SAP HANA instantly analyzes large volumes of transactional data from multiple data source in real time. The partnership allows for tight integration of products and services as well as operating system service and support options.
The workload-optimized, preloaded, preconfigured IBM x3690 X5 for use with SAP HANA is also available, and includes SLES for SAP Applications preloaded. It lets business users instantly access, model and analyze all transactional and analytical data from virtually any data source in real time, without impacting existing applications or systems.
Visit SearchSAP.com for more coverage of SAP TechEd 2011.
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Linux Foundation President Jim Zemlin, kicked off Wednesday’s keynotes with an optimistic view of Linux’s role in the current operating system market. He compared the competing demands of “free and open” with “fabulous” – specifically calling out Steve Jobs’ pitch of the iPad in a humorous clipped video that isolated the adjectives used to describe the new gadget. Zemlin said that Linux can be both free and fabulous, and because of that, will be well-suited to compete in this economy.
To summarize everything that occurred would take too long, but I’d like to highlight three keynote talks that were of particular interest to me.
IBM says get involved in Linux: early
Dan Frye, IBM’s Vice President of Open Systems Development, shared the 10+ years of IBM’s history and experience with Linux. He dished out advice to other companies that might be curious or worried about how they should or could contribute to Linux.
One piece of advice Frye gave was that the Linux developers from your company need to be from, or know how to work within the Linux community. Using contractors to do this work is not advised, said Frye, as the relationship with the Linux community over time is valuable to your company in terms of getting development projects through the process.
“You need to manage your open source developers, but you can’t manage their maintainers,” said Frye. “You have to understand open source and the communities the developers work in. The only thing that matters is the results. The thing you want is ‘influence.’ You can’t have control.”
As for those projects, it’s OK to scratch your own itch, says Frye. If you’re unsure about how to contribute to the kernel, get your developers to work on things that are of interest to your company.
“Initiate early – don’t spends months behind closed doors – approach the community,” said Frye. “If you’re going to make large contributions in an area, you can’t throw code and run.”
Frye also shared that Linux is now just as predictable to IBM as any other operating system, noting the maturity of the OS.
Open source = open cloud?
The cloud buzzword made it to the Collaboration Summit, with a blue-ribbon panel of clouderati including James Urquhart, product marketing manager for Cloud Computing and Virtualized Data Centers at Cisco, David Lutterkort, software engineer and Deltacloud Architect at Red Hat, Sam Ramji, vice president of Strategy at Sonoa and President of the CodePlex Foundation, and Doug Tidwell, IBM evangelist for Cloud Computing and SCA.
The panel examined the potential for cloud computing in the open source model. While open source is the technology behind a lot of cloud enablement (Linux is the operating system on servers running Amazon EC2 instances, etc.) because of the cost structure, having open source infrastructure beneath platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings may be impossible.
“The situation we’re in right now is that the market has to determine if having infrastructure openness is an important thing,” said Urquhart. Eucalyptus is the closest effort in this vein, but no major cloud providers are yet using Eucalyptus, keeping the open source community from tweaking the cloud systems to suit their needs.
The conversation further delved into data openness and the constraints placed on that by laws and regulations.
“I think in the next one to three years we’ll see a meaningful standard for data ownership,” said Ramji. “It will become accepted and normalized.”
As with any new technology, the panel discussion concluded without any real resolution, but there will be plenty more discussion on the respective panel members’ blogs and Twitter feeds if you want to keep up with it.
Your life may depend on Linux
Yes. Linux can be that serious.
In a real sign of the maturity of Linux, the head of the DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (German Air Navigation Services) data center, Alexander Schanz, gave a presentation on how the agency is transitioning their entire data center from Unix to Linux. Still a work in progress (very methodical progress), the agency plans to port 1,500 systems from Unix to Linux. They are on their way to migrate primary systems to Linux, and all new ATC systems will be on Linux (both SUSE and Red Hat).
“With the appropriate skills and planning, Linux is stable enough to use in air traffic control,” said Schanz.
To deal with the learning curve of their administrators and operators, the agency has developed a special training program for their staff to learn Linux.
“Linux is not free,” said Schanz. “We have to employ people who know Linux, and they are not cheap.”
But still the agency is finding that it can save quite a bit of money with the platform that it makes all these investments worthwhile. I plan to follow up with Schanz and share more of the DFS story here in a future article. If you have any questions you would like me to ask Schanz, leave your comments here.
