It would appear as though the mild momentum we reported on earlier in the month regarding Oracle’s support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux has not subsided. Today, Oracle announced that several leading independent software vendors (ISVs) and infrastructure partners have announced their applications work out-of-the-box with Oracle Enterprise Linux.
Companies such as 170 Systems, AppWorx Corp., Egenera, EMC, Emulex Corp., Hitachi Data Systems, QLogic and Synoran (all members of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, mind you), now include Oracle Enterprise Linux among the operating systems they support. Additionally, open source companies including KnowledgeTree and SugarCRM will also support the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support Program.
Monica Kumar, Oracle’s senior director of Linux and open source marketing, told me in a phone call Monday that Oracle is seeing growing interest from its partners to support their products with Oracle Enterprise Linux and ensure compatibility for their customers. This announcement appears to support that claim. Kumar also said Oracle has maintained full compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
And still there’s no news from Red Hat on price cuts for support. That’s not really a shock, given the fact that there’s only been 9,000 downloads of Oracle Enterprise Linux, but I can’t imagine that still being the case if, in six months, we’re still getting weekly updates and customer wins from Oracle (Kumar called me roughly two weeks ago with the ‘Yahoo is now an Oracle Enterprise Linux user’ pitch).
Linux adoption in the enterprise has been amazingly fast over the past 10 years, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future, but it’s not this fast.
The Linux mascot, Tux, has been affixed to the front of a Formula One racecar and will stay there if the Linux community at large can raise what seems like an obscenely large amount of money for a decal: $350,000. Well, it’s a bit more than just a decal, as they’re trying to sponsor an entire car. If they can’t raise the money, I don’t really know what happens. I assume they’ll cast Tux in the sequel to Happy Feet.
Red Hat made a play into the data management space today with the acquisition of Waltham, Mass.-based MetaMatrix.
On Tuesday, Red Hat senior vice president of enterprise solutions Tim Yeaton was on hand during a conference call with reporters and investors to detail what the move meant for his company and for customers looking to Red Hat for their data management needs.
Some of the specifics, from a press release issued by Red Hat to coincide with Yeaton’s conference call:
Red Hat has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the business of MetaMatrix, a leader in data management and integration software. This market is estimated to reach $1.3B in 2007 according to Forrester Research. The consummation of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions to closing set forth in the acquisition agreement. Once the transaction is completed, MetaMatrix will be integrated into Red Hat’s JBoss division.
While SOA offers a cost-effective opportunity to modernize legacy infrastructures and provide true interoperability across applications and software components, it alone does not resolve data access challenges and the physical and semantic differences among disparate, physical data sources. MetaMatrix eliminates these challenges with a data services layer that decouples applications from their data sources and makes valuable data assets available as services in an SOA, freeing data from single application silos. It does this while simultaneously providing mechanisms for data consistency, security and compliance.
“MetaMatrix offers what is called a federated data services layer, that makes corporate data available as a service to other applications in the environment,” Yeaton said. “What we’ve done with these announcements … is lay out an end-to-end open source infrastructure.”
Yeaton explained that much like Red Hat had done with Netscape Directory, the ultimate goal with MetaMatrix will be to move the technology to the point where it is “fully available on an open source license.” Yeaton said the open source process should take less than a year, and that Red Hat’s business model is such that it is important to get the application to that point as soon as possible. For now, however, the process will begin as a subscription based model.
The acquisition price for MetaMatrix was not disclosed by Red Hat.
Samba 3.025 draws ever closer with the 2nd release candidate going live late last week. The details are as follows, courtesy of project lead Jerry Carter:
- Significant improvements in the winbind off-line logon support.
- Support for secure DDNS updates as part of the ‘net ads join’ process.
- Rewritten IdMap interface which allows for TTL based caching and per domain backends.
- New plug-in interface for the “winbind nss info” parameter.
- New file change notify subsystem which is able to make use of inotify on Linux.
- Support for passing Windows security descriptors to a VFS plug-in allowing for multiple Unix ACL implements to running side by side on the Same server.
- Improved compatibility with Windows Vista clients including improved read performance with Linux servers.
- Man pages for IdMap && VFS plug-ins.
And as always, the warning: “This is the second release candidate of the Samba 3.0.25 code base and is provided for testing only. An RC release means that we are close to the final release but the code may still have a few remaining minor bugs. This release is *not* intended for production servers. There has been a substantial amount of development since the 3.0.23/3.0.24 series of stable releases.”
Here’s a recap of the news and tips from this week:
CentOS lures Red Hat Linux users with update service
CentOS is wooing former Red Hat Linux users that loved software upgrades from the Red Hat Network but could have done without the expensive service contracts.
Ubuntu Feisty Fawn launches with increased server focus
Canonical Ltd. is hoping server virtualization features in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn will encourage more server deployments of the Linux distribution.
TIP – An expert walks users through setting up printing between Unix and Linux using Linux’s LPR utility and Unix’s SMIT.
Printer sharing between Windows and Linux
TIP – Figure out how to connect your Windows machines to a shared printer as a network device from your Linux box in this tip.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
The 451 Group’s Raven Zachary continues to impress me. Not only can he fire off a slew of great quotes for SearchEnterpriseLinux.com articles — while waiting for his car to get worked on at the mechanic’s (true story) — he also thinks the same way I do when it comes to open source licenses:
The MIT License
Copyright (c) (year) (copyright holders)
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
Sometimes, less is more.
