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IBM drives Linux into higher education with server donation

Big Blue has donated three xSeries Linux servers and 30 workstations to three educational institutions around the UAE.

In an attempt to drive Linux into the heart of the UAE’s educational system, IBM has donated three Linux servers and 30 NetVista workstations to different computer labs around the emirates. The machines have been installed at Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) in Abu Dhabi, Dubai Men's College and Dubai Women's College.

Alongside the hardware donation, Big Blue is also throwing in a ten day ‘teach the teacher’ course for the instructors. The instructors have already completed five days Linux training which covered the fundamentals. Another five days advanced administration is planned for November.

According to Dr. Tayeb Kamali, vice chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, the inistitution is enhancing its online learning program with the Linux labs and the IBM Scholars Program. The two initiatives, developed to support higher education institutions with instructional and non-commercial research opportunities will contribute to the efforts towards more developed online learning.

“With this program, our staff and students will get free access to over 1,500 original IBM software products via the internet. The software set includes selected middleware and developer products, such as DB2 Universal Database, WebSphere Application Server, MQSeries, VisualAge for Java and Lotus Domino for AIX, Windows and Linux platforms,” explains Dr. Kamali.

The donation of the Linux machines and training is part of an international IBM Linux skills development program called Equinox, which is intended to promote Linux awareness and expertise within senior education institutions such as colleges and universities.

“To succeed in the new business world, students must be innovative and flexible, take risks and try something different — but also value the expertise of others with hard-won experience,” says Farid Metwaly, general manager of IBM for the Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan.

“With our focus on open source projects such as Linux, IBM can broaden the students' choices, and share an enormous amount of intellectual depth as well as business acumen,” he adds.

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