Two Linux clustered computing makers, Penguin Computing and Linux Networks received a combined $50 million in funding this week. The announcements, made at press conferences Thursday, reflect a growing interest in Linux-based clusters. Clusters currently make up half of the world´s 500 fastest supercomputers and are an area of growing interest for venture capitalists and investors.
Oak Investment Partners and London Merchant Securities, respectively, led the rounds for Linux Networks and Penguin Computing.
In addition, Linux Networks announced the release of a new storage system called Xilo, which lets several storage systems be virtualized into a single storage pool. Virtualizing storage is a growing area of interest in high performance computing, clustering and enterprise storage, as it allows disparate storage systems from different manufacturers to function and be managed as a single cohesive unit.
Penguin Computing acquired clustering company ScyId earlier last year and is looking to use the new funding to improve on the software.
Clustering technologies are increasingly being looked at as replacement for larger mainframe systems such as OpenVMS, which has seen maintenance costs and training costs skyrocket in recent years. A recent study showed that OpenVMS hardware upgrades were often several orders of magnitude more expensive due to the monopoly on hardware held by HP, OpenVMS´s latest owner and manufacturer.
Low-end, low-power Linux clusters allow companies to scale nodes based on demand instead of based on supplier quotas, where the minimum number of nodes can often be restrictive, particularly for universities. Further, universities are looking to leverage their in-house Linux knowledge and expertise to maximize the potential of this emerging trend while also providing valuable real life experience for their students.