Dell CEO Michael Dell is getting a Dell preloaded with Ubuntu, sure, but it doesn’t mean much, according to Canonical Ltd. head Mark Shuttleworth.
During a conference call today that was supposed to be about Sun Microsystems and Canonical working together to get Java fully integrated into Ubuntu, reporters kept asking about Dell’s decision to put together a new laptop running Feisty Fawn and then plaster it all over Dell’s web page.
Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists the world over, Shuttleworth wasn’t having any of it.
“I won’t comment on conversations that may or may not be happening … I am certainly happy that Michael Dell is forward looking and looking at Ubuntu … it was a fun story, but I don’t see any subliminal messaging going on there.”
So Dell got a Dell with Ubuntu because he liked the OS. Nothing more — or was it?. I guess we’l have to wait and see how this plays out into Dell’s overall Linux desktop strategy, if at all.
Dell CEO Michael Dell has apparently added a new laptop to his personal collection of, well, Dell computers and accessories. That’s pretty unremarkable in and of itself, until you see which OS he has running the thing: Ubuntu 7.04.
I just heard that Michael’s added a new notebook to his hardware collection. It’s a Precision M90 mobile workstation with Ubuntu 7.04 and a list of open-source applications. He’s also running an NVIDIA Quadro FX 3500 graphics card with 512MB RAM.
Direct2Dell already has a comment up regarding their chief executive’s big purchase, and it includes some great questions:
1. Where’d he get it. Can I buy one?
2. Who installed Ubuntu for him? Was it factory installed?
Dude, you’re getting Ubuntu. So sweet. (and yes, that’s the last time I’ll ever be caught referencing one of the most annoying marketing campaigns ever conceived by man)
Our editorial focus here at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com is predominantly the “Linux IT guy” — that administrator who desperately wants his Linux machines to play nice with everything else in his/her DC — but every once in a great while I like to delve into the wide world of open source software at large and see what’s new.
Today, I stumbled upon a neat list of the top 10 reasons why enterprises should use open source software, and I decided to link to it and provide a few excerpts as well. The author of the list starts with a good point; that when enterprise customers are asked about the benefits of open source, they often cite cost as the big reason for using it. “Cheaper to buy, cheaper to fix, cheaper to run,” he says, noting people typically don’t mention the “freedom” of open source development in their reasoning.
1. Open source makes you responsible. When you choose the components yourself, you don
Ubuntu’s popularity has both spurred and belittled concerns about there being too many enterprise-level Linux distributions. On the one hand, freedom of choice is a cornerstone of the Linux/open source philosophy. On the other, too many distros making operating system choices difficult for businesses.
I just returned from a TechTarget Server Virtualization seminar in San Francisco and, sure, virtualization was the main event, but a group of IT pros there were talking about their love of Ubuntu. Sure, they’re using Red Hat or SUSE, the primary commercial distros, in production environments, but they’re putting Ubuntu to work whenever possible. A little prodding revealed that ‘whenever possible’ meant anywhere open source apps can be used or commercial vendor support isn’t needed or apps could be found that supported Ubuntu.
I wasn’t too surprised by running into a Ubuntu fan club at a virtualization event. The attendees were tech-savvy, and most that I polled used Linux and virtualization in tandem. Also, SearchServerVirtualization.com site expert Andrew Kutz stated his own preference for Ubuntu in his series on virtualization on Linux.
Their tech-savviness showed itself in their acknowledgement that too many “enterprise-level” Linux distributions may not be a good thing for business production environments. The forking or fragmentation of Linux can cause problems. During my recent conversation with Golden Gate University CTO Anthony Hill, he said that fragmentation poses problems for ISVs and driver vendors who must determine which Linux their products will support. Also, he noted that too many commercial Linuxes poses problems in training and makes it harder for Linux vendors to profit and thus be good long-term choices for businesses.
This problem is spelled out well in a Free Software Magazine blog post that says:
“The downside to all of this is of course the dreaded phrase “steep learning curve”. It is one of the most common complaints you will hear from those who are reluctant to adopt GNU/Linux and they will invariably invoke the bogeyman of fragmentation as irrefutable proof. However, a closer look at this familiar objection reveals that it it more of an issue for businesses adopting it than it is for private individuals. This is a fair point as the requirements of a business will differ markedly from yours or mine. A business will be looking for continuity, reliable upgrade cycles, technical support…and there are many enterprise versions of GNU/Linux which render such support and do it well; Suse (sorry, Microvell), Redhat and Mandriva to mention a few.”
I agree with this post’s argument that distro choice is good for individual users and not so good for businesses. The trouble is that new distributions, like Ubuntu, can also be vehicles for innovation and that innovation can usually happen faster in general open source development than in commercial operating system vendor product release cycles. So, by restricting fragmentation (if, indeed, it is at all possible to restrict it), the Linux community could also inhibit innovation.
The problem with choice of Linux distributions is the same problem as that posed by democracy. Truly successful democracy is dependent upon an informed electorate; voters who research the issues and candidates and make informed decisions. So, the success of commercial Linux development depends, I think, on informed IT pros who can determine if a new distro has been created for political reasons and offers little innovation or if it’s truly the next step forward in innovation.