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Updated: 4 hours 27 min ago

Tesora Delivers OpenStack Database-as-a-Service for Enterprises

14 hours 32 min ago

As the OpenStack cloud computing arena grows, a whole ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, is out this week with what it is billing as the first enterprise-ready, commercial implementation of OpenStack Trove database as a service (DBaaS). Tesora also recently announced that it has open sourced its Tesora Database Virtualization Engine, and now is also offering the Tesora OpenStack Trove Database Certification Program

Many enterprises are seeking to leverage Trove as they put applications in the cloud. However, databases can be resource intensive, and many don't work well in cloud environments, so there is much scrutiny of the development of Trove for high-availability OpenStack deployments.

Tesora DBaaS Platform Enterprise Edition is targeted at simplifying simplifying installation and configuration of Trove, adding automated replication for high-availability production workloads, along with new management features that expose more capabilities of the underlying databases. 

"With the Tesora Community Edition we made Trove easier for users and now with our Enterprise Edition we're making it more robust. We believe that this will pave the way for broader adoption of database as a service using OpenStack Trove by making it simpler to get up and running with new enterprise features and a higher level of support," said Amrith Kumar, CTO and founder of Tesora, as well as the most recent addition to the Trove Core Team, in a statement. "We're removing another roadblock to the usage of OpenStack Trove." 

  Features in Tesora's Enterprise Edition include:

- Installers and configuration scripts for leading OpenStack distributions for easier setup

- Pre-configured and optimized Trove datastore images for supported technologies means less time setting up and tuning database performance

- Options for both full and incremental database backup, plus replication for production applications

- Extensive testing and certification with a wide range of popular databases

- 24/7 support with enterprise service level agreements, along with frequent maintenance release and bug fixes that resolve problems quickly, plus detailed documentation by a team that really understand databases, OpenStack and Trove

More information on Tesora Enterprise Edition is available here.

Tesora DBaaS Community Edition is also available as an open source download.

According to Tesora's recent announcement of its Trove certification program:

"The Certification Program eliminates the headache of enterprises having to test integration on their own while reducing implementation time and saving money."

"Initially, certification and support includes the following databases: MongoDB, MySQL Community Edition, Percona Server, MariaDB, Redis and Cassandra, with work on Oracle, SQL Server and PostgreSQL underway. In addition to database certification, the program also ensures that the Trove-based Tesora DBaaS Platform installs, configures and operates properly with popular OpenStack distributions. At the outset, Tesora is certifying OpenStack releases from Red Hat, Canonical and from the OpenStack Foundation."

 

 

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The Cloud is Paying Off for Red Hat, as it Moves to Acquire FeedHenry

14 hours 48 min ago

Red Hat posted strong quarterly results on Thursday that beat Wall Street’s expectations, and a big part of the news was that the company is starting to see meaningful revenue from its many initiatives surrounding the OpenStack cloud computing platform. If things go according to the company's playbook, it will start to draw recurring revenue from subscription support for OpenSack deployments similar to the subscription revenues it gets for supporting its other open source platforms.

Meanwhile, Red Hat announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire FeedHenry, an enterprise mobile application platform provider. FeedHenry fits into Red Hat’s portfolio of application development, integration, and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions.

Charlie Peters, Chief Financial Officer at Red Hat, said that its cloud business is having a positive impact on revenue. “The fastest growing part of our channel business comes from the 80+ Red Hat certified public cloud providers that provide our technologies on-demand in their clouds," he added. "The rapid revenue growth from these public cloud partners, which we recognize immediately and contains no deferred revenue, helped us to meaningfully exceed our second quarter revenue guidance.”

“Broad demand for open source technologies, combined with Red Hat’s value proposition and market leadership position, has helped to drive organic revenue growth in the mid-to-high teens for the last 10 quarters,” said Jim Whitehurst, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat, in a statement. “Our high level of execution and commitment to investing across our technology stack, including enabling open, hybrid cloud computing in the enterprise, has led to Red Hat being recognized once again by Forbes, Inc. on its list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.”

Red Hat's GAAP operating income for the second quarter was $64 million, up 16% year-over-year. Non-GAAP operating income for the second quarter was $109 million, up 15% year-over-year. Total revenue for the quarter was $446 million and subscription revenue for the quarter was $389 million, both increased 19% year-over-year.

According to Red Hat's statement about FeedHenry:

"Aligned with Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy, FeedHenry enables enterprises to accelerate their mobile app development and backend integration via private clouds, public clouds, and on-premises. FeedHenry is an important addition to Red Hat’s JBoss xPaaS for OpenShift strategy, announced in September 2013, providing a platform and services for mobile developers and applications. With its xPaaS services for OpenShift, Red Hat is delivering a rich set of enterprise application, integration and business process automation capabilities and services in an extensible open PaaS platform, and is well-positioned to enable accelerated development and deployment of next-generation enterprise applications and business processes in the cloud."

