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Linux Magazine's Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2008

It looks like our virtualization friends are making other lists out there in the media.  Check out this article from Linux Magazine as a few virtualization technologies sneak in the mix to get named. 

Quoting Linux Magazine: 

Who knows what the future will hold? Well, heaven knows we don't or we'd have already won the lottery a few times and retired to a private island somewhere. However, we can look at the past to make a few reasonable predictions-- such as the companies in the free and open source software community that are going to have a major impact on the market in 2008.

Once again we've read the tea leaves in preparation for the coming year, to attempt to foresee the companies and technologies that will be preeminent in 2008. The criteria for selection? Obviously, picking the" Top 20" companies is a fairly subjective exercise, and in the end it was a matter of opinion. However, to make the list, a company had to be involved in the FOSS community (one way or another) and have a major impact on that community.

Just being a consumer of FOSS technologies isn't enough-- a company needs to contribute in some way. And we stuck to commercial entities this year, even though some organizations (like the Free Software Foundation, and Software in the Public Interest) obviously have a major impact as well.

To come up with a list of movers and shakers we conferred with industry experts, conducted a reader poll through October online, and (of course) drew on our own observations of the industry. Having done so, we now humbly present our list to you.

...

3Tera

Forget about virtual private servers-- that's so 2005. We're talking about virtual private datacenters now. If you could have the benefits of your own datacenter, without actually having to invest in a datacenter wouldn't it make sense to do that? That's what we like about 3Tera-- another player in the utility computing market.

3Tera uses Linux and open source to build its Virtual Private Datacenter solution, which can be monitored from a browser anywhere in the world. Resources can be added (and, presumably, removed) from your virtual rack at any time.

If you don't trust another company to host your apps and data (and who can blame you?) the company also sells AppLogic, which lets you fire up your own grid with the similar flexibility but under your control.

Utility computing isn't a new trend, but we expect it to be even more important in 2008, and available to smaller and smaller companies. 3Tera is likely to be at the forefront of that trend.

...

Amazon

You might be wondering what the bleep Amazon is doing on a list of companies that will be making the news as an open source player. Sure, it's a major consumer of FOSS, but what is the company that tried to patent" One-Click" shopping doing here?

Despite its ugly patent policies, the company is offering some interesting technologies, like its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) that seem likely to catch on in a big way in 2008. We're also interested in the newly inked deal between Amazon and Red Hat to offer RHEL as part of EC2.

We're watching Amazon not because the company is releasing open source products, but because the company is using Linux and open source technologies to offer real grid computing services that are actually being adopted. Expect to see greater adoption of Amazon's services in 2008, as well as a horde of imitators.

Amazon's size, however, will make it difficult for smaller companies to offer the same kinds of uptime and reliability as the shopping giant. The company is also entering the device market with Linux, via its Linux-based Kindle eBook, which is another mark in the" Linux will own the mobile device market" box.

...

rPath

We're big fans of the virtual appliance concept here at Linux Magazine. Why hassle with deploying software on 20 different Linux distros when you can just bundle up the OS and application and run it on top of VMware, Xen, KVM, Virtuozzo, or another virtualization technology?

It's a no-brainer that Linux makes a great foundation for the virtual appliance concept, but trimming down the fat to get just what you need is quite a lot of work. That's why we're interested in rPath and its offerings.

The folks at rPath have paved the way to easy virtual appliances with their rBuilder technology and rPath Appliance program. You can even take rBuilder for a spin online to create your own virtual appliance foundation.

We think rPath has a solution that will appeal to a lot of ISVs in the coming year. It doesn't hurt our assessment that a lot of the rPath DNA consists of former Red Hat employees, like Erik Troan and Billy Marshall, that were there when Red Hat was making its way into the enterprise. We'll see if they can do it again.

...

SWsoft

It can (almost) safely be said that 2007 was the year of virtualization. Certainly, it wasn't the first year that virtualization technologies were available, but it was the year that virtualization broke out from a niche technology to a cornerstone of many organizations IT plans.

Virtualization is here to stay, but VMware isn't a lock to retain first place in the market. Underdog SWsoft may be coming up from behind, but it's technology is first-rate. Companies looking to virtualization to consolidate homogenous Linux or Windows environments should be strongly eyeing Virtuozzo.

Another reason we consider SWsoft a strong contender? Its open source roots with OpenVZ, and success at getting pieces of its technology into the mainstream Linux kernel. We think this is vital for any company that wants to succeed in the long term.

The company also poses a viable threat on the desktop, with Parallels virtualization technology that runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. While not as well established as VMware, Parallels has a strong following on the Mac, and is slowly gaining traction on Windows and Linux desktops as well.

...

Read the entire Linux Magazine article for the other companies named, here.

Published Thursday, January 10, 2008 7:39 PM by David Marshall
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