Atten-hut! Linux Foundation welcomes three new recruits

Two companies from the future and one from the past join open source advocacy group

Oculus Rift being tested by the Norwegian army

Two companies that represent the profound changes rippling through the tech industry have joined The Linux Foundation.

Distributed Linux OS company "CoreOS" and networking software specialist Cumulus Networks announced on Monday that they had joined open source advocacy, collaboration, and support group.

These two companies make technologies that split software from hardware, and that place an emphasis on complex tasks run via software on a shifting sea of cheap, no-frills IT gear.

"Today's data center is undergoing a massive transformation as advancements in software, cloud and network computing take off," the Foundation wrote in a press release announcing the new recruits. "From the virtualization layer to networking hardware, Linux and open source are critical to modern computing and a new generation of cloud services and applications. Today's new Linux Foundation members are part of this market shift and see open source as the lynchpin for optimal scalability, efficiencies, security and data center savings."

CoreOS is a Linux distribution developed by people with experience at Google, Mozilla, Suse, Cisco, Rackspace, and others.

The company's goal is to build a Linux distribution that makes heavy use of containerization to let companies "run their applications securely and reliably in any environment they see fit," it writes on its website. "We hope to dramatically improve the security of 'the stack' while making advancements in the capabilities of modern server infrastructure."

Cumulus Networks, meanwhile, makes software that completely separates the network operating system from underlying hardware, which should open up this area of IT to a greater pace of invention as companies can mix and match software packages atop a vaied set of data center hardware. "Our largest customer operates one of the largest, most demanding data centers in the world and has been running our software in production since October 2012," Cumulus claims.

"Today's new members are deeply entrenched with open technologies, choosing them to achieve superior energy efficiency, simplicity, scalability and cost-effectiveness while maintaining high availability," said Amanda McPherson, Chief Marketing Officer at The Linux Foundation, in a canned statement. "Both new and established companies are interested in joining and investing in collaborative, open projects because doing so directly benefits their own product and service offerings."

Troubled web hoster and OpenStack-backer Rackspace also joined the project. It immediately joined the Xen Project as the company seeks to exert greater influence over the development of the hypervisor. How long Rackspace may be involved in the Foundation is hard to tell, though, because last week it said it had hired Morgan Stanley to help it look at selling itself off. ®

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