SAN DIEGO – With interest in desktop Linux at a bit of an uptick in recent weeks — not least because of Dell’s announcement that it will ship laptops and desktops with Ubuntu — Red Hat shed a bit of light yesterday on the role it sees for Linux beyond the server.
Or rather, visions; the messages from Red Hat yesterday were split between short-term pushes in developing countries and a long-term vision in areas, such as North America, where personal computing is already the norm.
In developing countries, the company is working with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to provide cheap laptops, running an easy-to-use, Linux-based system, to children in developing nations. Meanwhile, the company announced yesterday the Red Hat Global Desktop, a slightly stripped-down version of its Enterprise Linux which Intel-based systems builders in developing nations will be able to pre-install on desktops.
In developed areas, Red Hat has little interest in competing against Microsoft head-to-head with a “Windows clone,” said Red Hat’s CEO Matthew Szulik. But the company’s chief technology officer, Brian Stevens, outlined a vision for an online desktop predicated around integrating various Web-based applications, such as Salesforce.com and MySpace.
Network consultant firm Evolve Technologies is swinging for the fences with a creative and original sales event. Teaming up with Microsoft, Global Wireless Data and Palm, the networking reseller is taking small business owners to the ballpark.
Sitting in the stands at RFK Stadium on May 17, watching the Nationals-Braves game, participants will reportedly use provided mobile networking tools to play “General Manager for a day”. Evolve’s event organizers hope that this firsthand experience will succeed in proving to their customers’ the usefulness and viability of mobile technology.
Consultants, value-added resellers and sales engineers who are struggling to drive interest in their respective technologies, and even those who aren’t, should take a page from Evolve’s book. Getting up and selling to the customer’s CFO with charts, graphs and a practiced sales pitch is all well and good. But, as Bruce Campbell will tell you in his Old Spice commercial, nothing beats experience where the customer feels the need and then sees how your technology or strategy fills that need.
NEC pushes the bar on nondisruptive SAN scalability With the launch of its D-Series storage systems, NEC is challenging the incumbent players on nondisruptive SAN scalability. [SearchStorage.com]
VMware’s latest virtualization software supports Vista The company adds new features to the latest version of its Workstation virtualization software, including support for multiple monitors and USB 2.0 devices. [eWEEK]
Microsoft releases beta for network monitor A beta of Microsoft’s latest network traffic monitor is available for download. Windows Vista support and improved wireless tracking are among the new features.[SearchWinIT.com] Continued »
Red Hat announced today that it will be releasing a desktop Linux distribution, named Global Desktop that is designed for small businesses and local governments in developing nations.
The announcement was one of several it made at the Red Hat Summit conference, which started today in San Diego, including a partnership with IBM under which Red Hat Linux will run on System Z mainframes.
Red Hat also announced a partnership with Intel Corp. under which Red Hat would develop systems-management software that would allow customers to create “virtual appliances” to add security or manageability to networks with systems running Intel vPro processors — which are designed to provide security functions such as remote systems monitoring and reboot that are built into the chips on a PC rather than in software that runs on top of the OS.
The more egalitarian Global Desktop will be distributed exclusively through whitebox OEM systems builders using Intel chips. It is essentially a slightly stripped-down variant of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Desktop with most applications, such as developer tools, removed, said Scott Crenshaw, vice president of Red Hat’s enterprise Linux platform business.
The operating system would also have a shorter support life span — two years, as opposed to the seven years for RHEL Desktop. Primary support for systems sold with Global Desktop would go to the system builders, which would then be able to escalate to Intel and Red Hat as needed. Red Hat declined to say how much Global Desktop would cost to systems builders.
Global Desktop will not be available in the U.S. when it rolls out in June, but Crenshaw said it is “very likely” to be expanded later.
Microsoft issues critical updates, patches DNS zero-day flaw Microsoft issued patches to plug 19 holes, including a critical zero-day DNS Server Service flaw as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday bulletin. [SearchSecurity.com]
VMware Workstation 6 foreshadows future VMware ESX releases New features in VMware Workstation 6, announced today, will eventually find their way in to the company’s server-focused ESX hypervisor.[SearchServerVirtualization.com]
Hewlett-Packard says quarterly results will top forecast The announcement pushed the company’s stock to its highest point in more than six years. [NYT]
CIOs struggle with open source governance, cite lack of toolsOpen source software is running amuck because IT managers can’t find the right tool to get their heads around the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of downloads within their networks.[SearchSMB.com] Continued »
Last week’s announcement that Dell will ship laptops and desktops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed may hint that the days of desktop Linux are finally coming closer, but some Linux consultants said those days are still off in the distance.
