Enterprise Linux Log

February 27, 2007  1:23 PM

Make way for Linux backup, disaster recovery


A news brief about BakBone Software that I posted today gives a rough idea of where SearchEnterpriseLinux.com’s coverage is headed this year. In addition the broad range of topics covered in categories like interoperability, systems management and security, we’ll also be delving deep into the world of backup and disaster recovery as it pertains to the “Linux IT guy.”

If you’ve got any backup horror stories (or success stories too, for that matter), we’d love hear them. Drop me a line or leave a comment.

February 27, 2007  10:16 AM

IBM mulls Oracle Linux and its chances


Be wary of the hype, dear readers. Making the rounds on Slashdot, digg.com, et al, today is a seemingly scathing story about how IBM is wary of certifying Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux.

Here at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com we’ve done a few items here and there on Oracle’s pledge to undercut Red Hat support costs for Linux by 50%. Most, if not all, of the analysts and users I’ve spoken to about it were nonplussed, saying it was either far too early to make an informed judgment on Oracle’s chances; or that Unbreakable Linux had a tough road ahead of it when paired up against RHEL4 (the ever elusive enterprise grade Red Hat customer jumping ship to Oracle has yet to materialize as well, but I’m always up for that interview).

So it was with some interest that I read an article entitled “IBM hesitant about approving Oracle Linux.” What I read was less about hesitation, and more about a simply waiting for customer demand to materialize around an enterprise OS that has only been out since October. That’s not something drawn out of thin air, either. In December, I wrote about a report from Pacific Crest Securities that showed a substantial number of RH customers — roughly two-thirds — wanted deep support discounts of 25% to 50% (Oracle-like numbers) or they would go elsewhere.

I sent out a request for more info to IBM’s Adam Jollans today — he recently sat down with me to discuss Big Blue’s plans for Linux and virtualization in 2007 — and will update this post if and when he gets back to me.

UPDATE@3:30 p.m. EST: IBM’s Lisa Lanspery called to say this: “As customers are demanding Oracle Unbreakable Linux, IBM will work with Oracle to support it. IBM has always maintained from the start that it would support more than two Linux distros. Today Red Hat and Novell have 90% of the market, but we are always looking and evaluating other offerings, such as Oracle.”

February 26, 2007  4:47 PM

Linux and vertical markets


Just a quick heads up: the staff here at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com will be dipping a toe or two into the vertical markets that have sprung up around Linux. Onwards and upwards, right? One of those markets is health care, and coincidentally enough, Red Hat made a little announcement in the healthcare market today:

McKesson has joined with Red Hat to introduce the Red Hat Enterprise Healthcare Platform, an open source information technology application with services designed to meet the mission-critical demands of health care. (McKesson Corporation is a healthcare services IT company — Jack).

In the coming weeks, I’ll be featuring some of the major initiatives each of the major Linux players have made and will make in a series of articles on the vertical market space . Stay tuned and, as always, leave a comment or shoot me an email with some of your real world ideas and experiences.

February 26, 2007  3:49 PM

Novell talks interoperability beyond Windows and Linux


Novell’s Jeff Jaffe must have heard we have a new blog, because today he made a post about interoperability that played right into our laps.

Just for some background, Novell and Microsoft partnered up late last year and promised the union would result in better interoperability between Windows and Linux. The jury’s still out on that four month old announcement, but some concrete bullet points have made their way to our sister site SearchServerVirtualization.com regarding, what else, virtualization.

So when Jaffe started talking interoperability today I couldn’t resist a post, especially when he started talking about taking interoperability beyond Linux and Windows into the wild world of Active Directory, eDirectory and LDAP directories.

We determined that the most immediate area was directory interoperability. With clients from a variety of networks being able to register and gain access to services on multiple networks, we would have a key first step in driving systems closer together. True, for complete interoperability, other support would be required later. But at least we have taken a first step.

We’re now taking it a step further. If we are getting networks to interoperate – why stop at Windows and Linux? After all, our own NetWare customers have for years wanted to have improved interoperability with Windows environments. So we’ve enlarged the scope further. We are considering environments supported by Active Directory, eDirectory, general LDAP directories, and new open source identity frameworks such as the Bandit project.

This partnership is still a newborn, but it’s reassuring to see something solid starting to bubble up from the murky depths.

February 26, 2007  2:15 PM

LinuxWorld: Open Solutions Summit decompression


From here on out, LinuxWorld is a one coast pony. LinuxWorld San Francisco is where it’s going to be at in 2007 and beyond. Unfortunately, for we East Coasters this means no more wintertime Linux supershow; instead we have the Open Solutions Summit in New York City.

Two weeks ago today, I hit up “LinuxWorld Lite” to see if the format had changed as dramatically as the title. It had. The audience was smaller, as were the exhibition hall displays. Noteworthy press conferences were few and far between, but for a journalist that’s good, I suppose, since it meant turning around fewer press releases (find “solution,” replace with “application”).

