Red Hat has landed a major deal to power the servers of the city of Vienna, even as it fends off fresh attacks from Oracle and Novell.

Oracle recently said it would offer support for Red Hat's distributions and would sell its own Red Hat knock-off. For its part, Novell signed a landmark deal with Microsoft that some fear will open the way to patent-infringement lawsuits against other Linux distributors - a fear Microsoft is doing all it can to reinforce, short of actually filing lawsuits.

Meanwhile, Red Hat has continued on signing some major customers. Vienna is rolling out Red Hat for a variety of its systems, including mission-critical database servers, and has already migrated more than 100 systems, the city said.

Vienna has been running Linux servers since the early 1990s, mostly using FreeBSD, according to Red Hat. The city's server management head, Franz Brauneder, said it had decided to move to Red Hat for its stability, large partner network and wide software and hardware certification. "Since the start of our use of Red Hat, we have not once had a critical problem connected with the operating system," Brauneder said in a statement.

Vienna is using the entry-level Red Hat Linux ES and the higher-end AS versions on HP hardware. ES is being used mostly for Samba file servers, Apache web servers and legacy applications developed in-house. Oracle databases are running on AS, with plans to expand with deployments of PostgreSQL on AS. Vienna is also planning to migrate AIX-Unix databases to Red Hat, the company said.

For management, the city is using Red Hat Satellite Server with a provisioning module. All the servers are being integrated into Satellite's management console, which allows centralised management, on-demand remote access and remote setup of new servers. Satellite can also be run disconnected from the Internet for added peace of mind, the company said.