IBM Linux servers earn new government certifications

Linux continues to make gains in the government market.

IBM Corp.'s eServer product line running Novell Inc.'s Suse Linux Enterprise Server 8 operating system achieved Controlled Access Protection Profile compliance under the Common Criteria for Information Security Evaluation (CAPP/EAL3), the company said.

The Common Criteria is an ISO standard used by government and other organizations to assess the security of technology products.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM also announced that its Suse Linux-based xSeries and zSeries platforms earned Common Operating Environment compliance. COE is a specification created by the Defense Department that describes functionality and interoperability requirements for commercially acquired IT products within its command and control systems.

The new certifications are seen as further proof that Linux is a viable alternative for government agencies.

"Certification under Common Criteria is a requirement for security-related products in our environment," said William Wolf of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego. "We are encouraged by EAL 3 certification for Linux, as new doors will open to build flexible, cost-effective solutions for our end-users."

James Stallings, IBM's general manager for Linux, said the COE compliance puts Linux on equal footing with other operating systems when it comes to Defense Department command and control operations.

Analysts estimate the market for Linux in government agencies will grow from $2 billion today to more than $5 billion in 2006.

IBM ranked No. 18 on Washington Technology's 2003 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue.

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