Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

Isn't Chrome OS another Linux distribution?

Google released the Chrome OS open sourced code base on November 19, 2009.  The first netbooks running the Chrome OS are not expected for at least another year.  There are some nice features of this streamlined Linux variant such as fast boot using solid state disk technology built into the netbook. However just about any OS has the ability to support SSDs.  In fact more than a few operating systems, file systems and databases are SSD aware.

With several other Linux offerings such as RedHat, OpenSuse, OEL, Centos, etc. why yet another?  (Have you heard of Moblin?)  Chrome OS appers to me as more of a thin client rather than desktop device.  All applications on a Chrome OS device execute via the Web somewhere.  The users interface to the given application is through the Chrome web browser.  All the data and the application code is NOT on the netbook running The Chrome OS.

The major software desktop platforms want to optimize seamless operation of the desktop and the World Wide Web. Microsoft has Windows 7 and Linux desktops are no longer only for the hobbyist.  Also look how far Apple has come with the UNIX based operating system developed at NeXT, now called Mac OS X.

Now this desktop/netbook/Web client situation sounds familiar to the various smart devices already all over the world.  A particular embedded OS in smart phones really does make a difference.  The Blackberry OS can multitask and therefore you can run multiple applications at once.  The iPhone OS cannot run more than one application at a time but the iPhone experience and application portfolio has set the standard.  Google has the Android OS for intelligent handsets now coming to market.  Will there be a Windows 7 CE?

My opinion is that two camps emerge.  The set of companies whose business model is totally focused to monetize the Web.  Everyone else is focused on maintaining their business model AND creating ways to monetize the Web.  Consumers want simplicity and low prices.  Unfortunately simplicity and low price are inverse proportions for the enterprise. 

Crossing this chasm is what makes the IT industry very exciting today and for the next several years!

Blog is available also at: http://bobporras.wordpress.com/

Tuesday Dec 09, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.11 is here

The latest release of OpenSolaris (2008.11) just posted a few weeks ago.  As we discussed in Brasil it is so easy to get and so easy to kick the tires using Virtual Box.  The community has been busy building out the latest enhancements to this release.  We have aggregated FOSS components such as GNOME, FireFox and Thunderbird while having innovated as well.  Take notice of our new installer, OpenOffice 3.0, ZFS Time Slider as well as the integrated packaging system (IPS) repository. Innovation and aggregation brought to you by the same source.

Keep in mind the 2008.11 release is built using the SAME technologies that bring you an enterprise operating system.  From a scalable multiprocessing kernel to a GUI interface targeted at Web developers, 2008.11 combines the best of both worlds.  Take some time and use the package repository to add or subtract the thousands of FOSS application available to you.  While the package repository continues to grow every community member has the opportunity to contribute at their own comfort level.

Kudos to the team and stay tuned for the 2009.04 release...  Think about working with the community on the build updates that get posted every 2 weeks at OpenSolaris.org.

Give

it

a

try...

Today. 

Peter Buckingham gave it a spin.


Thursday Jan 31, 2008

Spending Time to Save $$$ or Spending $$$ to Save Time...

Mårten Mickos the CEO of MySQL hit upon a key trend occurring in the web core which is also known as SAAS, web hosting services,  the internet cloud, etc. . "Some people spend time to save $$$ and some people spend $$$ to save time."  In the open source arena the majority of folks (actually it's a pretty vast majority) are spending the time to save the $$$.  50,000 downloads a day of the most popular open sourced database is an eye opener.  That certainly sounds like a vibrant and active community to me!  People who help develop, enhance, promote, utilize, advocate, lead, govern, market, plan, discuss, etc. There is power in numbers  Are individuals using this database?  Yes in the droves.  Are companies using the database?  Wikipedia, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, SecondLife are using MySQL.  Would banks be interested in this technology alternative?  That is a good question.  Are some enterprise companies experimenting with CentOS today?  The answer is "yes."  Can you purchase commercial grade support on CentOS?  It is probably a barrier for certain application deployments in the enterprise today.  Seems like the potential is there... Commercial grade support from a Fortune 500 company can broaden the reach to new customers. A company that  generates new technology rather than simply gather and glue technology together in a distro can be an advantage as well as an attraction.

Does an open source business model want to shift enterprise customers from spending the time to spending the $$$.  Of course. When those customers are ready to do so on their terms because it is a business decision.  Think of "free" but drop the letter 'r' (for me it's easy since I'm from Boston) and you have "fee" for commercial grade deployment-- which typically means support, various service offerings and SLAs.  If you become "the" largest open source company in the world you drive for new and repeat customers via opportunities not by mouse traps.  Opportunities are generated by downloads, partners, OEMs and direct sales.  While the MySQL acquisition is subject to closing and regulation approvals it is clearly a move that complements nicely an existing software business that is growing.

How much data is currently being stored via this relational database?  I imagine it is many tables of stored data and many more tables of the relations between those tables of stored data.  Can MySQL help drive synergies with storage products and other offerings? 

A big yes.

This is making too much sense.


Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

FOSS = Low Exit Barrier as well as Low Entry Hurdle

FOSS is a check box item for new startup companies as well as enterprise corporations who are consolidating, upgrading or issuing new application deployments.  The high tech industry will continue to have companies acquire other's technology as part of alignment and pure business economics.  Some companies acquire open source software and their intent is to continue to FOSter the community with this software, while being able to monetize the asset.   Counter to this strategy some proprietary companies may be inclined to purchase an open source software stack simply to eliminate its growing popularity by customers.  The software industry should embrace, as have universities, that more and more new deployments require solutions based on open source software code bases.  The following table shows very large deployments of storage assets based on proprietary and open source models. Open source software does create a low exit barrier for unhappy customers, but it does enable a low hurdle for a company that wants to take advantage of the opportunity to engage.  If you have built your business model around open source software you have probably listened to your customers and have realized strategically where the software industry is headed.  On the other side of the coin if your business model is to stay proprietary you may be inclined to believe that open source software is a trend and you will be able to continue to differentiate in a commodity market.  The debate continues but customers vote with their purchases.  It is my opinion that os virtualization solutions both proprietay and open sourced will shed some light on the momentum or trend of open source software.  A robust, stable, enterprise OS that can virtualize other OSes as guests has an opportunity.  The market will embrace multiple choices for OS virtualization rather than have a single choice.  With the amount of vendors who have announced OS virtualization solutions that are both proprietary and open sourced the end results are still open for debate.  Who has the momentum?  I remember the VHS and Betamax debate and who tried to dictate rather than listen to customers.

About

The blog of Bob Porras - Vice President, Data, Availability, Scalability & HPC for Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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