ComputerWorld: Clustering software takes Linux in new direction

“The performance clustering software and services announced
today by Linux vendor TurboLinux Inc. and a cabal of partners
including Unix vendor SCO Inc. takes the Linux market in an unusual
and somewhat risky direction, analysts said…”

“TurboLinux’s release is about six to eight months ahead of its
competitors, said analyst George Weiss of the Stamford,Conn.-based
Gartner Group Inc. But what really stands out about TurboLinux’s
approach to the market is its effort to provide high-end software
that alters the Linux operating system itself. Most Linux vendors
such as Red Hat Software Inc. of Research Triangle Park, N.C., have
sought to stake their claim based on business considerations such
as service and support, Weiss said.”

“The significance to Linux users: TurboLinux’s approach could
put the compatibility of the different brands or “distributions” of
Linux at risk, Weiss said. Linux vendors have generally tried to
avoid producing incompatible versions like commercial Unix vendors
have, but the effort to improve the performance of Linux
clusters has brought TurboLinux to the point of changing the Linux
kernel, which is governed by the public domain. If TurboLinux isn’t
careful, its strategy of serving a market by improving on core
Linux technology could produce a “forked” version of Linux
Weiss said. If it avoids that pitfall, Weiss said, TurboLinux’s
gamble that users want Linux to scale to Unix-like heights of
performance could succeed. “They have a shot at it,” Weiss

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