Another city council has joined the list of organisations opting for Linux. Dundee City Council has chosen the operating system, supplied with IBM’s eServer zSeries platform, in an attempt to reduce its running costs.

The council, responsible for a city with a population of 145,000, has replaced a large server farm, with equipment from various vendors, with the IBM kit. The financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

According to Doug Nielson, a systems consultant with IBM server group, Dundee City Council was looking to be more flexible. “The problem with the existing system was that with so many different vendors running different applications it wasn’t easy to run applications across different machines.”

He added that the IBM eSeries installation should sort out some of those problems. “It’s now much easier to share applications.”

This view was endorsed by Dundee City Council’s IT support manager, Tim Simpson. In a statement, he said: “For many years our servers proliferated as we brought new applications and departments online. However this approach became uneconomical and inefficient in terms of management time, operational costs and reliability. When the public are relying on our systems to pay rent or council tax, it is critical that there is no point of failure. The IBM z800 running Linux gives us the reliability and cost effectiveness we need, while the ability to add capacity on the fly will allow us to add new applications to conform with eGovernment requirements.”

The first system to be moved to the new technology was the Council’s payroll. Nielson could not comment on what other applications would be moved to the eSeries but said that there was plenty of room for further expansion.

He said that the decision to opt for Linux was in line with the increasing interest in the operating system from local authorities. “I think that Dundee was minded towards Linux when they were looking at the new system – there’s a natural link between local government and open source culture.”