Linux Small Business Servers: Can Zentyal Succeed?

At first glance, Zentyal seems to be making all the right moves — raising more than $1 million to promote Linux into the small business server market. Zentyal is building a partner network for VARs — striving to counter Microsoft Small Business Server along the way. But The VAR Guy wonders: Can Zentyal really succeed in the SMB server software market — where so many other Linux distributions have failed?

Further complicating matters: Can Zentyal’s small business server software thrive when so many SMB customers are shifting their server budgets to cloud services?

Let’s start with some upbeat anecdotes. Zentyal raised $1 million in Series A venture capital from Open Ocean Capital in December 2011. Open Ocean Capital previously backed MySQL, the wildly popular open source database that Oracle ultimately acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems.

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