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Volume 6, Number 31 -- August 26, 2008

Sabre and Travelocity Standardize on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Published: August 26, 2008

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

The word standard gets tossed around the IT industry a lot, particularly since the early 1980s when open standards Unix was all the rage long before open source software was even something than anyone but nerds and academics thought about. So when a company says it is standardizing on one product or another, you have to ask carefully what this means.

Last week, commercial Linux distributor Red Hat was touting the fact that Sabre Holdings, the parent company behind the Sabre airline reservation system used by multiple airlines around the world to schedule their flights and the Travelocity airline and hotel ticket sales Web site, have standardized the IT systems within the company to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. According to the announcement from Red Hat, Sabre did a bakeoff between RISC/Unix boxes and RHEL on X64 servers and found that Linux was three times faster and delivered transactions at a fraction of the cost. It did not say what Unixes were used in the comparison, but did say that the Linux boxes cost about 10 percent that of the Unix iron.

Sabre currently has RHEL on thousand of X86 and X64 servers from Hewlett-Packard, and is migrating the systems it got as part of its acquisition of lastminute.com, a European online travel site, to RHEL 5. Sabre says that the majority of its servers are X86 and X64 boxes, and RHEL runs mostly on two-socket and four-socket blade servers from HP.

And just to be clear. Standardization on RHEL at Sabre means that RHEL is pervasive in the organization and that as any new applications are created for the holding company, they have to run on RHEL. But that does not mean there are not mainframes still lurking back in there in the data center from the dawn of time. There are still mainframes, and as far as I know, they are still running z/OS, not Linux.


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