Sybase Monday announced the creation of a global Linux professional services team, and opened a Linux competency center in its New York office.The team of five will be based at the office on Avenue of the Americas; more staff may be added in line with demand for its services, according to Raj Nathan, senior vice president and general manager of Sybase's Infrastructure Platform Group. The competency center is the first of three such centers the company plans to set up around the world in the next twelve months. The other two will be in Europe and Asia, he said.Sybase has been building up its support for the open-source operating system since the end of 2002, when it saw demand for officially-supported Linux versions of its products growing, Nathan said.It has already ported its Adaptive Server Enterprise relational DBMS, EAServer application server, Replication Server, SQL Anywhere Studio mobile synchronization system, and Financial Fusion TradeForce Solution, a tool for integrating trading systems, to Linux, it said in a statement. It plans to port its Sybase IQ database, Integration Suite and Enterprise Portal software to Linux in 2004, according to the statement."By mid-2004 we will have all our major server products certified and available on all major Linux distributions," Nathan said.The company also announced that the applications already ported have been certified on Red Hat's distribution of Linux.Certification means those applications will install correctly without interfering with other applications, according to Red Hat Vice President of Channel Sales and Development Mike Evans.Sybase and Red Hat will work jointly to resolve customer problems with the certified software, Evans said.Evans said he was excited by Sybase's opening of its Linux competency center. "It's great to see centers that can demonstrate what Linux can do," he said.The Linux competency center will also provide support for Sybase software on distributions from SuSE Linux AG of Germany and Red Flag Software of China, Nathan said.The center will be equipped with servers from IBM, HP, Dell, Egenera and Sun, Nathan said. The Sun products will be drawn from its x86 server range.Sun's participation in the center is a sign of its commitment to Linux, according to Michael McNerney, its director of E-business solutions. "We are making a major investment in Linux," he said.