In a move to accelerate the development and adoption of Linux in data centres, a global consortium of IT companies, known as Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has issued a set of technical guidelines. These cover the use of the open source operating system in running mission-critical enterprise applications on server platforms.

The technical document is called Data Center Linux (DCL) Technical Capabilities. It defines and prioritises the Linux capabilities required in data centres that use mid-tier and high-end multiprocessor servers, as platforms for a variety of demanding enterprise applications.

The industry group hopes the paper will lead to standards that encourage businesses to use Linux for large-scale IT initiatives.

The document defines more than 300 capabilities, in eight major categories: scalability, performance, manageability, clusters, standards, security, usability and reliability/availability/serviceability (RAS). The paper is available on the group's website.

OSDL also plans to publish a DCL requirements document for use by Linux distributors, enterprise users and developers of the Linux kernel.

The industry group, made up of such industry heavyweights as Dell, IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, is examining the use of Linux on edge, application and database servers.