Spanish health care agency taps IBM, Linux

Von Todd R.

IBM Corp. has built a US$33.8 million Linux-based computer network for a Spanish health care agency that will be used to improve health care for residents in rural parts of the country.

In an announcement, IBM said Tuesday that the system -- believed to be the largest Linux deployment in Spain -- was built for the Servicio Extremeno de Salud (SES) health care agency in the Spanish region of Extremadura. It comprises multiple IBM xSeries servers and p5-570 servers with Power5 64-bit processors and incorporates IBM"s Virtualization Engine technology and Simultaneous Multithreading capabilities.

The servers, now in operation, run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8. Linux was chosen for the project to save money with license fees, according to IBM, which will run the network for four years.

A spokesman for the SES wasn"t available for comment today.

Called the "Jara Project," the new computer system aims to provide more than 14,000 doctors and medical professionals in the area with round-the-clock access to all kinds of health information to improve patient care, reduce paperwork and improve the security of patient records.