Red Hat pins hope on Ingram Micro to broaden Linux adoption

Red Hat is expecting to get greater penetration into the Australian Enterprise market thanks to a distribution agreement struck with market heavyweight Ingram Micro.

Red Hat vice-president South Asia Pacific region, Gus Robertson, announced yesterday at the launch of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 server product that it had signed up Ingram Micro on Monday as its main Australian distributor.

Robertson said Red Hat has been growing rapidly in the Australian market and that it did not make sense to sell its products on a "one-on-one" basis.

"We needed a broad-based distributor so all the channel can access our products. And Ingram Micro made sense," he said. Red Hat already uses Ingram Micro in Asia and in the US.

Robertson said it was a natural extension of the company's global outlook to use the distributor's Australian operations.

Ingram Micro joins existing Red Hat distributors, ACA Pacific, and niche Linux distributor, Everything Linux.

Ingram Micro will sell Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. It will also stock existing Enterprise products, namely Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1, for customers who chose not to buy immediately into the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 release.

Ingram Micro business development manager, Rodney Thorne, said Red Hat provided the company, which already has a large Microsoft presence, with a good opportunity to open up to new channels.

"We don't have a Unix/Linux offering and we are keen to add to that," Thorne said. "This is a step into that market."

Separate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 announcement, Red Hat also said it would be offering a new workstation product titled Red Hat Linux Professional Workstation.

The product is target ed at SOHO users and will sell for $99 in the retail channel.

Robertson said this product was ideal for business that were early adopters to Linux.

The product is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 core and comes with a full Open Office suite, the Evolution e-mail client and Mozilla browser.

It is expected to be released to the retail channel by the end of October.

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