Linux Magazine’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2009

Once again -- with remarkable clarity -- we peer into our crystal ball and pick which companies in and around open source are going to grab your attention in 2009.

Microsoft

At the risk of ruffling a few penguin feathers, Microsoft makes the list again this year. The behemoth has captured our attention for some time with its steps toward making nice with the open source community, including actually hiring developers for its Redmond workforce.

Then there’s the recent release of its Web Application Installer, aimed toward assisting Open Source developers who want to explore the .Net Framework. The Installer comes with support for Drupal and OScommerce as well as some other Open Source Web applications.

This could be a boon for those who like Drupal, but it remains to be seen whether Microsoft can really ever get past that moment that CEO Steve Ballmer called Open Source “a cancer” in the software development world. If Microsoft becomes one of the biggest distributors of Open Source Web software, will they finally call OS “a cure” instead?

Terracotta

It’s tough not to like a company that throws out a tagline like “Kill Your Database,” because really, at some point, hasn’t everyone felt that homicidal impulse toward a sluggish or poorly configured database?

But they don’t mean it literally (too bad). Instead, Terracotta — a provider of infrastructure software for enterprise Java scalability — offers an open source Java clustering product, Terracotta version 2.7, that promises to reduce development time and the number of application servers and databases required to support Java infrastructures. According to the company, that leads to lowered operational and capital costs, while still maintaining performance and high availability. Try ‘em out, killer.

Dell

Although analyst predictions for desktop and laptop sales in 2009 are fairly gloomy, there’s some optimism around netbooks, mainly because the small form factor allows this category of machines to be cheap.

Dell could help save some hardware upgrade costs for companies willing to replace laptops with netbooks, or simply supplement its mobility strategy with the wee machines. Dell hit the holiday buying season hard with its Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook, running Canonical’s Ubuntu 8.04, with special pricing that put it below $400. For any company considering rolling out more computing power to its mobile workforce, Dell’s Mini could be tempting for ordering in bulk.

Zimory

The idea behind Zimory is that data centers can manage and utilize their servers more efficiently by building internal cloud computing systems. The company helps customers with a fairly unique offering: the Zimory Marketplace, which offers excess server capacity in an eBay-type bazaar, so data centers can either buy or sell according to their needs.

This isn’t an entirely new concept: Amazon offers this type of capacity, but the difference is that Amazon sells only the capacity from its own servers, Zimory notes, rather than acting as both a buyer and seller. The process is very straightforward and pretty simple, walking a new user through screens that are akin to setting up a Gmail account. The platform lets users select from a range of appliances, including Linux, and a few clicks later, the appliance is ready to go. It’s a handy way to play with cloud computing, without too much commitment.

Check Point

Want to really save money this year? Don’t get slammed in a security breach or infected because the temp doesn’t understand how to use a VPN. There are plenty of security products on the market, and numerous vendors, and Check Point makes the list for being one of the strongest.

The company offers network, data, and endpoint security, as well as unified policy management and monitoring through its security management service. A nicely distinctive system is its Unified Security Architecture that lets users save money by having a single, end-to-end security system instead of a cobbled-together security strategy incorporating multiple vendors. As “consolidation” becomes more a buzzword in the year ahead, that tactic will likely extend to security efforts, too, and watch for Check Point to talk up its version.

Comments on "Linux Magazine’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2009"

ctalk01

Terracotta was a great find! Awesome – thanks!

Reply
dford

Thanks for pointing me to osCommerce – it might be just what I’m looking for

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mdturnerinsjc

We’ll just just how “good” any of these companies are in this ongoing recession. Anyone can be “awesome” in a booming economy, now we’ll separate the adults from the children.

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toddrundgren

This is the laziest jourmalism I have have seen for many a year:

IBM, HP, VMWare, Microsoft, Citrix, Novell, Cisco. If you can only find 5 new companies then Call it Top 5 companies to watch in 2009

Reply
sgtrock111

The layout of this article is awful and earned a 1 out of 5 stars from me. No breakdown by market segment? No summary list?!? What were you guys thinking?

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sgtrock111

Almost forgot. How come Red Hat and Canonical aren’t included? If anyone has demonstrated how to run a successful pure FOSS business, it’s Red Hat. Canonical has done more recently to push desktop Linux than any other single company. Aren’t you guys at all interested in what they’ll come up with in 2009? I know I am.

Reply
isabellf

And worst: only 1 company per page, so you have to suffer slow refresh between pages (or paragraphs). I didn’t finish the article. If the purpose is to get more advertisement revenues, it’s a shame.

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gmarik

Why break into 21 pages?
Ads?

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markfarey

Yes it was a tough experience. Almost makes me want to run out and buy the print edition. Wait a minute…maybe…
:-)

Reply
zeke123

Was this article written or did you just ask the various companies to do their own?

i wasted 3mins of my life opening an account.

Reply
kberov

Where is Sun ?

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sysrivets

This was an absolute waste of my time. Is Linux Magazine really ready to close it’s doors?

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everready

Terracota was good. Cisco was a definite surprise, worth exploring, as it seems yet another new direction for them. VMware was a given, though they’ve been hit pretty bad with the stock tumbling down. They’ll preserve R&D budget. Aside from IBM,Cisco, HP and perhaps Vmware, I don’t know how many will survive this economy as standalone companies. Sun is going nowhere and struggling for a business model. So you did right by excluding them. 2008′s Vyatta is also all talk and less action.

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everready

I guess it was Ads. In today’s economy, you need to use every valid trick in the book to survive. Some call it smart marketing, I call it patience.

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sabersix

21 pages?!? Didn’t even bother to read. Please don’t waste my time!

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heckler

If you can’t provide a summary page with links to each company for a more focused read, forget it. Who has the time for tricks like this?

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ideco

You forgot to mention Ideco :-) Ideco Gateway as good as Astaro Security Gateway, but much much cheaper.

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sashasht

all of this companies will or already have majority of their workforce offshore, interesting how exactly we’ll benefit that?

Reply

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