Enterprise Linux Log

March 6, 2007  9:46 AM

Zend Technologies Updates Zend Core


Another post, another list. I’ve been told blogs, like Letterman, love lists.

Zend Core 2.0 updates include:

  • Certified PHP, extensions, database drivers, web services support and all other components required to run professional applications.
  • Delivery of one stop installation of the full PHP application stack, including web server, database, extensions, and PHP framework
  • The Zend Network Updater lets users apply bug fixes and security patches as they become available
  • Support programs for Zend Core 2.0 users starting at $295 per year per server for web support. Programs with phone support for business hours and 24×7 are also available.

March 6, 2007  9:37 AM

New features in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn release


One of these days I’ll get around to finishing that Pulitzer Prize winning article on Ubuntu on the server I promised myself I’d do this month, I swear. In the interim, however, enjoy this list of new features in the upcoming Ubuntu Feisty Fawn release:

  • New Gnome control center
  • Faster searching with Tracker — Tracker is a search tool much like Beagle. Both programs will be available in the repositories.
  • Easy codec installation — When trying to play a multimedia file, Ubuntu will try to install the necessary codecs automatically.
  • Inclusion of NetworkManager — Connect to wired and wireless networks with the click of your mouse.
  • Kernel Virtual Machine — Built in virtualization in the Linux Kernel.
  • Migration assistant — Migrate documents, files and settings with ease from your previous operating system.
  • VPN — Easy VPN access with NetworkManager.
  • Desktop Effects — Bring up cool desktop effects.

The inclusion of KVM is interesting. Commercial adoption of that technology is a ways off (according to IBM and Red Hat anyway), but it’s quickly becoming the ying to Xen’s yang.

March 5, 2007  4:13 PM

HP keeps blades sharp with Linux


I took a call with Doug Small, Hewlett-Packard’s director of open source and Linux, today as a kind of refresher course on their work with Linux on blades over the past year. It was a mixed bag of IDC server numbers, high performance computing in commercial settings, virtualization and — most importantly — how Linux is going to play a role in all of them.

There’ll be a brief Q&A up on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com later this week on our conversation, but for now know that the blade server is going to play a big role in Linux’s future — according to HP anyway, which sees the market as one it will share competitively with IBM from here on out. If some of my past reporting on HP is any indication, I don’t think that Big Blue shadow is being cast quite as long these days in the Linux server arena.

From IDC’s Server Tracker quarterly report (courtesy of SearchDataCenter.com):

For Linux on [HP’s] BladeSystem specifically, HP delivered 8.6% growth when IBM declined nearly 6%.

Small told me that HP expects to grow this market with the help of those customers like YouTube and Facebook that want HPC architecture but don’t want a mainframe. It’s still fairly early on in the blade server ballgame — Small said as much to me — but there seems to be a lot of potential there for Linux, especially when you start factoring in tangibles like shrinking data center floor space and increasing cooling costs.

March 2, 2007  1:14 PM

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 — not quite dead yet!


With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the looming release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 this month, it’s easy to forget that work still continues on version 4.0.

That work includes adding some low-level Xen functionality to RHEL 4.5, which Red Hat announced this week with a public beta. It’s just a taste, but executives said the move was meant to help users make the transition to 5.0 in the future (RHEL5’s huge selling point is that it has Xen paravirtualization baked in).

But are there mixed messages coming from the world’s leading commercial Linux vendor? Also this week, Red Hat endorsed Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) while at the same time saying this hot new virtualization technology is a year away from being where Xen is today. Covering all their bases or covering too many? Regardless, SearchEnterpriseLinux.com has a few articles in the hopper regarding KVM and the Linux kernel. Stay tuned.

March 1, 2007  5:48 PM

Great Linux lists: Commands, network addresses and dd


Of course, I use Google to search for Linux commands, utilities and tools; but I prefer letting others do the searching for me. So, I’m always happy to find a good list. Today, I’m doubly happy, because I found one list, and it led me to another.

Looking for some Linux networking info, I found Special Purpose Network Addresses Every System admin need to know.

It’s a keeper, and its links send me to another cool list on the Debian Admin Blog: Basic Linux Commands With Man Pages.

This reminded me of our list, 50 nifty Linux command-line tools.

Some commands are listed on both, and some aren’t. Both lists are now in my “commands’ folder.

Both lists missed the dd command, which I just learned about in Sander van Vugt’s article, Linux/Unix commands: How to get copy, conversion power with dd.

I’m always looking for new lists and Linux commands. Got one? Please share.

March 1, 2007  1:51 PM

What goes into a Linux kernel patch?


LWN.net has an interesting look today at who had a crack at (and who had the biggest crack at) patching up the Linux kernel for version 2.6.20.

