Telstra buys multi-million-dollar stake in open source developer

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Telstra buys multi-million-dollar stake in open source developer

Nginx gets a $10.3 million shot in the arm.

Telstra has invested $10.3 million in San Francisco-based open source web developer Nginx, the telco revealed today.

Telstra Ventures chief Mark Sherman said the decision to invest was driven by Nginx's increasing global popularity, and technology leadership in the web application delivery and deployment market. 

Telstra's websites run on Nginx currently.

Nginx was developed by Kazakhstan-born, Russian developer Igor Sysoev, and can be used to serve web pages, and act as a reverse proxy and load balancer for sites. The server runs on the Unix, Linux, BSD, Apple OS X, Oracle Solaris, IBM AIX and Microsoft WIndows operating systems.

Although Nginx is open source and free to use under a liberal BSD-style licence, the web server developer offers commercial support and a premium 'Nginx Plus' subscription-based version of its software.

Prior to Telstra's investment, Nginx had already attracted funding from Wordpress developer Auttomatic, and venture capitalists New Enterprise Associates.

Despite strong growth, Nginx remains a relatively small player compared to established competitors like open source web server Apache.

A March 2016 survey of 171 million active web sites by market research company Netcraft showed Nginx had increased its market share to 16.4 percent, a boost of 700,000 sites, in a month. 

Apache, which lost almost a million active sites in March this year, remains the market leader with 49.2 percent of the total.

In terms of web-facing computers, Netcraft found that Nginx ran on 14.3 percent, up by almost 15,000. This placed the product well behind Apache (48 percent).

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