Acquia Dresses Up Drupal for Corporate Users

Acquia, a North Andover, Mass.-based startup, is announcing a supported product using Drupal, the open-source content managment system that underlies many of the community aspects on the web, from sites such as Fast Company to The Onion. It’s a rite of passage for an open-source project to get its very own shepherd that provides a measure of support beyond the forums and masses of independent programmers who churn out the code. For Drupal, the move is akin to Red Hat offering support for Linux and Sun taking MySQL under its wing for $1 billion.

Acquia has hired Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, as its CTO; it scored $7 million back in December to build its 12-person team to this point. Jeff Whatcott, the VP of marketing for Acquia, says the company wants to continue to contribute to the Drupal code base and has no plans to create a proprietary form of code for enterprise use.

Acquia has readied some modules targeted at specific enterprise markets and will sell subscriptions to Acquia’s Drupal add-ons as well as services that support new and existing Drupal deployments. The Acquia-supported Drupal product is called Carbon, and will be ready in the second half of this year. An automatic update service for Carbon called Spokes will be available then as well.

How Cloud & Utility Computing Are Different

Written by Geva Perry, chief marketing officer at GigaSpace Technologies.

We are witnessing a seismic shift in information technology — the kind that comes around every decade or so. It is so massive that it affects not only business models, but the underlying architecture of how we develop, deploy, run and deliver applications. This shift has given a new relevance to ideas such as cloud computing and utility computing. Not surprisingly, these two different ideas are often lumped together. Read More about How Cloud & Utility Computing Are Different

Adobe AIR & Its Hybrid App Dreams

For what seems to be an eternity, we have been promised seamless connectivity, high-speed connections that appear auto-magically out of thin air, giving us access to the wonders of the web — and of course, our data, including the unending stream of emails. Today, we have 3G networks, Wi-Fi in coffee shops and our homes, connections in office, trains and in some cases, even in planes. You would think that we are almost always connected.

And yet we have a growing number of companies — many of them with vested interest in the desktop PC paradigm — that are convinced we need to have a hybrid strategy when it comes to applications.

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Sun Buys VirtualBox Virtualization Software

If only it were green. That’s what I found myself thinking after Sun Microsystems said it’s paid an undisclosed amount for Innotek, the makers of open-source desktop virtualization software VirtualBox Virtual Machine. With an earth-friendly spin, Innoteck could have created a trifecta of buzzwords that would have really pumped up its valuation.

However open source (please recall Sun just spent $1 billion buying open source database guru MySQL) and virtualization (think VMWare’s buy of Thinstall in January), are plenty good, especially given that Citrix paid $500 million for open source server virtualization company XenSource. For those of you wondering who might be next, think about Parallels (formerly known as SWSoft), whose software competes against VirtualBox.

Circumvent that Patent Tar Pit

Ok, so if you’re not worried about fundraising, chances are you’re worried about your IP. We’ve written a lot about the question of whether a startup’s precious cash should be spent on the laborious and expensive process of acquiring patents on intellectual property. See, Patents, why Bother? and Question of the Day: Self-patenting.
Well, last week I had dinner with founder Mary Hodder, of Dabble, who reminded me that there is another option: peer patenting. Read More about Circumvent that Patent Tar Pit

Sun Buys MySQL for $1B and Wall Street Mourns

Sun Microsystems said today it would pay $1 billion to buy privately held open-source database maker MySQL, a move that strengthens Sun’s ability to offer an alternative to proprietary software. The purchase, while smaller than the $8.5 billion Oracle-BEA deal that was also unveiled today, is notable because MySQL was a highly anticipated IPO candidate, and had long rebuffed suitors interested in buying it.
For other technology firms planning IPOs, the deal may be as welcome as a kick in the head. While 58 technology firms went public in the last 12 months, the market began to soften in the final quarter, with companies such as Classmates.com and Applied Precision pulling their plans for public offerings and only strong contenders, such as NetSuite, managing to make it out the door. Indeed, Peter Falvey, a managing director with tech investment bank Revolution Partners, says 2008 isn’t looking good for the tech IPO market. Read More about Sun Buys MySQL for $1B and Wall Street Mourns

Coming Soon, Free Hosting for Facebook Apps

[qi:012] If you are a Facebook app developer, I have some good news for you: Joyent, a Marin County, Calif.-based on-demand computing and web hosting startup, is going to start offering free hosting to Facebook app developers. The company, we are told, is going to offer its mid-tier accelerator offering, free of charge, and the announcement is going to come as soon as Tuesday.
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PSP, Google and Odeo