Atipa shucks Linux hardware business

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company is selling its computer business to Microtech and focusing all of its resources on software products.

Stephen Shankland
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Atipa, which had aspired to emulate Linux computer maker VA Linux Systems, has sold off its hardware business instead.

Back when Linux was a lucrative buzzword, the Kansas City, Mo.-based company hoped a $30 million funding round would lead to an initial public offering. Now it has sold its hardware business to Lawrence, Kan.-based Microtech Computers for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1994, Atipa will now focus on its software products: the OpenNMS management software and the Enhanced Software Technologies backup software.

"The decision to focus all of our corporate resources exclusively on the software end of our business reflects a fundamental shift away from Atipa's original business strategy of becoming a full-service Linux provider," Chief Executive Jeffrey Keenan said in a statement Friday. However, the narrower focus on the two software packages will improve those products' prospects, he said.

Atipa's overhaul is not unlike the makeovers other Linux companies are undertaking to survive in a climate where Linux and technology in general are no longer considered a fast path to business success.

Microtech will continue selling the Atipa machines designed for scientific and technical computing, the companies said. Atipa made relatively inexpensive miniature supercomputers known as Beowulf systems.

Meanwhile, Linux NetworX, another company specializing in Beowulf systems, is losing its independence. Ebiz Enterprises, a Houston company with several different Linux-related products, has signed an agreement to acquire Linux Networx, which is based in Salt Lake City. Linux Networx has sold supercomputers to companies such as Boeing.