Company officials today said they will ship a production version of SAS software for Red Hat Linux on Intel hardware by the end of the year. They added, however, that they also will deliver versions of the product for all of the distributions by the major Linux suppliers including Caldera, SuSE, TurboLinux, and Corel.
"Based on positive customer feedback, as well as the increasing number of Fortune 1000 companies looking seriously at Linux as a viable operating system for their enterprise applications, we felt that the time was right for us to offer a Linux version of SAS software," said Keith Collins, SAS Institute's vice president of research and development. "We're also pleased by the recent moves to support Linux by IBM, Intel, and other SAS technology partners."
SAS officials said they intend to beta test the upcoming product aggressively among both commercial and academic users, which they hope will provide them with enough feedback on how to best address issues involving compatibility, software installation, and a plethora of hardware configurations.
"Many IT managers are attracted to the reliability and ease-of-use of Linux, but are worried about the dearth of heavy-duty business applications on the platform," said Bob Moran, research vice president and managing director for decision support research at Aberdeen Group. "I think it is their intent to port SAS software to Linux should help allay these concerns," he said.
Priding itself on diversity of its cross-platform strategies, SAS also sees the move to Linux as a necessary one if it is to remain competitive in an increasingly Internet-based world where a raft of different enterprise-level platforms continue to flourish.
Presently SAS has versions of its core product running on several major platforms including several flavors of Unix such as Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX, as well as a commitment to support Project Monterey, the next generation, 64-bit version of AIX. The company also has versions for Windows 2000, Windows NT, and IBM's OS/390 mainframe operating system.