But all these great, inspiring, informative talks aside, the highlight of the event for many attendees may have been the best schwag giveaway ever: a new Nexus One phone (full disclosure: I didn’t take one). To get a visual of the event, some great photos were captured by Kenny Moy.]]>
On the exhibit hall floor, Anirban Chatterjee, IBM IT Specialist in the Executive Briefing Centers Systems and Technology Group, demonstrated how the tool works along with the PowerVM Live Partitioning Mobility feature.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/-QwgBRCOtDM" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Jarman also touched on the fact that IBM offers full support for SUSE 11, a move we have reported previously, with a focus on the cloud computing emphasis.
I’ll be keeping my eye on the Linux on Power activities at IBM throughout the show, and we’ll be following up with some end users who are willing to share their experiences. If you have any questions you want to ask IBM about Linux on POWER, leave a note in the comments below and I’ll work on getting you an answer.]]>
But three IT analysts panned the idea for multiple reasons. Richard Jones, the vice president and service director of Burton Group in Midvale, Utah, and Charles King, a principal analyst of Pund-IT Inc. in Hayward, Calif., don’t think Red Hat’s relative flat stock price makes it vulnerable.
“I don’t think it’s a risk,” King said. “The players within the industry and those in investment live in separate realities. If Red Hat can’t be a success as the clear leader in the market, what could VMware do to make it more successful?”
Jones doesn’t think Red Hat is vulnerable either. Red Hat has only its brand to offer (since open source software is free) and the company would be too expensive to buy, he said. Instead of VMware, Jones thinks that Oracle Corp. would be the more likely buyer.
Joe Clabby, principal at Clabby Analytics in Yarmouth, Maine, said a VMware/Red Hat merger doesn’t make sense because the addition of an operating system would put Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp., VMware’s parent company, in conflict with the other major hardware vendors who distribute VMware.
“I don’t see Red Hat making a ton of money,” Clabby said. “‘But I don’t think anybody’s at risk.”
But Clabby admitted that his crystal ball is sometimes a bit cloudy. “I didn’t think EMC Corp. should have bought VMware. But that acquisition has paid off extremely well.”
Ironically, the Red Hat news alert that initially popped up this week linked to a Computerworld column suggesting that IBM buy Red Hat, while admitting the outcome was quite unlikely. But a closer look revealed that Google erred in listing the “recent” article, which was written in 2002. The author, Nicholas Petreley, a computer consultant in Hayward, Calif., said this week that he was one of the first to urge IBM to buy Red Hat in the mid-’90s but said the acquisition now would simply put it in competition with other distros, similar to Clabby’s argument against a VMware/Red Hat merger. And Petreley’s thoughts were the same as mine: somehow the VMware piece resurrected his IBM column out of the depths of time and presented it as something new.
Well, as we all know, technology doesn’t always work 100% of the time. And this is just one more example.
The bottom line: Red Hat appears not to be a takeover candidate for now. And that’s probably a good thing.
Addressing an oft-cited shortcoming, Canonical is in the process of adding numerous key partnerships to expand the desktop and server offerings on top of Ubuntu’s OS and forging pacts with hardware vendors as well, Yates said. Parallels virtualization software and IBM DB2 database software already are downloadable from Canonical’s website and enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications in the works, he said. The desktop is beefing up, too, with OBM messaging and collaboration software and IBM groupware are coming soon, he said.
Canonical also has strengthened its development team to nearly a dozen members during the last year and has built a mini-operating system to enable ISVs to develop Ubuntu-based applications quickly and bring them to market, Yates said.
Although he didn’t have solid numbers, Yates estimated that Ubuntu’s share of the open source operating system market has doubled or tripled from IDC’s 9% projection last year, with the number of users opting for paid support rising proportionately. Server and desktop users both are growing but desktops – boosted by a 50,000 deployment by French police – are increasing faster, he said. But the coming addition of IBM groupware to Ubuntu’s desktop should boost Ubuntu’s momentum in the corporate market, both desktops and servers, he said.
Canonical’s goal is to make Ubuntu available via any partner and any business model and deliver it to users on the server as well as the desktop, Yates said.]]>
Since the 2005-2006 Navy design undertaking, IBM has incorporated its technology in IBM WebSphere Real Time, a computing environment for running real-time Linux applications, and recently won an innovation award for its real-time kernel project at this year’s Red Hat Summit.
Now, after the completion of only two destroyers, the contract has been aborted, which surely means a hefty chunk of lost hardware sales for IBM but, more significantly, a step backward for shipboard computing technology, in general, and Linux in particular.
IBM spokesman Mike Darcy said he didn’t know the impact of cancelation on future IBM revenues but said that IBM will continue to work with other customers, defense and financial sectors among them, as interest “continues to grow” in real-time Linux operations.
“Real-time Linux will continue,” Darcy said. “This [the Zumwalt project] is a great showcase for Linux technology.”
