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.


Another intriguing vendor for unified security is Astaro, which makes a security gateway that incorporates network, mail, and Web lockdown controls. Users can navigate among updates, installations, and appliances with a graphical management tool.

There are plenty of these type of all-in-one kind of devices, but Astaro goes to great lengths to highlight its differences, such as providing a quarantine for spam mails on a local hard drive, or a 7th generation AJAX-featured GUI.

In the coming year, Astaro is likely to put more oomph behind its newest hardware appliance, the Astaro Command Center, which basically lets customers build their own managed security business. Plus, it’s all fueled by Linux.

Likewise Software

Acting like a coach with a fondness for teamwork, Likewise fashions products that make Linux, UNIX and even Mac systems work well in a Windows environment. Although Apple has a very small slice of the enterprise market, some analysts expect the numbers to grow, and Likewise Enterprise 5.0 will be a must-have in those mixed environments.

For companies without much to spend in 2009, the let’s-all-get-along approach offered by Likewise could be beneficial, since it would let users streamline management of different systems without the usual integration and support tangles. Also, for Windows-centric IT shops and data centers, Likewise provides a way to bring in Linux without much pain.


In another nod toward Apple’s presence in the enterprise environment, many developers are working to make the iPhone more friendly to corporate types, and Open-Xchange’s efforts are worth watching.

The purveyor of Open Source messaging and collaboration software recently announced that it added support for some Apple applications, including a beta version of its iSync connector, OXtender for Mac OS X. The connector lets mobile devices like iPhones and iPods have access to Open-Xchange data, even if they don’t have an Internet connection. For companies that have employees who are already using Mac products, or that have a virtualization strategy that includes MacBooks, the connector could save on support time and potentially reduce interoperability headaches.


Even though budgets might get tweaked, the amount of data created by employees is likely just as voluminous, if not increasing. Coraid, self-dubbed as “The Linux Storage People,” promises to give customers an advantage by showing them how to attach disks to existing servers for storage, instead of having to buy new servers.

Adding inexpensive ATA disks through EtherDrive Storage Blades can create a scalable environment where servers can be sized to meet the need, rather than defined by how much storage capacity they have. The company also sports storage virtualization appliances that it boasts can offer new flexibility to an EtherDrive SAN, also creating a new storage system without a major purchasing round.

These are the types of strategies that are likely to be the hallmark of 2009: doing more with less, and making do with what you’ve got.


It’s tough to believe that it was only in 2007 that Parallels came out with its new vision of “optimized computing,” centered around its Open Platform that brings together desktop and server virtualization. Since then, the company has certainly been busy. There’s a robust product family with support of Linux, Mac OS, some Windows systems, and, the company notes, Xen in the future.

Look for its high level of development to continue in areas like consolidation, automation, virtual desktop infrastructure and high-scale virtualization — basically, all the areas that are much-discussed right now for their ability to help an enterprise strategy without a big-pricetag purchasing round. Particularly interesting is the high-scale Linux virtualization, aimed at getting optimal efficiency from servers running Linux, with quick provisioning, resource tracking, load balancing, and more.

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


Terracotta was a great find! Awesome – thanks!


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


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.


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


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?


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.


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.


Why break into 21 pages?


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


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.


Where is Sun ?


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


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.


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.


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


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?


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


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


Definitely would love to start a website like yours. Wish I had the time. My site is so amateurish compared to yours, feel free to check it out: Alex :)


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