“It’s hard to tell, but I think [Linux market share would be] be comparable with Max OS X; so maybe in the 10% market at first and then moving up as people see the benefit of it,” said Jeremy C. Reed, owner of Puget Sound Technology, a Linux and open-source consultancy in Washington.
Linux’s reputation could get a boost with Dell backing it, Reed said. On the other hand, this wouldn’t be the first time that it looked like Linux is on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream, and Reed predicted the future holds “more of the same” — slow and steady acceptance, but not a huge jump thanks to Dell.
Meanwhile, Red Hat has responded to the Dell-Ubuntu announcement saying the deal could boost open source applications as a whole — and that it would be releasing some desktop-related news at the Red Hat Summit, which starts tomorrow in San Diego.
Sun plans version of Java for Web-linked cellphones Sun Microsystems will revamp its Java software to compete more effectively in the market for Internet-connected mobile phones. [NYT]
Sun beefs up NetBeans New features of the Sun NetBeans open-source IDE include support for Ruby on the JVM as well as new service and support options. [eWEEK]
Microsoft exec ‘surprised’ by interest in virtual desktop infrastructure Microsoft’s virtualization guru, Mike Neil, is surprised by IT managers’ eagerness to move to virtual desktops, and thinks most companies should hold off a bit.
[SearchServerVirtualization.com] Continued »
Citrix Systems, Inc. today announced that Mitch Parker – its current head of channel programs – will be promoted to lead the company’s services organization. Al Monserrat, currently vice president of North America, will replace Parker as of July 1 and assume the title vice president of channel programs and sales operations.
Monserrat will take charge of the company’s relationships with its approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners – a role Parker held since October of 2005.Monserrat’s responsibilities will include the Citrix Solution Advisor channel, building and maintaining relationships with systems integrators, independent software vendors, and overseeing alternate routes to market.
Statements from Citrix estimate that 90% of its revenue comes in through channel partners. Currently, the company is pushing ahead in areas such as Software as a Service (SaaS), and desktop virtualization.
In March, Infonetics Research Inc. ranked Citrix second in worldwide revenues for SSL VPN market share for 2006.
As resellers feel the pressure of increasing competition from other resellers, they’re turning to managed services as a means of expanding their businesses. But doing so introduces another set of challenges, both technical- and business-related. Luckily, there are resources available to help.
Garden Grove, Calif.-based service provider Intelligent Enterprise Inc. is in the business of helping their customers and other potential service providers succeed. Intelligent Enterprise is the parent company of Managed Services Provider University. MSP University offers a year-long course on how to become a services provider. Their webcasts, teleseminars and live workshops cover topics like transitioning existing clients, marketing for new clients, restructuring a sales strategy and more.
Would-be service providers can also find help from MSPAlliance, a professional association for the managed services industry. Their two-day services conferences feature business, educational and technical training courses. And MSPAlliance members have access to other resources such as white papers and online forums.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the resources you can find on our very own SearchITChannel.com. Visit our Managed Services Topic Center for advice from other MSPs, market analysis, how-tos and more.
First announced last November, Microsoft and Dell are following up on their promise to make Linux easier to use on their boxes. The details of the agreement allow corporate customers the chance to license SUSE Linux.
Looks like the Linux server virtualization trend is really starting to pick up some steam. Between VMware teaming up with Linux and this latest news, VARs should start getting up to snuff on installing and supporting Linux. Selling should never be easier. VMware is on board with Linux. Microsoft and Dell are on board now, too. For those non-technical customers who don’t know what Linux is or how it works, this news should provide some leverage for pro-Linux VARs.
Make sure you check out our Linux server virtualization learning guide. It’s got the latest news and technical advice for making an installation easy. Bear in mind, that taking over a company’s servers may be a good foot in the door to landing a managed services contract.