"Bluebird" sings to Linux seller Atipa

The Linux computer seller is looking to bolster its service offerings by purchasing PlatformWorks, which is developing open-source system management software.

Linux computer seller Atipa has acquired PlatformWorks, a company developing open-source system management software.

PlatformWorks was founded by the creators of management software project OpenNMS.org, which is creating a package called Bluebird for managing computers over a network. Bluebird competes with traditional management software such as CA Unicenter, IBM's Tivoli or Hewlett-Packard's OpenView, all of which are used in large corporations worldwide.

Bluebird is an open-source project released under the General Public License, meaning that anyone can modify and redistribute the software as long as they publish the changes made. The open-source model, which also is used by Linux and a host of other software packages, contrasts with the proprietary model used in Tivoli, Unicenter and OpenView.

The founders of OpenNMS went on to commercialize the software by starting PlatformWare. Though the authors acknowledge the traditional offerings are better today, they argue Bluebird has better long-term potential because it incorporates the latest network communications technologies such as Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Java.

Atipa, a Kansas City, Mo., competitor to VA Linux Systems, sells Linux computers and accompanying services. The acquisition of PlatformWare will help the company bolster its service offerings, the company said.

Atipa announced the acquisition yesterday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In February, Atipa received a $30 million investment from Soros Private Equity Partners, TA Associates and WR Hambrecht and Co. that the company hoped would lead to an initial public offering.

In April, it acquired DCG Computer Group to add Alpha processor-based computers to its product line and take on the do-it-yourself "Beowulf" supercomputer market.

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