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Axceleon acquires Turbolinux's EnFuzion

The software maker buys the rights to the Turbolinux "clustering" software, designed to make it easy to create low-budget supercomputers by tying PCs and servers into one machine.

Axceleon, a software maker specializing in clustering products for low-budget supercomputing, announced Monday that it has acquired the rights to Turbolinux's EnFuzion software. Clustering is an increasingly popular method of tackling heavy-duty computing tasks by uniting multiple PCs or servers into a network that functions like a single powerful machine. Initially used by university researchers, clustering is gaining favor with businesses that need to take on high-end computing jobs, such as geological analysis and investment portfolio modeling.

EnFuzion was key for Turbolinux as the company tried to expand its product line beyond software for the open-source Linux operating system. The EnFuzion assets became available this year as Turbolinux reorganized to focus on partitioning software and other non-Linux products.

Advantages of EnFuzion include its ability to work in mixed environments of Windows, Unix and Linux systems, letting companies cobble together a high-end computing system from existing hardware, said Axceleon CEO Michael Duffy. Clustering tasks can even be scheduled for off-hours, when a company's PCs or servers normally would be sitting idle.

"We've been talking to clients (about) how they can use clustering to leverage their existing IT investment," Duffy said.

Until recently, one of the limitations of clustering had been that it required home-brewed software or extensive customization of existing applications, an approach more suited to academic researchers than risk-averse businesses.

"In the past, people were doing it themselves, figuring out how to bolt a bunch of servers into a rack and get them to all talk to each other," Duffy said. "We want to work with our partners to build solution stacks, to come closer to turnkey solutions...The CIO wants to know when he goes to sleep at night that someone is backing this stuff up."

Along with acquiring the EnFuzion name and existing products, Axceleon has hired the EnFuzion development and technical team, which it said would let it provide consistent service to current EnFuzion users, such as J.P. Morgan, Procter & Gamble and CBS News.

"We want to keep it transparent to them and make it a seamless acquisition," Duffy said.