IBM agrees to acquire Transitive, which has developed virtualization technology that will allow applications written for one processor and operating system to run on a completely different platform. Transitive is best known for software that allowed Apple Macintosh applications written for PowerPC platforms to run on newer Intel-based Macs. Transitive also created software that allows Solaris/SPARC applications to run on Linux systems.
is planning to increase the virtualization capabilities of its Power
Systems by acquiring Transitive,
a company that has developed software that allows applications
written for a specific microprocessor and operating system to run on different
IBM and Transitive announced the
acquisition agreement Nov. 18. The two companies did not disclose financial
terms or a specific time frame for closing the deal. Transitive is a privately
held company with offices in Manchester, England
and Los Gatos, Calif.
Transitive has been carving out a niche in the virtualization market for
several years by taking a different approach to virtualization. For example, while
allows multiple operating systems to run at the same time,
hypervisor keeps all these operating systems separate. Transitive, on the other
hand, allows different applications to run on different platforms within the
same memory space.
Transitive might be best known for providing the technology for Apple's
Rosetta software, which allows applications written for the PowerPC platform to
run on the
new generation of Macs that use Intel processors.
More recently, Transitive developed software called QuickTransit, which
allows applications compiled for one type of processor and operating system to
run on different platforms with minimal modifications to that platform. In
2006, Transitive announced a version of its QuickTransit software designed for
Solaris/SPARC platforms. This software allows Intel-based computers using Linux
to run Solaris/SPARC applications in the same memory space as the Linux
Transitive also has software that allows Solaris/SPARC applications to run
on systems that use the Intel Itanium processor.
has been using Transitive technology to enhance the virtualization and
migration capabilities of its PowerVM software,
which allows Linux
applications running on x86-based hardware to work on IBM Power Systems that
use the company's Power processors. (IBM
created its Power Systems portfolio
in April when it combined its System p
and System i offerings into one standard product.)
In a statement, IBM did not offer
specifics of what it would do after it acquires Transitive. IBM
did note that the company would develop "additional tools and solutions to
make migrations even easier, while minimizing the risk and increasing the
financial returns for clients as they consolidate and virtualize to achieve
significant business benefit."
has also been looking to strengthen its position in the Unix market
offered a number of new technologies, including virtualization and migration
tools, designed to lure users away from Sun Microsystems and its Unix servers
based on the SPARC chip as well as Hewlett-Packard and its line of Integrity
systems based on the Itanium chip.
IBM is also marketing its Power Systems
as a consolidation tool for enterprise customers that want to consolidate
numerous x86 servers running Linux onto fewer systems.
"The IBM PowerVM technology had been
designed mostly for Unix workloads and the Transitive technology has been more
designed for optimizing virtualization for Linux," said Charles King, an
analyst with Pund-IT Research.
"Linux plays a significant role in IBM's
Power offerings," King added. "This not only reflects IBM's
long dedication to Linux development but the Linux on Power is also a key tool IBM
has used as part of its migration strategies that it has been directing at both
Sun and HP customers."