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Red Hat, facing increased competition from the Novell/Microsoft alliance and Oracle, has won a new enterprise customer: Union Bank of California.

Union Bank, which is one of the 25 largest banks in the country and has 320 branch offices in California, Washington and Oregon, will standardize its IT infrastructure on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a Red Hat spokeswoman told eWEEK.

The bank is moving from IBM’s AIX Unix-based operating system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Hewlett-Packard hardware and has also built solutions running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite and MySQL over the past nine months, the spokeswoman said.

JBoss’ Marc Fleury came out swinging at Oracle and Microsoft recently. Read about it here.

The bank migrated from AIX to realize significant performance gains as well as centralized, secure management through Red Hat Network, she said.

“One of the main driving factors was that they wanted to reduce their time to market with new initiatives. Union Bank also specifically chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Satellite Server for its monitoring capabilities and security controls,” the spokeswoman said.

To read about the second beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, click here.

Union Bank plans to make Red Hat’s complete solution stack part of its core technology direction. “While the bank does have a heterogeneous operation and was a BEA shop, they are now moving to JBoss for all future projects, and older products will be migrated over time,” the spokeswoman said.

Mok Choe, Union Bank’s chief technology officer, said that providing the best customer experience is a priority, with open-source technology playing a major role in the customer-facing sales and service product line.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to offer higher reliability and speed in a cost-effective manner and are rearchitecting our Web environment to scale horizontally using the commodity hardware and open-source tools,” he said.

The bank believes that it will be able to significantly reduce transaction costs using commodity hardware and open-source tools. Those savings will then be used to finance further improvements in the customer experience, Choe said.

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