Open Country, a Linux desktop and server software management vendor, launched as a company last week with the aim of helping enterprises lower Linux network administration costs on the cheap.The firm's product is called OC-Manager, an agent-based Linux desktop and server management application that can be used to configure, manage, and provision Linux PCs, database servers, blade servers and appliances. The software requires a 1M-byte software agent, and a management PC which can be either a Linux-based or Windows-based machine.The makers of the software say its easy to set up and use, and requires minimal user training. The software can manage most popular Linux platforms, including Red Hat, SuSE, Sun and Mandrake.Functions that OC-Manager supports include remote Linux system configuration and troubleshooting, remote administration and desktop takeover, as well as asset management and back-up configuration capabilities. The software can be used to manage a network of up to 5,000 Linux nodes.Based in Belmont, Calif., Open County counts among its customers Cisco, Intel and EDS, which use Linux servers and desktops in various product development and administration environments, according to Open Country.The software is available now and uses a monthly subscription pricing scheme, where each managed Linux system in a network costs $9 per month. The company says it is working on a version of its product to manage Windows-based PCs and servers, which would integrate into its Linux-based management console.