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Acquia Expands Its Commercial Drupal Private Beta

It appears that Acquia, the startup focused on releasing a commercial version of open source content management system Drupal, is moving briskly toward a full launch. Its private beta program has kicked into high gear this week with a new batch of invitations being given out at both Drupalcon Szeged and by TechCrunch. Going forward, Acquia plans to dole out about 100 new invi
It appears that Acquia, the startup focused on releasing a commercial version of open source content management system Drupal, is moving briskly toward a full launch. Its private beta program has kicked into high gear this week with a new batch of invitations being given out at both Drupalcon Szeged and by TechCrunch. Going forward, Acquia plans to dole out about 100 new invitations a week.From Jeff Whatcott's post on the Acquia blog:


We want to make sure we deliver a great experience for everyone involved. Our business is largely about delivering high quality responsive support, and since we're building our support systems and hiring people in parallel with running the beta program, we want to make sure we are set up to succeed. We're making good progress in scaling up our support organization, so we're expanding the program now and plan to continue this expansion over the weeks ahead.

His post also has additional information on how to get an invitation to the beta program.

Acquia's offering is the support mentioned above and a hardened version of Drupal 6 called Carbon. Bundled with Carbon are a number of modules that have been put through a certification process to ensure that they're ready for the demands of an enterprise customers.

Acquia was co-founded by Dries Buytaert, the creator of Drupal, so it's a good bet that it has the technical chops to put together a great offering. I haven't caught wind of whether or not Acquia plans to offer a similar product with the eagerly awaited Drupal 7 at its core, but I'd think there would be significant demand.

With this move to launch a commercial, supported version of an open source platform, Acquia invites comparisons with Red Hat, which created a successful business model by offering support of its own version of open source Linux distribution. For organizations that want to enjoy the benefits of the power and flexibility of Drupal, but may be reluctant to use open source software without official support, Acquia's approach is likely to generate a lot of interest.