In another swipe at Oracle, EnterpriseDB has released Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.0 which includes support for the HP-UX operating environment. This feature is obviously intended to lure some of those affected by Oracle’s decision to drop Intel Itanium support. Itanium is the chip on which HP-UX servers rely. The company isn’t being subtle either — check out this image from the EnterpriseDB home page:
And after all the kerfuffle following Oracle’s purchase of Sun and MySQL, advances in the open source database sector are welcome.
With a nice price (starting at $3,995 per year), and “rid yourself of Oracle,” marketing push, EnterpriseDB may be attractive to many shops looking for a compatible database. But Oracle isn’t the only target. The xDB Replication Server can pull data from Microsoft SQL servers as well.
Have you been affected by the dropped Itanium support? Have you used Postgres? Does EnterpriseDB have a chance (they’ve hit 1,000 customers, but will there be more)?
SAN FRANCISCO– Does open source work as a cloud computing business model?
This question was pondered by a panel of experts at Structure 2011 on Wednesday. Lew Moorman, president of Rackspace led the discussion around OpenStack, Open Compute and Cloud Foundry projects, why they exist and how they can be monetized by their sponsor companies.
As for the “why open source?” question, the panel agreed that the model has proven successful, as demonstrated by the success of Linux over the last 20 years.
VMware CTO, Derek Collison posited that for cloud computing to advance technologically, use of open source is a must.
“The open source movement is required for the cloud,” he said, explaining that the transparency and no vendor lock-in desire is helped by open source. When people find out it’s open source, they relax about committing to a vendor. And really, cloud computing is too big a problem—and opportunity– for a company or small set of companies to handle. Cloud requires the industry to collaborate.
The shift from making money on intellectual property to a model where some core components are freely available isn’t a huge hurdle for companies, they just need to focus on adding value in order to make money.
“Customers will pay for the innovation from the product or service – there are many different ways to add value,” said Forrest Norrod, VP and GM of server platforms at Dell. “This will disrupt some of the models. [But] the industry will find ways to monetize and add value.”
Collison said that while everyone wants to be in a public cloud, “very few people are willing to walk to the deep end of the pool.” The difficulty in setting up and maintaining distributed systems is something VMware is looking to capitalize on with their cloud services packages, alleviating the IT teams from getting caught up in all of that work.
Adapting to fill these needs is necessary, or the open model could threaten the long-term economics of companies such as VMware and Dell which derive most of their revenue through software sales tied to intellectual property said Norrod.
“If we don’t offer value above and beyond what’s completely commoditized in the standard, then we’re in trouble,” he said. “It can be product value based on IP, it could be service value or just support services. We have to adapt and continue to seek out value-add or we will become irrelevant.”
And building an open source project isn’t cheap. Moorman, whose company sponsors OpenStack, said “it’s a lot of work to run a community – it’s a big investment. We’re spending a lot of money to get input and contributors.”
The experts agreed that their involvement and sponsorship of the open source cloud projects has been costly, but worth it, to their companies, and to the industry as a whole.
Voting should begin any time now for sessions at BrainShare 2011 (the website says it begins today, in fact, but it looks like it’s not quite set up). The conference is scheduled for October 9-13 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and it will be the first time for customers to see what Attachmate is like in person. In fact, the BrainShare homepage advertises, “Hear the new IT vision from the visionaries themselves.”
The early registration email to SUSE customers proclaims:
SUSE will have a dedicated and significant presence at BrainShare with participation in the keynotes, and with its own demo area in the IT Central, as well as its own conference session category with special Linux and Open Source session tracks. All components of the SUSE Business Unit (including the Enterprise Linux Server related business, the SUSE Studio/Appliance part, and the openSUSE project) will be presented to BrainShare attendees.
If I were a SUSE customer, I think I’d be trying harder than usual to get my boss to spring for sending me after all the changes that have occurred this year. Attachmate will be judged by its performance at this show, and I think the future of SUSE depends on it. I know that after my discussion with Nils Braukmann, SUSE president and general manager, I had some remaining questions about the future of the operating system and future technical innovation.
What do you want to hear from SUSE? Are you planning to attend BrainShare 2011?
Oracle has contributed the OpenOffice.org code to the Apache Software Foundation’s (ASF) Incubator, marking the end of Oracle ownership of the popular Sun legacy open source project. But, Oracle may retain the trademark as the agreement only mentions the code.
