Linux server company Penguin Computing is buying Scyld Computing, the privately held Beowulf cluster management software supplier.
About 20 people developed Scyld's Beowulf cluster operating system, with five still at the company. The acquisition means that more people will be brought on to help develop the next version of the software. Scyld will become a software division of Penguin Computing with its own brand.
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The Beowulf concept is that high-performance, massively parallel computing systems can be built out of commodity hardware components that run a free OS such as Linux or FreeBSD, with the machines linked on a high-speed connection.
Such systems can be built inexpensively and the Beowulf movement has grown out of the needs of scientists and researchers, who often prefer to use something other than Windows, and who need a lot of computing power.
Penguin Computing makes servers using Intel and Advanced Micro Devices chips. The company was founded in 1998 with the goal of making servers as reliable as those from IBM, Sun Microsystems and SGI.
Rather than using proprietary Unix on a mainframe, Penguin Computing developed around an x86 platform running Linux.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, although the deal will be finalised soon.
Nancy Weil writes for IDG News Service