But while the attendance was light, and some of the sessions were recaps of what was said last summer in San Fran, there was a strong Samba presence. This is great for you and me, as it meant long talks with Samba team members Jerry Carter and Jeremy Allison about winbind, as well as impromptu Q&A’s with attendees about the future of the Samba project.

Samba is going to be a huge area of focus here at SearchEnterpriseLinux this year, as is the broad topic of identity management and Active Directory. The name of the game now, or so those press releases tell me anyway, is “heterogeneous environments.”

February 26, 2007  2:03 PM

Is Linux a mission-critical app operating system yet?


Just last week, two industry veterans — kept anonymous for their own protection — stunned me by saying: “Linux is still relegated to the edge of the enterprise, to file-and-print and Web serving.”

To me, that’s like saying Starbucks is still a regional coffee shop business. That’s so three years ago.

Of course, Linux got its start on the edges of the enterprise, but – from what I’ve seen — Linux’s role in the data center isn’t edgy anymore.

Sure, at the turn of the millennium, Linux was an edge player. IT managers who’d tried and liked Linux put their file, print and Web servers on it. It took improved kernels and support from major systems vendors, particularly IBM, to get upper management on board for Linux. Then demand for Linux-based apps began to grow, forcing ISVs to port their apps to Linux. Oracle got on board with Linux in 2003, for example.

Corporations’ move to mission-critical Linux began in earnest in 2004 and has been growing ever since. Today Linux does play on the edge — actually, it’s the dominant file-and-print and Web server platform — but it’s making a strong showing inside the data center. It may not be the dominant mission-critical app platform today, but evidence shows that it’s certainly a significant player there.

Exhibit A: At this month’s LinuxWorld Open Solutions Summit, IDC’s analysts tagged today’s Linux server and software market at $18 billion. By 2010, the market will be worth $40 billion. IDC says that Linux’s current and near-future standing isn’t coming from “edge” deployments, by the way, but from growth in deployments to databases and other data center applications.

Exhibit B: Fifty-three percent of the 140 corporate executives surveyed by Forrester Research run mission-critical applications on Linux, and 52% choose Linux for new apps.

Exhibit C: About 50% of mission critical apps will be running on Linux by 2011, according to a recent Saugatuck Technology study (reported recently by Jack Loftus). About 20% of that survey’s respondents have deployed mission-critical apps on Linux or will deploy them this year.

Exhibit D: In another survey, members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) said that Linux will overtake Sun Microsystems’ Unix-based Solaris as the top operating system (OS) for Oracle database deployments in 2007.

Enough said about surveys. For me, users offer the real proof that Linux is more than an edge computing platform. I’ve met dozens of IT managers who have moved Oracle, SAP, email, high-volume transaction and other business-critical apps to Linux. Indeed, SearchOpenSource.com has published a slew of case studies about businesses that run mission-critical apps on Linux. In 2003 — 2003! — I wrote a story about Golden Gate University’s migration to Oracle 9i on Linux. More recent stories concern mission-critical app migrations by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Metropolitan Bank Group, R.L. Polk Company and others.

These first-hand reports have shown me that Linux is not just an edge player. Any evidence I’ve seen to the contrary has been delivered in surveys and advertisements funded by Linux’s competitors. If you’ve seen valid reports that put Linux only on the edge, please show them to me!

Can your company be added to that list of mission-critical Linux users, or does your IT organization still relegate Linux to the edge? Do you think Linux is a mini-player the mission critical platform game? Let me know by responding to this entry, or write to me at jstafford@techtarget.com.

February 23, 2007  9:11 PM

Linux and identity management


I’ve been all about identity management lately, and for good reason: things can get a bit hairy when It administrators try and get their Linux and Windows boxes to play nice in the data center.

A handful of vendors have jumped into the fray over the past few years (Centeris, Centrify, Quest Software and more recently Xandros), leading me to believe this is an area that’s near and dear to many an administrator’s heart who’s tired of all the Linux vs. Windows talk and just wants his or her shop to run as smoothly as possible.

But no two shops are the same, are they? So where do you fall? Which interoperability and identity issues keep the Blackberry powered on and firmly attached to your hip — even in the dead of night?

November 30, 1999  12:00 AM

OpenOffice 2.4 goes stable on Gentoo


OpenOffice 2.4 went stable on Gentoo this week. Version 2.4 includes a lot of security fixes as well as new features to make the upgrade worthwhile for anyone. The ability to control your stored passwords in OO with a master password is a nice one in my security oriented mindset.One caveat that I have found when upgrading that doesn’t directly relate to upgrade OpenOffice itself, but having upgraded my JRE. OpenOffice didn’t seem to pick up on the new path and was still trying to use /opt/sun-jdk- after I had upgraded to which resulted in OpenOffice always telling me that my JRE was broken. Removing ~/.ooo-2.0/user/config/javasettings_Linux_x86.xml and ~/.ooo-2.0/user/registry/cache/org.openoffice.Office.Java.dat then resetting the JRE from within OpenOffice fixed the issue.

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