The “donation” of the code to ASF was met coolly by The Document Foundation (TDF), the organization of developers that spun off LibreOffice in September 2010 from OpenOffice in response to Oracle’s handling of the project, including the decision to charge for the previously free Open Document Format plugin that allowed interoperability between OpenOffice and Microsoft Office suite. TDF lists its supporters, which include most of the big names in Linux: Red Hat, Canonical, Novell, Google and more.
TDF issued a statement, explaining that this move was not all they had hoped for:
The Document Foundation would welcome the reuniting of the OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects into a single community of equals in the wake of the departure of Oracle. The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity but are committed to working with all active community members to devise the best possible future for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.
This move by Oracle doesn’t seem to be as “open” claim in its press materials on the matter, and TDF’s grumblings won’t go unnoticed by the open source community. One of the key hang-ups is the change of software licensing under Apache. Previously, OpenOffice code was licensed under the GPL, LGPLv3 and MPL. Under Apache’s license, modifications to the code do not need to be given back, which contrasts with the previous licensing versions.
More on OpenOffice and ASF
Oracle watchers speculate on future of OpenOffice
In the world of open source cloud computing few topics have collected more attention recently than the ongoing development of OpenStack, the cloud computing project launched by NASA and Rackspace. So, some people may not have been too surprised when Canonical said last week that OpenStack, and not Eucalyptus, would be Ubuntu’s future default cloud platform.
However, Canonical’s decision to move away from Eucalyptus in favor of OpenStack could be risky. OpenStack is less than a year old and still very much in its infancy. Given all the publicity OpenStack has received, it might be fair to wonder whether Canonical was more concerned about being left behind than it was about the technology’s current efficacy.
“A lot of folks figured it was a no brainer just because of the buzz. To be honest, that was not the only reason why we switched. If you switch to something just because it gets buzz, you’d be changing all the time,” said Robbie Williamson, the engineering manager for the Ubuntu server team at Canonical.
Instead, Williamson said, Canonical sees clear technical advantages to OpenStack, specifically when focusing on ARM-based servers.
“We want to be sure Ubuntu can be in the forefront among server operating systems for ARM. We feel like we have an advantage there versus any of the established markets,” he said. “ARM’s Java support isn’t that solid yet, and Eucalyptus is written in Java. So that would have presented a problem for us. We’re also very focused on cloud deployment. For ARM, the virtualization technologies aren’t as mature there. With OpenStack, and the open development model, anyone can participate and contribute as they want, and really drive that functionality in their own self-interest. That is something we will contribute to and drive for our own self-interest. With Eucalyptus, there are some hurdles if we wanted to do that.”
Canonical has done this before, in the case of its support for KVM over Xen. In that case, the company took a risk in deciding to support what it believed was a superior virtualization hypervisor. That decision turned out OK, and there’s no reason to believe – as of yet – that its choice of OpenStack will hurt business.
Even so, Williamson admitted that he, and other Canonical executives, are nervous about whether OpenStack will be enterprise-ready in time for an expected September beta release of Ubuntu 11.10. Like any good gambler, Canonical is hedging its bet, planning to keep support for Eucalyptus through April 2015, and not ruling out a delay in its plan to make OpenStack the default.
“You never know. Come August, maybe we do need to switch it around. Both products are anticipated around the August, September timeline – there is some wiggle room there. … Talking to some of the other engineers, even Mark [Shuttleworth] himself, they were just as nervous, even more so, about this [decision],” Williamson said, comparing the OpenStack decision to the company’s choice of KVM.
Have you tried OpenStack and Eucalyptus? What are your impressions of the two technologies? Do you think this risk will pay off for Ubuntu?
It’s not surprising that a survey of open source-oriented users and vendors queried on open source adoption found that open source software is going mainstream. The fact that the survey was sponsored by a VC firm noted for backing open source companies, further stacks the deck.
For all the sales pitches on CloudForm and OpenShift “open” cloud initiatives, Red Hat Summit attendees were far more interested in more prosaic (ie useful) things. First and foremost, they love that the next release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) will rid them of the much-derided Windows Server requirement for managing their VMs.
And it’s not just any Windows Server. To run the current RHEV management, users must get Windows Server 2008, R2. “You need the latest and greatest,” said an IT manager with a big Linux-oriented systems integration firm. No admins want to work with two sets of tools, said another attendee.
