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Binghamton University and STOC launch groundbreaking Linux collaboration

With the launch of the Binghamton University Linux Technology Center, the Greater Binghamton area becomes one of the key regions in the nation for cutting-edge research in Linux based systems and open-source computing, said University and the Southern Tier Opportunity Coalition (STOC) representatives.

Linux is the leading open-source operating system, and unlike proprietary operating systems, all underlying code in Linux is available to the public without restrictions on use or royalties. The Linux Technology Center (LTC) will focus on improving basic and applied research in Linux-based and open-source applications by drawing together key competencies from the University and industry leaders, IBM and Mainline Information Systems, Inc. The center is expected to enhance research capabilities and expand the Linux knowledge base, fostering job creation and economic growth in the Greater Binghamton community and New York State.

“This is a triumph brought about by the networking and the cooperation of many people representing various entities,” said Diana Bendz, president of STOC. “It is a perfect example of the Southern Tier Opportunity Coalition’s mission to leverage technology in support of business growth.”

Students and faculty from the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Management will provide basic and applied research expertise for the new center, while gaining valuable hands-on contract and development experience.
“The LTC joins institutions that are committed to open-source development in a partnership that puts this region on the forefront of Linux based research skills and abilities,” said Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur. “By working with each other to vet ideas and solutions, we will be able to offer local and regional businesses a valuable resource while providing unique research and educational opportunities to our faculty and students.”
Recognized by Binghamton University as an organized research center, the LTC will be located on the University campus. The center is one of only a few academic research programs in the nation dedicated to Linux and the associated open-source software.

“We believe the LTC will help put Binghamton University at the forefront of the development of this technology,” said Gerald Sonnenfeld, vice president for research at Binghamton University. “The center’s capabilities will help to make us very competitive for new programs in this growing research area.”

IBM is providing support to the LTC in the form of equipment including an IBM System z9™ an IBM System p5™ server and IBM System Storage™ products, as well as software, personnel and other services. “This new Linux Technology Center reinforces IBM’s commitment to the open source community,” said Kyle VanKleeck, vice president, Client Support, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “The LTC will bring together a diverse team of people to learn, share ideas, tackle problems, pioneer new approaches, and deliver innovation that matters to the local community.”

Merwyn Jones, an IBM computer scientist, will direct the LTC. “The LTC brings tremendous open computing possibilities to science, business and engineering,” said Jones, “Building upon IBM’s strong commitment to open computing and Binghamton University’s strong research capabilities, the LTC will accelerate innovation in the information technology arena and put the University in a leading role.”

Mainline Information Systems, a leading IBM Premier Business Partner, will compliment the center by delivering leading-edge expertise with Linux applications, such as digital video solutions. Mainline will also assist LTC with the development of Linux-based opportunities for small- and medium-sized business.

“The Linux Technology Center (LTC) provides a new high-tech opportunity for the Southern Tier, “ said Thomas J. Rettberg, director of portfolio management, Mainline Information Systems, Inc. “Students are gaining invaluable experience with leading edge Linux applications. Businesses benefit because they can leverage the LTC for application software development as well as hire students with hands-on IT (information technology) experience. The LTC has already achieved local small business success stories, plus they are seeking additional engagements to assist regional businesses.”

The LTC has already completed a successful project for Custom Systems Integration (CSI), a local test engineering company, and through STOC, will serve area businesses and other organizations, by offering semi-custom and cost-effective approaches for using the Linux open-source operating system.

For more information about the LTC or to engage the services of the center, contact Merwyn Jones at 607-777-6971 or merwyn@binghamton.edu [1].

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