Linux start-up debuts provisioning software

Linux systems management start-up LinMin launched this week with a software product designed to ease the provisioning of Linux systems available for download.

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Linux systems management start-up LinMin launched this week with a software product designed to ease the provisioning of Linux systems available for download.

The company was founded by former Open Country chief Laurent Gharda, and its new LinMin Bare Metal Provisioning (LBMP) uses remote provisioning and imaging technology previously developed as OCM Provision from Open Country.

The current version supports Linux, but the the application is also being readied to support Windows, with alpha tests already under way.

"LBMP supports 30 Linux types and provides simple bare metal provisioning for Linux regardless of the framework customers may be using," Gharda says.

Customers can download the software onto a generic server, run three scripts and interact with a browser-based interface to create consistent operating systems images of Linux servers they want to distribute to remote machines.

LBMP works with existing systems management agents from BladeLogic, BMC, HP or IBM, among others, but eases the process of creating Linux images, customers say.

"I love the fact that we can now provision our existing server infrastructure from a bare metal state to full production readiness without having to step foot in the datacentre," says Brian McArthur of Advantage Professionals, a staffing solutions provider.

"I had a rack of 40 Dell 1955 Blades delivered to our datacentre, and once powered up and connected to the network, we were able to provision them remotely and with a day's time."

Aside from speeding 64-bit CentOS 5.1 server provisioning, McArthur says the pricing helped steer his decision to beta test the product. An annual subscription to LBMP costs US$100 (£50) for 10 client systems, $400 (£200) for 100 client systems and $750 (£75) for 250 clients systems.

"I have worked LinMin's server imaging functionality into our disaster-recovery process. This was just an added bonus that we didn't really expect to get when we purchased the product," he says.

Industry watchers expect LinMin's technology to be successful among small to mid-sized IT shops because of the price, but say the vendor must work on its Windows version to really resonate with companies short on IT staff.

"Despite the crowded systems management market, provisioning remains a top issue. Small companies run more Windows than Linux, though, and that will be a challenge for the company," says Jay Lyman, analyst at the 451 Group.

 
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