Raytheon spokesman Jonathan Kasle agreed.
“We don’t believe the Navy can afford to put old technologies onto any ships,” he told the Boston Globe last week. “Zumwalt technologies advance mission capabilities to address current and evolving threats and support … lower ship personnel levels and lower operating costs. These technologies can be leveraged for future or existing ships.”
According to Darcy’s general reference to current “defense” customers, it appears that the military is already doing so. Let’s hope so. Reverting to old technology on new Navy ships is not the way to go.]]>
The leading open source vendor just broke two speed records for the financial industry. First, it broke the gold standard for real-time status by processing updates in less than one millisecond, completing a single transaction in .9 of a millisecond. Typically, the fastest processing rates are 10 milliseconds to 20 milliseconds per transaction.
Second, Red Hat had the lowest standard deviation ever recorded or less than .5 milliseconds, which in layman’s terms translates into greater consistency. And third, a single server with a stacked Reuters Market Data System (RMDS) completed a very high ‑- but not record-breaking - volume of transactions, 5.8 million updates per second.
The Securities Technology Analysis Center, which provides performance measurement services to the financial service industry, performed the tests, running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1, the latest version, with RDMS 6.0 on IBM BladeCenter H and 10 gigabit Ethernet.
“In financial services, speed is the difference between making money and losing money,” said Scott Crenshaw, vice president of Red Hat’s platform business unit. “The result is clear: more data, faster data, means better trades and better decisions.”
As if that weren’t enough, Crenshaw struck a blow to proprietary software. “We were 2.4 times faster than Sun Microsystems,” he crowed, comparing Red Hat’s 5.8 million updates with Sun Solaris’ record of 2.4 million updates.
Go, open source! Guess you should have been here for the Boston Marathon!]]>
When it comes to file systems, Linux is the Swiss Army knife of operating systems. Linux supports a large number of file systems, from journaling to clustering to cryptographic. Linux is a wonderful platform for using standard and more exotic file systems and also for developing file systems. This article explores the virtual file system (VFS)—sometimes called the virtual filesystem switch—in the Linux kernel and then reviews some of the major structures that tie file systems together.
It covers all the basics (and I mean BASICS; example of a header found within: What is a file system?), and then goes into the technical stuff after that. Like I said, worth a quick read when you get the chance!]]>
At the iSeries blog, Mark tells the tale of an iSeries user who would like to run all his Oracle software — databases and the E-Business Suite — on the same hardware and software platform. he would like that hardware platform to be the i5.
But there’s where the trouble begins. Mark explains:
The Oracle certification matrix is a guessing game, according to this person. First off, Oracle doesn’t certify its Database Server or E-Business Suite to run on i5/OS. It does certify both to run on AIX, which can be carved into a partition of its own on the System i, but the database team wants to run Oracle applications on Linux. Why? According to this person, that’s what Oracle recommends and besides, that’s what they’re familiar with anyway.
OK, so run them on Linux on Power, right? Wrong. Oracle has certified Oracle Database Server to run on Linux on Power, but not the E-Business Suite. So now this person isn’t sure what to do. Oracle Database Server will likely get migrated off the System i and onto x86 unless IBM and Oracle can come together and figure out how to certify the E-Business Suite on Linux on Power.
It’s a migration certification quandary, is what it is. Do you have a solution? Do you have the same unsolvable problem? Shoot Mark Fontecchio an email about it, because he’s planning to tackle this issue head on with an upcoming article.]]>
Perhaps the most interesting bit of information over at DeveloperWorks however, are some of the new features now found in the most up to date stable version of the Linux kernel.
Linux, being a production operating system and open source, is a great test bed for new protocols and advancements of those protocols. Linux supports a large number of networking protocols, including the typical TCP/IP, and also extension for high-speed networking (greater than 1 Gigabit Ethernet [GbE] and 10 GbE). Linux also supports protocols such as the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP), which provides many advanced features above TCP (as a replacement transport level protocol).
Linux is also a dynamic kernel, supporting the addition and removal of software components on the fly. These are called dynamically loadable kernel modules, and they can be inserted at boot when they’re needed (when a particular device is found requiring the module) or at any time by the user.
A recent advancement of Linux is its use as an operating system for other operating systems (called a hypervisor). Recently, a modification to the kernel was made called the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). This modification enabled a new interface to user space that allows other operating systems to run above the KVM-enabled kernel. In addition to running another instance of Linux, Microsoft Windows can also be virtualized. The only constraint is that the underlying processor must support the new virtualization instructions. See the Resources section for more information.
Flexible. Open. KVM and hypervisors. Sounds pretty good to me.]]>