Thursday proved to be a doubleheader of good news for Red Hat.

The Raleigh-based Linux software developer and service provider disclosed an expanded server deal with IBM and also announced that its server line has received certification from the Free Standards Group.

The deal comes just weeks after IBM disclosed a $50 million investment in Red Hat rival Novell, which acquired SuSE, the world’s second largest distributor of Linux behind Red Hat.

IBM and Red Hat said that the Enterprise Linux v.3 will be made available across its IBM eServer line of products. The v.3 is Red Hat’s latest server product offering.

The deal was announced Thursday afternoon, and the news sparked Red Hat software up $1 by the close, to $13.36, an increase of more than 8 percent.

IBM also said that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is packaged as part of advanced server products, known as xSeries and BladeCenter, in Japan and North America. IBM said the software will “eventually” be included “around the world.”

Both companies said the agreement, which is an expansion of a deal that began in 2002, “calls for the two companies to work together to provide broad Linux support, including servers, software and implementation services, to customers worldwide.”

“IBM and Red Hat are deepening their alliance to provide the advantages of Linux to customers everywhere,” said Scott Handy, vice president of Linux strategy and market development at IBM, in a statement. “The two companies create a compelling value proposition, combining forces to enable a business to deploy a resilient infrastructure throughout the enterprise built on Linux.”

A Red Hat spokesman also hailed the deal.

“Red Hat Linux v.3 will enable IBM’s customers to leverage the power and value of open source across several hardware architectures within a compute infrastructure,” said Mike Evans, vice president of channel sales and development, in a statement. “The common code base will promote security, stability and ease of manageability. The availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.3 on all of IBM eServer Systems signals the deep commitment our companies have to jointly deliver enterprise Linux solutions to the enterprise.”

Red Hat also touted the certification of its server software by the standards group. The company said that its Enterprise Linux v.3 is the first such platform to be certified across all Linux Standard Base (LSB) Runtime Environment architectures.

Supported architectures include x86-compatible, Itanium, IBM iSeries, IBM S/390, and IBM zSeries platforms. In addition, Red Hat says it is the first operating system provider to be LSB certified on the IBM’s zSeries, iSeries, and pSeries and S390 platforms.

The LSB is a workgroup under the Free Standards Group and a community effort to standardize the elements of Linux-based operating systems so that independent software vendors can support all Linux-based operating systems.

As a long-time supporter of this effort, Red Hat said it believes that standardization is an important goal for the Linux community and plans to continue aiding this venture.

“The certification of Red Hat Enterprise Linux as an LSB Compliant Runtime Environment is an indicator of the rapid advancements Linux has made in the enterprise,” said Daniel Quinlan, Chairman of the Board of the Free Standards Group. “LSB certification is critical to companies and their customers to ensure compatibility across an enterprise infrastructure.”

Red Hat: www.redhat.com