If you’ll remember, I managed to get an article up on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com about this the day after the Super Bowl (I had just barely finished shredding my Bears jersey when my fingers hit the keyboard). KVM, or Kernel-based Virtual Machine, was the talk of the town then, but today we get to see which developers had the biggest impact on the latest stable kernel release.

This study looked at the stream of patches that changed the 2.6.19 kernel into the current 2.6.20 release. There were, as it turns out 4983 non-merge changesets in this release, contributed by 741 different developers.

But even more interesting, I think, is looking at who paid who to get things put into the kernel. IBM, Red Hat and Novell top a few lists, but so did a few surprises like Sony. It’s definitely worth a look when you get the chance.

March 1, 2007  8:25 AM

Samba 3.0.25pre1 available for download


Since we seem to love Samba around here so much, here’s their latest update (delivered via the Samba mailing list, I suggest you get yourself to Samba.org and sign up!):

Major features included in the 3.0.25 code base include:

  • 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.
  • Man pages for VFS plugins.

Note the caveat from Samba’s Jerry Carter however: “This is a preview release of the Samba 3.0.25 code base and is provided for testing only. This release is *not* intended for production servers.”

February 28, 2007  2:11 PM

Of Linux migrations and interoperability with Windows


Complete ousters of an operating system from any IT environment are pretty rare in this day and age of heterogeneous data centers, but I managed to find one in Northern California at the Windsor Unified School District. The IT staff there was tasked by school administrators with cutting costs associated with a Windows upgrade. They chose, ultimately, to cut out Windows entirely. The article shaped up to be pretty pro-Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux (I wouldn’t necessarily call it a lovefest), but I was able to get Heather Carver, Windsor’s IT director, to dish a bit on ID and authentication headaches that still plague Linux.

Seems people are still addressing these issues locally on a server by server basis — a tedious task — but one left over from the “golden days” of Unix directories that many analysts I’ve spoken with say people have just gotten used to and are hesitant to change. Well, unless we’re talking about the guys at Samba, but you get the idea.

With that in mind I gave Xandros a call to speak about a new product they have set to launch sometime this spring called BridgeWays. Xandros is heavy into Linux, but they’re hoping a foray into heterogeneous systems management will get some IT pros in need of Linux-Windows interoperability on board. Look for an article later this week on their efforts and how they’ll stack up against what’s already out there from vendors like Centeris, Centrify and Quest Software.

February 27, 2007  6:23 PM

Linux on Dell desktops: Too little, too late?


Reacting to the announcement that Dell will probably pre-load Linux on PCs, blogger Thilak asks a question Linux users have asked for over a decade:
“Why pay for Windows when you don’t need it?”

Thilak is a teenage computer enthusiast who already knows the score. He and thousands of others, including myself, have enjoyed hours of bliss removing Windows from a PC and then installing Linux. We know that that process alone presents a major obstacle to any IT manager considering moving to Linux desktops.

Then, of course, comes the decision of what to load on Linux desktops once Microsoft and its bevy of apps are gone. The joy of Microsoft is also its drawback: The choices are made for you.

Dell is already suffering the fate of others who commit to Linux desktops: the freedom to choose compels one to make a choice. While the company has been loading Red Hat Linux on its workstations, indications are that Dell will go with a limited release of Novell’s SUSE Linux on desktop machines. Hmm. Did the Microsoft connection push Dell in that direction?

Once Dell starts preloading Linux, the next logical step is to preload applications. There, things get really tricky. Bloggers are already debating about
whether OpenOffice 2.0 should be Dell’s office suite choice when Web-based apps may do just as well. Others, such as open source evangelist Gary Edwards, as quoted on The 360 blog think that Google should connect its Web apps “with Openoffice.org applications more completely.”

I think the parade has passed by Linux/OpenOffice’s opportunity in business desktop setting Virtual desktops will solve many more problems and make application and platform choices easier. Do you agree? Or, will preloaded Linux on Dell (or other) desktops be a good choice for your business?

February 27, 2007  2:15 PM

Linux server numbers soar


From our sister site SearchDataCenter.com comes word that Linux server revenue growth has accelerated. Again.

After two consecutive quarters of single-digit revenue growth, Linux server revenue growth accelerated once again, growing 15.3% to $1.8 billion when compared with Q4 2005. Linux servers now represent 11.9% of all server revenue, up more than one point over Q4 2005. But Linux server shipments declined 0.8% year over year after 18 quarters of double-digit shipment growth, as IT consolidation extends its reach into the open source domain.

Looks like Saugatuck Technology analyst Bill McNee was right when he predicted a surge in mission critical Linux deployments this year, no?

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