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Linux start-up wins $10 million

Sistina Software nabs funding to advance its software, which helps numerous Linux servers collectively share a single set of data.

Sistina Software, a start-up with software to help numerous Linux servers collectively share a single set of data, has obtained $10 million in venture funding, the company said Monday.

The Minneapolis-based company's software helps bring a high-end feature to Linux that could help database giant Oracle achieve its vision of replacing expensive machines with dozens of processors with collections of less expensive, smaller servers. It's a goal that could lift Linux into more important, demanding jobs.

The series B funding, led by Crescendo Ventures with Validus Partners participating, should be enough to carry the company to profitability, a Sistina representative said. now has raised a total of $20 million.

The company has more than 30 employees and expects to increase that to more than 50 by the end of 2003, the representative said. Customers include Deutsche Telekom and NASA.

Sistina's lets several servers share the same collection of files as if each owned them individually. That's a technically demanding task, generally accomplished in more seasoned operating systems such as Hewlett-Packard's OpenVMS and its Tru64 version of Unix.

Sistina has funded some open-source projects, including the logical volume management (LVM) software used in the current version of Linux and a newer LVM2 version that's been accepted into the coming 2.6 version of Linux.

However, the company changed course with its Global File System product, moving in 2001 to a closed-source license.

Also announced Monday, Crescendo Ventures partner Jeff Hinck has joined Sistina's board. Other board members are Sistina Chief Executive Frank Crusing; former CEO Bruce Bergman; and Zenas Hutcheson, managing general partner of St. Paul Venture Capital, which led Sistina's first round of funding.