Linux hits a grand slam at home
   By Reuters
   October 11, 2001 11:01 AM PT

   LONDON--Linux, the open-source operating system invented by Finn Linus
   Torvalds, made its first big splash at home Thursday when it was
   embraced by Finland's leading broadband Internet provider, Sonera
   Entrum.

   Sonera, which provides high-speed Internet access for 500,000 private
   and 70,000 corporate subscribers, said it has replaced 60 different
   Unix and Windows NT servers from different companies with a single
   computer containing 500 virtual servers running Linux software
   installed by Red Hat and SuSE.

   Linux is free, open-source software, which means that all code is
   public and can be adapted by companies and individuals.

   Software engineer Torvalds invented Linux a decade ago, and other
   volunteers have developed it to rival Microsoft's Windows and
   different Unix platforms from Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer and Sun
   Microsystems.

   Linux has started to win over big corporate users in the past 18
   months. Companies such as Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch/Shell,
   Venezuelan bank Banco Mercantile and Sweden's Telia have replaced many
   of their servers with machines running on Linux.

   The Sonera deal is similar in size to Telia's in the number of
   servers. The Telia contract, signed late last year, was then the
   largest commercial Linux adoption. Neither company gave any indication
   of the value of the deals.

   The new computer, produced by IBM, requires less energy, needs 75
   percent less office space and allows Sonera to integrate all its
   services on one system and tweak the software if it wants to add new
   services.

   Sonera is expanding its basic Internet access by adding services such
   as Internet telephony, data security, network services and other
   applications that the company declined to specify.

   "We're looking for new business. Normally, you need separate servers
   for separate services," said Sonera's Technical Director Pasi Sutinen.

   Because the virtual Linux servers are all part of one computer, they
   can share their computing capacity, he added. The computer also can
   add new virtual servers on the fly, he said.

   Linux has been embraced by IBM as a flexible alternative to licensed
   software systems.

   With Linux, companies can quickly add or remove computers without
   worrying about licenses for the operating software.

   Over the past year, the software has been tested for business-critical
   applications, and major deals have started to come through.

   Recent announcements indicate Linux usage is becoming more versatile,
   with the operating system moving into many different applications, not
   just Internet computers.

   Musicland Stores, the U.S. company that owns the Sam Goody music
   retail chain, earlier installed Linux and Java-based cash registers.

   Story Copyright  2001 [5]Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.