A Silicon Valley company that was founded back in 1993 to exploit opportunities in the then newly born Linux open source operating system is now attracting major interest.
For instance VA Research has come to an agreement with Intel, which will provide leasing finance for its corporate customers and it has raised an undisclosed sum from one of the Valley's biggest venture capital companies.
"Our business is growing as fast as we can hire people," said Larry Augustin, who started building Linux workstations in 1992 while a graduate student at Stanford University. He and a Stanford friend, James Vera, started the company.
VA Research currently has about 40 employees. The company makes a medley of workstations and servers all using Intel Pentium chips.
The company has already built up an impressive list of customers including McGraw Hill, France Telecom, Bayer and Southwestern Bell.
"Linux is quickly developing into a strategic platform for corporate customers because it provides the manageability, scalability and reliability needed to run mission critical applications in the enterprise," said Augustin, VA Research's chief executive.
VA just announced a business partnership with Intel Financing to finance the leasing of its systems to corporate customers. All its products ship on Intel boxes. The company also secured funding from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.
In December, VA began shipping the Varserver 4100 system, a Red Hat Linux server that features four 450MHz Intel Pentium II Xeon processors with 1Gbyte of Ram on each, upgradeable to 2Gbyte.
VA provides Linux based hardware, software, service and support solutions. "We've been in this business for five years and we really understand Linux," he said, "We design systems for Linux from the ground up."
And although VA may not be well known in the mainstream computer industry, the company is well regarded by Linux experts. "I think they have a very experienced management team and they've got a good solid line of solutions," said Sandra Potter, Linux analyst with the Aberdeen Group.
According to an International Data Corporation study, shipments of the Linux operating system surged by 212 per cent in 1998, a rate that outpaced Windows NT, Netware, and Unix. As Linux continues to expand in usage, VA will face increasing competition from other computer makers but Augustin feels that his company can more than hold its own.
Kicking Palantir off of AWS is among their demands, too
Rafaela Vasquez was watching The Voice at the time of the crash, new evidence shows
PUBG price slashed on Steam after selling more than 50 million copies - as daily player numbers plunge
Use the same password for every website? It might be time to change them all