TurboLinux is readying software for tying Linux, Windows NT and Solaris servers into the same clusters -- a product that should be among the more interesting enterprise Linux offerings making their debuts at next week's LinuxWorld Conference & Expo.
The San Jose conference promises to be a who's who and what's what of the Linux market, which more than doubled in size from 1997 to 1998 and has maintained momentum so far this year.
Linux creator Linus Torvalds will be among the conference's keynote speakers, and Red Hat Software, perhaps the Linux market's best-known vendor, is expected to take advantage of the show buzz and start selling its stock. Separately, hard-charging VA Linux Systems is expected to announce its initial public offering of stock.
IBM is expected to use the conference to outline a series of Linux initiatives involving everything from Lotus Notes to Tivoli management software to Netfinity servers. Others, such as Magic Software and NovaStor, will also make Linux-related announcements.
As for TurboLinux, its new TurboCluster server, currently in beta testing, will be demonstrated running on IBM Netfinity servers, as well as at Compaq's and Adaptec's booths.
The software, which runs on Intel and Alpha processors, will let customers bind 20 or more machines into a cluster for handling Web or other applications that require high scalability and reliability.
Sun offers a clustering product that scales up to 35 servers, and Microsoft offers software for clustering a pair of multiprocessor machines. But observers say the TurboLinux software will let companies build clusters that are more scalable and less expensive.
"This is probably the most flexible application of this concept that I've seen," says one systems integrator who has been beta-testing the product, but asked not to be identified.
He says that when TurboLinux releases the full version of the software this fall, the product will likely support IP tunneling and Novell Directory Services, and include server-management capabilities.
TurboLinux, formerly known as Pacific Hi Tech, declined to provide pricing information for TurboCluster. Beta testers expect the software to sell for less than US$1,000 per server.
Here is sampling of other anticipated announcements:
IBM plans to introduce a new workgroup PC server optimized to run Linux from Red Hat, SuSe, TurboLinux or Caldera. The 2500 MT server is a two-way Intel processor-based box that will likely cost less than $2,000. IBM is also expected to release RAID adapter cards with drivers written to Linux specifications. IBM declined to disclose details about other upcoming Linux announcements, but said it would be very active at the show.
Magic Software will release a Linux port of its eMerchant business-to-business electronic commerce application. The product provides transaction processing and consumer profiling capabilities. EMerchant works with Informix and Oracle databases, and runs on the latest commercial distributions of Linux. Pricing information was not available.
NovaStor will introduce a version of its PC and workstation backup product for Linux. NovaBackup 8 will support tape as well as CD/DVD backup. The product, which will cost about $60 per user, will also run on Windows 95, 98 and NT, and OS/2.
The company is also working on porting its NovaNet enterprise backup product to Linux by year-end.
TurboLinux: http://www.turbo linux.com; IBM: http://www.ibm. com; Magic: http://www.magic-sw.com; NovaStor: http://www.nova stor.com