The Open-source Development Lab (OSDL) is on schedule to begin operations in Portland, Oregon before the end of the year. The goal of the tech giants who are funding the effort is to make Linux fit for the highest-end corporate servers. While Linux developers are assumed to have the ability to write the code needed to accomplish this end, they have typically lacked access to the expensive computers needed for testing their work. OSDL will provide that hardware and an onsite staff of engineers who will work with the many developers located all over the world.
IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, NEC and others are providing a reported $8 million to $12 million a year. Additional support for the lab will come from Caldera Systems, Dell Computer, Linuxcare, LynuxWorks, Red Hat, SGI, SuSE, TurboLinux, and VA Linux Systems. Not everybody is convinced the lab will be able to produce the sort of product needed to convert corporate IT directors. Others fear the project will serve only the interests of its dominant sponsors, rather than Linux. If it succeeds, however, there are plans to expand the model to other locations.