Red Hat, whose stock has doubled in value over the past nine months, has struck a collaboration and distribution deal with Sun.

Red Hat also has added an expert on internal audits and fraud to its board of directors.

The Sun deal, announced earlier this week, calls for Sun and Red Hat to distribute software developed by each firm in a bid to win greater share in the server marketplace. Red Hat has made its enterprise server efforts a major point of emphasis in recent months, resulting sales of which have helped send the Linux software firm’s stock from a low of $3.46 last July to a recent high of $7.65.

Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) dipped 2 cents on Tuesday to $6.96.

Sun agreed to distribute Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux operating system, and Red Hat will distribute Sun’s Java Virtual Machine.

Sun said the deal “affirms” its commitment to open source.

“The combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Sun’s x86 systems affirms our commitment to the open source community,” said Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president for software at Sun, in a statement. “This relationship is the first of many efforts we expect to drive together with Red Hat on the Linux and Java front.”

Red Hat said the deal is another sign of the firm’s growth in the server space.

“Sun’s decision to implement Red Hat Enterprise Linux for their hardware and software solutions furthers our goal to expand offerings to customers who want to develop and deploy integrated solutions on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Java, from the smallest of devices to multi-node clusters,” said Tim Buckley, Red Hat’s chief operating officer.

New board member

W. Steve Albrecht, the associate deal of the school of management at Brigham Young University, is the newest member of Red Hat’s board. Albrecht, a certified public accountant, also is a certified internal auditor and fraud examiner who has acted as a consultant with Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, the FBI as well as the United Nations. Albrecht’s election was announced last week. Albrecht has been selected three times as one of the 100 most influential accountants in the US by Accounting Today — in 1997, 2001 and 2002.

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