Face it, Linux shops have Linux skills and many want absolutely nothing to do with Windows. Full stop. They barely tolerate the sound of Windows boot-up music emanating from reporters’ laptops.
The odd Windows console requirement is a remnant of Red Hat’s acquisition of Qumranet, and its KVM virtualization expertise but it’s nearly over. The Windows-less RHEV 3.0 is due later this year.
Let us know what you think about the story; email Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A week after the Attachmate and Novell deal finalized, many Novell employees in Provo, UT, got pink slips. Salt Lake City’s KSL news reported that hundreds of employees were laid off. A number of Novell executives have also left the company including Ron Hovsepian, Dana Russell, John Dragoon, Colleen O’Keefe, Joseph Wagner, Russell Poole, Scott Semel, Jim Ebzery, Maarten Koster, Tim Wolfe, Jose Almandoz, Ryan Richards, Willard Smith, Markus Rex and Javier Colado.
Attachmate has also announced the creation of four business units going forward.
- Attachmate: Includes solutions for host connectivity, legacy modernization, managed file transfer, and enterprise fraud management. This portfolio and leadership remains unchanged as a result of the combination and will continue to be headquartered in Seattle, Wash.
- NetIQ: Solutions from NetIQ will be combined with the identity, security and data center management solutions (with the exception of SUSE) from Novell. Leadership and location in Houston, TX, remains unchanged.
- Novell: The Novell business unit will focus on the products and solutions that were previously referred to as End User Computing. This includes solutions from both collaboration and endpoint management. Bob Flynn will lead this business unit as President and General Manager in addition to leading the Attachmate business unit. Operations will be headquartered in Provo, UT.
- SUSE: Established as its own dedicated business unit under Nils Brauckmann in Nuremberg, Germany, with the charge to “unleash the potential of SUSE on the market in ways that matter to both the community and customers.”
Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols has tried to find out what’s happening to Mono, but he received a statement from Attachmate CEO Jeff Hawn that the new SUSE business unit will be in charge of deciding how that project progresses. Meanwhile, Mono’s leader, Miguel de Icaza seemed surprised on Twitter at the rumors of his demise.
With all of this unrest, others are speculating that Attachmate will sell off SUSE, which seems supported by the separation of business unit strategy that Attachmate has decided upon.
We will continue to follow this news as it breaks, and are interested in hearing from any former Novell employees (on or off the record) to get a better idea of how these developments are going to affect enterprise customers and the Linux landscape. Leave comments below or contact us.
BOSTON: A couple themes emerged from this week’s Red Hat Summit.
1: Red Hat is pitching itself hard as the “open” cloud player. It’s new CloudForms Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering promises to let users (buzzword alert) “leverage” existing technologies–virtual servers from Red Hat or VMware, public clouds by Amazon, IBM, and others; and on-premises or hosted physical servers.
Tomorrow, Canonical’s Ubuntu 11.04 will be available for the Enterprise. The latest release of the Linux operating system (OS) boasts improved cloud features, including the addition of OpenStack ‘Cactus’ as a technology preview available for download through Ubuntu software repositories. A one hour free trial of Ubuntu 11.04 is available on Amazon EC2 on April 28, 2011 (accessed through Ubuntu.com).
Ubuntu 11.04 server changes
- Server provisioning using Cobbler and mcollective
- PowerNap 2.0 enables 14% reduction in power use
- New Linux Kernel, 2.6.30, which includes:
– AppArmor support in Kernel
– Intel’s Intelligent Power Sharing (IPS) support
– filesystem improvements to btrfs, Ext4 and XFS
– driver updates and hardware support updates
- Updated libvirt API with bug fixes and feature updates
- Default dhcpd server updated from dhcp3 to isc-dhcp (version 4)
- OW2 certified J2EE stack in Ubuntu based on Jonas + Oracle JDK + Postgres.
Ubuntu 11.04 enterprise desktop changes
Ubuntu 11.04 offers users a choice of the new Unity interface or the option to retain the “classic” Ubuntu interface. Unity will be the interface of Ubuntu for all users in the next long term support (LTS) release in April 2012, but beta users gave Unity mixed reviews.
If you’re planning to implement the new Ubuntu in your Linux data center, let us know. We’d love to hear about your experience.