IBM moves to speed up release of AIX test code


"What they set up to do with it, and what they actually do with it, can be two different things," said Ebbe, who is a former president of the IBM-oriented Share user group. "But it sounds like they are trying to get the end users involved as quickly as possible and as broadly as possible."

Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group Inc. in Beaverton, Ore., said IBM's collaboration may benefit independent software vendors. The quicker a developer can understand how the operating system handles functions such as virtualization, "the better the ISVs' applications are going to be," Olds said.

Freund said the initial set of AIX 5.4 features due for early testing next quarter will include some of the workload management technology that IBM gained through its June acquisition of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Meiosys Inc.

IBM isn't following the lead of Sun Microsystems Inc. and making AIX open-source, as Sun did earlier this year with its Solaris operating system. Freund ruled out open-source as an option and said he thinks open-source products tend to mimic advances made in proprietary ones. For instance, he said IBM worked to include AIX's dynamic logical partitioning technology in Novell Inc.'s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 software.

But there's a pressing business reason for making the move to a more community-oriented development model, Freund said. Unix servers are under such pressure from commodity Windows and Linux systems, he said, that vendors such as IBM have to accelerate access to their innovations "in order for us to continue to drive successful growth."