IBM boosts VA Software push
- By Colleen Frye
If you're judged by the company you keep, then VA Software just inked a deal
with IBM that could better position the company as an enterprise player in the
software development market. As part of the agreement, IBM and VA Software will
jointly market and sell the next generation of SourceForge Enterprise Edition,
VA Software's collaborative software development platform. In turn, SourceForge
Enterprise Edition will fully support IBM's DB2, WebSphere Application Server,
WebSphere Studio Application Developer and Tivoli management software.
SourceForge will also be optimized to run on IBM eServer xSeries Linux servers.
In addition, VA Software's Open Source Development Network (OSDN) subsidiary
announced that SourceForge.net, an open-source development Web site, will move
from the open-source Postgres database to run exclusively on DB2 by mid-January.
Fremont, Calif.-based VA Software has spent the last year or so transitioning
from its roots in Linux hardware to an applications software company, and the
partnership with IBM is part of its focus on the enterprise, said Ali Jenab,
president/CEO. The agreement ''validates our strategy of SourceForge as a
product for the enterprise, and it gives us a total package solution, a
significant sales and marketing opportunity and broader access to enterprise
customers in general,'' he noted. SourceForge will continue to support other
platforms, said Jenab, adding that VA Software has ''not lost our commitment to
provide services to Linux and the open-source community through OSDN and
''About six months ago, we realized that OSDN and the infrastructure under
SourceForge.net was not going to scale,'' continued Jenab. ''We're adding 600
new users per day and 70 new projects per day. As part of our relationship with
IBM, we'll deploy DB2 under SourceForge.net. IBM gets branding, we get a solid
Asked if IBM also made an investment in the publicly held company, Jenab said
he could not disclose the terms of the deal. VA Software, founded in 1993, has
not reached profitability yet. However, noted Jenab, ''We've been improving the
bottom line consistently, we have an adequate level of cash to fund our
business, and we've been cutting the burn rate substantially.'' The relationship
with IBM ''validates that they see what we see,'' he said. ''They don't put a
partnership together if they don't believe there's something there.''
Colleen Frye is a freelance writer based in Bridgewater, Mass.