CoreOS has raised $8 million to expand its self-updating Linux distribution

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Hoping to simplify life for system administrators, CoreOS has launched a commercial Linux distribution that continually updates itself, eliminating the need to perform major upgrades. CoreOS is offering its namesake Linux distribution as a commercial service, starting at $100 a month. “Businesses today can begin to think of CoreOS as an extension of their OS team, and for enterprise Linux customers this is the last migration they will ever need,” said Alex Polvi, founder and CEO of CoreOS, in a statement. Commercial Linux subscriptions are nothing new: Both Red Hat and Suse offer commercial subscriptions for their respective distributions. Because the applications and libraries these Linux-based companies use are open source and freely available, the cost of the subscriptions doesn’t cover the software itself, but rather pays for the updates, bug fixes, integration and technical support for when issues occur.

CoreOS announced that it has secured $8 million (around £4.7 million, or AUS$8.5 miillion) in Series A funding and unveiled two new products, Managed Linux and Core Update, one year after the company’s Linux distribution of the same name launched. In the company’s words, CoreOS is particularly suited for very large, enterprise-focused server deployments, effectively delivering the world’s first “OS-as-a-Service”. Patches are delivered as a continuous stream of transparent updates, in a way similar to that of web-based services such as Google Apps. What’s more, CoreOS states that its Linux distribution uses 40% less system memory compared to a typical Linux server installations. This allows companies to delay any capital expenditure for servers and removes the need for major migrations as well as cutting down maintenance costs. As for other Linux distributions, what you’re essentially paying for is support with prices starting from $100 (about £60, AU$110) per month for 10 servers, scaling all the way to $125,000 (about £75,000, AU$140,000) per month for 100,000 servers. A premium managed Linux support is also available with enhanced support over phone, email and chat.

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