Mission Critical Linux lays off 90 percent of staff

Linux clustering vendor Mission Critical Linux last week laid off up to 90 percent of its workforce after attempts to find a buyer failed.

On March 1, the company announced a restructuring that phased out its support and consulting business, leaving only its high-availability clustering products. The layoffs are part of that reorganization.

According to Rick Angell, chairman of Mission Critical Linux, the company has secured new funding for its Convolo NetGuard product. It will also continue to develop its Convolo DataGuard Edition, a Network File System (NFS) fail-over product. The company will also keep "profitable custom engineering projects," said one source.

Angell reported that Mission Critical Linux had tried to sell the company to two buyers last year.

"Two offers came over the table to buy the company, and we picked one," said an employee in a post on Slashdot.org. "It fell through at the last moment, and we had to make some tough decisions."

Mission Critical Linux is not the first Linux company to have troubles.

Lineo, maker of embedded Linux operating systems, laid off employees last year and junked high-availability and residential gateway hardware it had acquired earlier in the year.

VA Software, formerly VA Linux Systems, reorganized itself out of the hardware business last year, and is instead focusing on application software.

Caldera Systems, SuSE Linux AG, Turbolinux and Linuxcare have also trimmed their staffs to save money.

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