Posted by Ken Hardin

HP’s announcement that it plans to support the Debian Linux distro for some of its server products reflects what may be a growing trend of hardware vendors bypassing Linux OS partners and just handling support themselves.

Unlike Red Hat, which makes its money from support and maintenance, and SuSE, with its close ties to the Novell product stack, Debian is pretty much a community-supported Linux flavor in the wild. It and its close cousin Ubuntu have won over many of the hard-core Linux set (who like to do their own support, thank you very much), as well as taking the forefront in speculated projects by mega-vendors such as Oracle and Google.

In its announcement of Debian support, HP noted that its own staff handles 99 percent of software support requests without having to pass customers through to various software partners.

As Linux more firmly establishes itself in the server room, particularly on commodity boxes like HP’s Proliant line, the OS may well increasingly be seen as a transparent service offered by the hardware vendor — not as a Windows-esque add-on with all the additional support hassle that can sometimes create.