IBM Acquires Virtualization Vendor Transitive for QuickTransit

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Transitive's QuickTransit software dynamically translates native code between architectures, and IBM plans to use QuickTransit to allow Linux and x86-based applications to run on its RISC-based Power processor systems. Apple and Sun Microsystems are also Transitive licensees.

IBM has announced it will acquire virtualization company Transitive -- the maker of QuickTransit software IBM has used to allow Linux and x86-based applications to run on RISC processors.

The acquisition is designed to further IBM's strategy of boosting demand for its RISC-based Power systems.

Transitive's QuickTransit dynamically translates native code between architectures, enabling applications compiled for one processor to be run on another without modification. Apple is one of the best-known users of QuickTransit, on which Apple built its Rosetta translation system that allowed users of Intel Macs to seamlessly run legacy PowerPC applications. Sun Microsystems is another licensee.

Since January, IBM has been using Transitive software as part of its PowerVM Lx86 solution for running unmodified Linux/x86 applications on its System p servers.

IBM said in a statement it intends to use QuickTransit to help customers consolidate their Linux-based x86 applications onto Power servers. It is part of IBM's aggressive campaign to push the enterprise computing market to migrate to Power systems, the company said, which will reduce operating expenses.

While in some cases using Transitive's technology could effect cost savings, it might not result in an across-the-board success. Often, sources say, performance suffers and code translation requires much greater memory usage than if the code were executed on its native platform.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. IBM expects to complete the acquisition in December, the company says.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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