Dell is now really warming up to the idea of Linux, and is to partner with Novell to provide server customers with a single console to manage hardware and software on Linux servers. Dell has made the move of shipping Novell ZENworks 7 Linux Management on request, and a special Dell version of the software has been provisioned. The idea is to simplify the administration of Linux environments by consolidating and automating the management of diverse IT resources. This will reduce costs and effort required, and also reduces training requirements.

"We ship around a million servers a year," said Judy Chavis, Dell's director of business development for enterprise products.

"Of those about 20 per cent end up running Linux. That 20 per cent need systems to allow easy and quick management of hardware and software."