For Linux, 1998 was kind of like the year its voice broke. Intensifying media attention propelled Linus Torvalds, its creator, and a host of open-source gurus into the headlines — alongside the likes of Bill Gates and other industry moguls. Torvalds managed to grab a cover spot on Forbes Magazine, while North Carolina-based Red Hat Software experienced a surge of Linux product shipments to consumers, seeing the total number of users move into the 8-digit neighborhood.
It appears as though 1999 might just be the year that Linux gets its e-commerce driver’s license, and maybe even a new Porsche — if it keeps its grades up. Developed by Torvalds in 1991, and fine-tuned by a legion of programmers (and hackers), the explosive entrance of Linux into the mainstream seems to be coinciding with the e-commerce gold rush.
Power, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are what drive many business decisions such as, for instance, equipment and resource acquisition. For many companies entering the e-commerce fray, Linux seems tailor-made for them.
A Penguin with an Attitude pRecognizing the demand for powerful, cost-effective open system multi-processor (SMP) servers, Penguin Computing is using the potential power of open-source code to offer itself as a viable alternative to Windows-based products.
Penguin Computing is working with industry standard Intel Xeon processors and an L3 cache design adopted from mainframe technology to provide fast, e-commerce solutions. According to Sam Ockman, founder of Penguin, his company has become “the provider of choice for performance-driven Linux based systems.”
Penguin has begun to sit in the midst of some powerful companies, including Internet-based firms Amazon.com and Excite. But their propensity for new alliances doesn’t stop there.
The Oracle of Linux
In 1998, database chief Oracle Corp. began seriously pondering a plunge into the waters of Linux. When Penguin and Oracle made a joint announcement about their Linux-based e-commerce solution for Internet-centric business, many thought that the open-source operating system (OS) had been legitimized.
Penguin now offers pre-configured Linux servers based on Oracle8 and Oracle Application Server technology. One Usenet post enthusiastically proclaimed, “Oracle on Linux is GRRREAT!!!,” explaining that they felt their switch from Oracle 8 for Windows NT was a profitable one.
More Companies Taking the Linux Plunge
Apache Web server is also offered pre-installed on the Penguin Linux 8000 8-way SMP product, one that has been called “the fastest, most scaleable system available.” But as you may have already guessed or know, they are not alone indeed, and with all the attention comes fierce competition for the ironic, almighty Linux dollar.
Applix and VA Research are but a few of the other players in this game worth paying attention to. And not to worry, if you aren’t ready to take the Linux plunge yourself, you might at least enjoy the passing parade, which is getting more colorful with each passing day.