IBM and Red Hat are teaming up to launch a global initiative designed to drive more usage of Linux.

The joint effort will focus on helping software developers with technical resources, expertise and implementation services, the companies said Friday.

Target markets include China, India, Russia and Korea.

In a statement, Red Hat and IBM cited statistics from analyst firm IDC showing Linux server sales topped $1 billion over each of the last four quarters. Linux sales climbed 45 percent in the second quarter, statistics show.

IBM and Red Hat want to further increase those sales through such tools as IBM’s “developerWorks” resource for software developers. IBM said it would add 29 Linux tutorials. IBM Innovation Centers will also offer developers consulting support and expertise for testing, migration, development and implementations of applications for Red Hat Enterprise Linux utilizing IBM platforms.

Red Hat, meanwhile, will provide independent software vendors with copies of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux, documentation, and access to the Red Hat Network.

The joint effort includes IBM and Red Hat working together at 15 IBM Innovation Centers in the United States, Russia, Japan, India, China and several other countries.

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