Rocky Linux has been very good at being the successor to CentOS: it has just completed an investment round of 26 million dollars

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For the general public, Linux may be little more than “a free operating system”, but in reality it has been proving over and over again for decades that can be the basis of very profitable business projects: SUSE was already valued a year ago at 7,000 million dollars, Red Hat was sold to IBM four years ago for nearly five times that amount, let alone all the money Google has made from Android (with Linux kernel, let’s not forget).

Ctrl IQ (better known as CIQ) is a Reno-based software development company founded four-and-a-half years ago that had gotten little notice…until its CEO Gregory Kurtzer, the only CentOS co-founder alive today, announced a year ago its intention to develop a clone/successor of said distribution Linux after the unexpected announcement of its ‘death’ at the hands of RedHat.

Now the truth is that things are going very well for CIQ: not only did it recently sign an important agreement with Google to support those companies that want to make use of its new distribution (Rocky Linux) in Google’s cloud… but also just raised $26 million in a series A funding round led by technology investment brand Two Bear Capital.

CentOS was born in 2002 as a fork of CAOS. Kurtzer undertook that project with the help of the now deceased Rocky McGaugh, who gives his new distribution its name.

Rocky Linux has won a ‘catch the flag’ after dropping it RedHat

Economic issues aside, CIQ’s flagship product seems to have also had a great reception among all users —”Rocky Linux has been a rocket in terms of adoption throughout the company and the cloud”, confesses its CEO— registering up to a quarter of a million downloads a month for some monthswhich is elevating it in the ranking of enterprise Linux distributions.

What we know about Rocky Linux, the 'fork' of RHEL developed by the creator of the doomed CentOS

CIQ has been lucky that —in an inexplicable way— RedHat decided at the end of 2020 to kill off one of the leading Linux distributions in the web and corporate server sector. Thus, a gap was opened so that another distribution would not only copy the CentOS model (be a 100% free RedHat Enterprise Linux binary clone, suitable for real hardware, virtual machines, containers and cloud instances)…

…but also so that took charge of continuing to support all servers in operation running CentOS at the time (20-25% of servers sold by companies like Dell and HPE come with it pre-installed). Y despite all the competition that arose at that time (AlmaLinux, CloudLinux, Liberty Linux, Navy Linux…) Kurtzer’s credentials as co-founder of the original have allowed him to rise to the profitable throne.

“CentOS has been one of the predominant operating systems for enterprise use cases. […] When Red Hat acquired CentOS and ‘terminated’ the project, it negatively affected a lot of people.”

Now, CIQ promises to offer Rocky Linux with regular updates and a 10-year support commitment to encourage businesses to bet big for its distribution. “We offer a new support model, where we support people, not hardware.”

Via | VentureBeat

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