Auckland-based Zombie is an internet service provider with a difference — 95% of its customers are Linux sites.
“A lot of ISPs don’t support Linux or don’t like to. We’re the opposite,” says Zombie head Bryce Coad. “Five percent of our customers aren’t Linux, but they’re special cases where we haven’t put in a gateway yet but we’re going to.”
Zombie provides full support and connectivity for Linux. As well as standard dial-up connections it offers frame relay and connectivity through Walker Wireless and JetStream. Coad also convinced ISP Ihug to rewrite its drivers so that its satellite-based Ultra service works under Linux.
Zombie customer Onehunga High School, which has 180 terminals, replaced its Windows NT server with a Linux box.
Zombie's customers are a mixture of home and business users although the bulk of its clients are businesses, says Coad.
The company is now building a virtual private network, which will initially be aimed at the printing industry. Printers around the country will be able to use the network to link to their clients. Four companies will start a pilot in the next few weeks – Moore Printing, Acme Printing, prepress bureau SignCraft and production house Xforma.
Coad believes a Linux-based service is suited to the printing industry because it involves sending large graphics files, the secure transportation of which is critical. He sees the service being extended to other professions such as lawyers and the health industry later on.