TurboLinux previews its new high availability clustering Web server this week at the Linux World Conference in San Jose, pushing the viability of high-end open-source solutions for e-commerce.
The TurboCluster Server, which has been ported to the Alpha Processor, is a “breakthrough for Linux,” stated Cliff Miller, CEO of TurboLinux. “More and more of our customers are looking to migrate their mission-critical e-commerce sites to Linux and clustering was a necessary requirement.”
Clustering utilizes multiple linked servers that operate as one machine. Such a system is user transparent. If one server fails or crashes while processing a user’s request, another in the cluster is made available within a very short period of time.
“While Linux systems are being used for some enterprise applications such as print, file and Web servers, they have not penetrated the higher-end computing environments such as high-traffic e-commerce web sites and other businesses using Web-based transactions,” the company said this week. TurboCluster may help to change that, however.
Performance and the Explosive E-Commerce Arena
“The combination of TurboCluster and Alpha servers,” said Miller, gives IT and Internet professionals “a powerful platform to meet their demands for availability, scalability and performance.”
The Alpha version of TurboCluster will be ready for shipment in the fourth quarter, 1999. The product will be available through the TurboLinux information and e-commerce site. TurboCluster will also let users cluster servers running Sun Solaris and Microsoft Windows NT with Linux, said the company.
“This high-performance cluster gives market reliability and peak performance in the explosive e-commerce arena while avoiding the risks and additional costs involved with installing non-scalable technologies,” stated Jason Talley, president of Atipa Linux Solutions. Atipa is collaborating with TurboLinux on the product.
Clustering systems have become known for their scientific computing use through the Beowulf supercomputer project. The TurboCluster Server “delivers clustering technology for Linux servers running mission-critical web applications in the enterprise,” however, said the company. “It provides automated control and distribution of traffic to ensure dependable, responsive TCP/IP-based services.”
The Beowulf project has provided TurboLinux and other companies lessons to draw from as they advance the technology associated with clustering. Giganet and Network Engines are both companies that have also offered commercial-strength server clustering technology for Linux. According to a ZDNet report, “the Linux cluster is close to becoming the draught horse of net enterprise applications.”
The company, formerly known as Pacific HiTech, is a provider of Linux-based solutions. Established in 1992, the company has made significant inroads with the Asia-Pacific market. The most recent TurboLinux Japanese market offering outsold its Microsoft Windows rival upon introduction. The company’s name was officially changed to TurboLinux when it initiated its move into the North American market recently with the release of the TurboLinux 3.6 Workstation product.
According to International Data Corp. (IDC), there are more than 12 million Linux users worldwide. In 1998, the Linux market grew by 212 percent and nearly 18 percent of all server hardware licenses sold last year were Linux.