NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Red Hat Inc. on Thursday inked a distribution pact with Veritas Software Corp., under which it will ship Veritas’ software used to backup data on computer systems with its version of the Linux operating system.|
The deal went over well on Wall Street, as investor enthusiasm for Linux-related ventures continues to soar.
Shares of Red Hat (RHAT) finished the day up 15 to 286-1/4 after peaking at 291. Shares of Veritas (VRTS) traded as high as 116 early in the day, before finishing the session 3-7/16 higher at 107-15/16.
Thursday’s deal calls for Red Hat, the largest Linux distributor, to ship Veritas’ BetBackup software, which is used to back up data on Linux-based computer networks, with the latest version of its Linux operating system.
The deal was announced the same day that a Red Hat rival, VA Linux Systems Inc. (LNUX), made its market debut in a blockbuster opening. Shares in the company opened Thursday at 299 after pricing at 30, and ended the day at 239-1/4.
Linux is widely seen as a potential threat to Microsoft Corp.‘s (MSFT) Windows, particularly in the market for servers. It is an "open-source” operating system, which means that it is in the public domain and open to modifications by independent developers.
While Linux, which was introduced in 1990 by Finnish computer science student Linus Torvalds, began life with a cult following of academics and computer enthusiasts, it recently has become more popular in the computing mainstream, especially among Internet service providers that use it as the operating system for hosting Web servers.
Companies such as Red Hat, which went public in August, and Corel Corp. (CORL) have developed their own versions of the operating system for retail sales, and industry heavyweights such as IBM (IBM), Compaq (CPQ), Dell (DELL), Gateway (GTW) and Hewlett Packard (HWP), have rolled out their own Linux-based computer systems.
Earlier this week, Dell struck a deal to install and support Red Hat Linux on all its PowerEdge server models, making it one of the first major systems vendors to install Red Hat Linux across its entire server line.
For Veritas, Thursday’s deal "further extends the range of platforms that its backup products support,” said James Mendelson, an analyst at SoundView Technology Group who has a "strong buy” rating on the Mountain View, Calif., company. "It gives them the opportunity to better sell into the market generally.”
The two companies had announced collaboration plans in early November.