Infrastructure specialist LinuxIT Europe has teamed up with Red Hat to push Linux to SMEs, a part of the market that has always been reluctant to embrace open source.

The companies have developed tools, videos and seminars that will demonstrate that Linux is easy to install, administer and manage, without the need for extensive expertise in the field.

Over the past few years, Linux adoption by large global enterprises and government agencies has seen dramatic growth. Deployment of Linux by small to medium-sized businesses has also grown rapidly in the last year.

However, according to LinuxIT, many companies still cite lack of internal expertise with Linux, as well as concerns about difficulty of use as primary reasons that they have not yet deployed Linux.

Ev Milker, marketing and PR manager for LinuxIT, said the companies were expecting a high level of interest in the initiative, with around 80 delegates expected for the seminars. She said that while SMBs were aware of the benefits of Linux they had concerns over training and support.

“We still come across loads of problems, because there is still the perception that because it is open source there is not enough support, and they think the training isn’t there,” she said. “Also, a lot of people have had a bad experience with Linux in the past.”

The initiative consists of trial subscriptions to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, how-to videos, flash movies that demonstrate how to setup web, file, print servers and others, real life stories from customers who have already made the move and award-winning training courses.

The companies are also giving a series of free seminars to show companies at first hand how easy it is to deploy Linux, learn about the ROI, and talk to customers who have made the move and experience applications that run on top of Linux.