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Open source Nginx to offer commercial product in Q3 2012

Yet another open source project is going commercial — Nginx, the little Web server that could, seems to be picking up steam in the enterprise IT community.

Nginx (pronounced engine-x) Inc. has been moving forward with improvements that managed services providers (MSPs) and VARs delivering Web services will welcome. The open source Web server is already the power behind popular high-traffic sites such as Facebook and Hulu, among 40,000 other domains. While it still has a relatively small share of the Web server market, it is growing in popularity while Apache and Microsoft are losing market share.

When Nginx founder Igor Sysoev found his project becoming popular, maybe too popular, and started receiving feature requests from commercial users, he realized that it may be time to take his little project and go commercial. Sysoev created Nginx in 2004 with the aim of solving a problem he had with the current technology offerings. Now the startup has secured $3 million in Series A round funding and plans to offer its first commercial product in Q3 2012.

According to Andrew Alexeev, head of business development and marketing and Nginx, the focus of the commercial products is based on customer feedback and will include high availability, clustering, integration and performance management improvements and tools. In addition, the company is looking at the cloud for business opportunities.

“We are also targeting cloud infrastructure density and efficiency,” said Alexeev. “Nginx can conserve hardware performance and improve security.”

The first commercial product will be a connection processing and optimization software platform that enables advanced performance, traffic management, extended configuration and security features for hosting, and cloud and enterprise server infrastructure. The company will also offer an easy way for partners to migrate existing Web installations such as those on Apache to Nginx.

Dell partners should take note of this news as one of Nginx’s investors is a firm affiliated with MSD Capital, which is Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell’s private investment firm. Alexeev shared that Nginx hopes to use this relationship to collaborate on the delivery of hardware services and management for customers.

The company will open its new San Francisco headquarters in Q4 2011.

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