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AIX, Linux draw closer together
(IDG) -- IBM on Friday delivered the first in what is expected to be a series of products that make it easier for developers and corporate users to tie its AIX and Linux operating environments together.
The AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications is designed to build Linux applications that can take advantage of AIX's full range of capabilities. It also gives users more flexibility in deploying a mix of AIX and Linux applications for e-business solutions running natively under either AIX or Linux.
"What this does is offer a familiar Linux development environment to developers available under AIX, to do the full range of application development and recompilation,'' said Tilak Agerwala, vice president of AIX marketing and product management in Somers, N.Y.
Once developed and deployed, the Linux-based applications are treated as native AIX applications, meaning they can access the same scalability and performance that the 64-bit operating system doles out to AIX applications, according to Agerwala.
The new toolbox is the forerunner of the soon-to-be-released AIX 5L, Version 5.1 operating system, which incorporates all of the Linux APIs. With delivery of that version, AIX will then support both IBM's Power and Intel's Itanium processor architectures.
"The advantage [with AIX 5L] is that now customers will be able to run applications they want on the hardware they want, something not possible on many proprietary architectures," Agerwala said.
The new toolbox also contains a collection of open-source and GNU software that works with both AIX 4.3.3 and AIX 5L. Some of those applications include recompiled versions of the Gnome and KDE desktop environments and system utilities, including Emacs, Samba, Shells, GNU base utilities, and application development tools such as GCC, G++, and RPM.
Some analysts said they believe the toolkit is a good and necessary step to take if IBM is going to establish AIX as an open 64-bit Unix operating system that can span multiple hardware platforms.
"IBM's integrated Unix/Linux strategy, which can support both simple and complex workloads, is designed to help customers make customer's choices the right one,'' said Bill Claybrook, a senior analyst with The Aberdeen Group, in Boston.
The toolkit is now available for download although the company will make the product generally available on CDs by the end of this month. It will also be distributed at this month's LinuxWorld Expo in New York.
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