One hole in Linuxs business offerings has been a drop-in, simple to use Linux back-end services server for SMBs (Small to Medium Businesses). Collax Inc. is trying to fill that hole. The Bedford Mass.-based company is doing this with the U.S. launch of its Collax Business Server.
Collax, with very experienced officers such as CTO Boris Nalbach, formerly of Novell and SUSE, had been providing SMB servers on its own appliance servers for some time in Germany. In both the hardware platforms and the new software-only Collax Business Server, the company has two goals—slim its Linux down to include only the best-of-breed server application; and make both the operating system and applications as easy to manage as possible, through the use of a unified web-based console.
How easy? Collaxs goal for its SMB customers is to make it so easy that day-to-day administrators wont need to know Linux at all. In short, its meant to be a truly turnkey system.
The administrator doesnt even deal with graphical KDE or GNOME, much less a character-based, interface. Instead, the administrator deals with the management GUI.
The basic package includes all the usual Linux server basics: Samba for Windows file serving; Apache for Web serving; Squid for Web proxy; and postfix for email. These are then integrated, using LDAP, into a cohesive whole. The company also updates the Linux and programs about once every six months. This is done to make sure that the system as a whole always works without giving the customer or the reseller any worries about keeping the correct blend of software libraries and programs in sync.