Linux Magazine’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2007

We pick the companies that are defining the future of Information Technology and will have the most impact on the Open Enterprises of 2007. It's the inaugural edition of our 20 Companies to Watch list and we guarantee that every company here will challenge how you think about Linux and Open Source before the year is out.

Platform Computing

Sometimes a company’s future moves are worth watching simply because it goes into a new year with a sense of momentum. A prime example is Platform Computing, a company that got into grid computing while that field was in its infancy.

The company took on new partnerships and projects in 2006, most notably striking a deal with Dell in which AMD processors are now officially supported as a component of Platform Computing’s Open Cluster Stack certification program. The OCS is a modular, hybrid stack that transparently integrates open source and commercial software into a single, consistent cluster operating environment, according to Platform Computing. The two companies have been in cahoots in the past; Dell first announced in 2002 that it would offer software from Platform Computing to enhance the performance of Dell PowerEdge servers, with the aim of giving customers an improved ability to distribute processing workloads across multiple servers in high-performance computing clusters.

That integration led just a few years later to Platform Rocks, a cluster management toolkit that simplifies and speeds up deployment and management of Linux clusters. The company offered the software first to Dell customers on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and rolled out Annual Cluster Care, a package of commercial support and upgrade services. In 2006, the company released a new software grid tool, Symphony 3, which virtualizes computing-intensive application services across a number of IT resources and lets developers work off-grid without mucking up IT environments.

What remains to be seen is whether Platform’s efforts will lead to the adoption of more Linux clusters, as it hopes. Look for more demonstrations of OCS in the coming year, as Dell and Platform push to get more customers on the grid.

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