Former Red Hat Execs Start New Linux Company - Page 2

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-07-14 Print this article Print

In an interview, Troan explained, "Existing Linux companies focus on delivering high-quality binary builds of source trees [that] they maintain and then provide support services around those binary builds. While this model works well for many market segments, if customers need something other than those standard binaries, the customers end up supporting the entire operating system. The Conary technology Specifix has developed lets customers modify the Linux operating system without needing to support and maintain the complete operating system. It also allows customers to maintain those changes and have their system track changes to the underlying operating system, preventing them from being stuck on a Linux release [that] gets further and further away from the mainstream."

Other companies, like Progeny Linux Systems Inc., also offer customized Linux distributions, but they act more as systems integrators instead of actually putting the tools to maintain and evolve a customized Linux distribution into customers hands.

So it is, Troan continued, that Specifixs target audience is "customers who are already [running], or wish to run, customized versions of Linux. Our previous experience in the Linux market let us meet many customers who modify a base operating system for their internal needs and are then marooned with no way to move to a newer release or maintain those changes. We believe Conary offers the only good solution to these customers needs."

Specifix is already gaining some traction with industry partners. "Rackable Systems looks forward to working with Specifix to build Linux solutions that meet customer demands for high-performance systems on both IA32 and X86, [64-bit] platforms," said Tom Barton, CEO of Rackable Systems Inc., a leading provider of Linux-based, high-density computing systems, in a prepared statement.

In the meantime, their former company, Red Hat, is still reeling from the markets adverse reaction to its announcement of a new way of accounting for its licensing revenues. But the stock price of the Raleigh, N.C., Linux giant is no longer seeing the large drops that characterized Tuesdays stock trades.

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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