how to use open-source programs in general on OpenServer and particular open-source programs like Samba," said Roberts.

While SCO continues to fight against Linux and the GPL, it has no qualms about using open-source programs with its own offerings to improve the depth and breadth of OpenServer's software support. As one SCO rank and filer said, "We're not anti open source, we're anti people stealing our stuff and calling it open source."

"This (SCO's use of open source) will absolutely continue," concluded Roberts.

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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