FeedHenry has an open and extensible architecture based on Node.js for client and server side mobile app development. Red Hat agreed to acquire FeedHenry, a privately held company, for approximately 63.5 million Euros in cash, or approximately $82 million U.S. dollars.

 

 

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Google's Chrome Strategy Heads in New Directions, Draws Linux Comparisons

Thursday 18th of September 2014 03:01:36 PM

Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system are grabbing headlines this week for several reasons. As Susan reported here, Matt Hartley said recently, 'Anyone who believes Google isn't making a play for desktop users isn't paying attention.' Hartley favors putting Linux in front of a lot of potential Chrome OS users, and says "I consider ChromeOS to be a forked operating system that uses the Linux kernel under the hood."

Meanwhile, there is a very interesting new feature found in the Chrome for Android app that instantly displays suggestions to queries while you’re typing them into the address bar. For example, if you type in "How old is George Clooney?," you'll get the answer before being taken to any dedicated site where the answer is found.

Matt Hartley's article about Linux and Chrome OS on Datamation is worth reading.  He writes:

"Anyone who is living a Google-centric lifestyle on Windows will feel right at home on ChromeOS. Odds are this individual is already relying on the Chrome browser, Google Drive and Gmail. By extension, moving over to ChromeOS feels fairly natural for these folks, as they're simply using the browser they're already used to."

"Linux enthusiasts, however, tend to feel constrained almost immediately. Software choices feel limited and boxed in, plus games and VoIP are totally out of the question. Sorry, but GooglePlus Hangouts isn't a replacement for VoIP software. Not even by a long shot."

Hartley suggests that many Chrome OS users might be better off with a Linux distro that doesn't focus so intensively on cloud apps and data in the cloud. In fact, we've heard from many OStatic readers who have their own spin on this concept. They are buying low cost Chromebooks, only to put their favorite Linux distros on the machines, eschewing Chrome OS altogether. Have you done this?

The new Auto Suggest answers found in Chrome for Android are explored in depth here.  It's actually a slick idea, and can help users avoid having to land on destination pages to get answers to easily solved questions. Instructions for enabling and using this feature in Chrome for Android are found here

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Mozilla Quietly Shutters its Labs, Delivers Firefox OS Phone in Bangladesh

Thursday 18th of September 2014 02:47:42 PM

Mozilla is much in the news this week, partly for technology efforts that are moving forward, and partly for shuttering a long standing effort from the company. Partnered with Grameephone, an operator in Bangladesh, Mozilla rolled out Firefox OS-based phones for Bangladesh that are priced under $60 and are poised to put smartphones in the hands of some users who haven't had phones before.

Meanwhile, with hardly a peep, Mozilla Labs has been shuttered, with its staffers and resources folded into the rest of the company.

Mozilla's Firefox OS phone line for Bangladesh is called GoFox F15, and has been created by local mobile phone brand Symphony. Grameenphone, a subsidiary of Telenor, is the service provider for GoFox F15, and confirms that users will have advanced smartphone features available to them as well as Internet access.

"Telenor has been working with Mozilla since 2012, and has launched devices in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro," reports Mobile World Live.

In August, Mozilla announced that the first smartphone running its Firefox OS mobile operating system went on sale in India, following earlier reports that a low-cost phone would arrive there in July. The phone is called Cloud FX and is built by Intex Technologies, an Indian phone maker.

As for Mozilla shutting down its Labs effort, it's worth noting that a lot of cool innovation came from Mozilla Labs. According to The Register:

"The browser maker confirmed the change to The Register, saying the move was designed to align the team and their work with Mozilla’s main product groups."

"In a statement attributed to Andreas Gal, Mozilla chief technology officer, Mozilla said: 'This allows each team to better sponsor research and innovation for their products. Within those teams, staff are creating faster, reacting more quickly to change and doing their best work.”

The shuttering of Mozilla Labs is a clear sign that the company is shifting course, and continuing to put its primary bets on its mobile strategy and Firefox OS.

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Maddog's New Strategy, Linux Gaming Gloom, and ChromeOS

Thursday 18th of September 2014 03:00:39 AM

Today in Linux news Jon maddog Hall today said, "I am never again going to tell people why they should be using Free Software." Bruce Byfield says Linux gaming is a bubble dependent upon the Steam Machine. Matt Hartley says Google is making a play for Linux users with ChromeOS and Richard Fichera said modern enterprise Linux is looking an awful lot like UNIX.

Our top story tonight is the declaration from Jon maddog Hall that he's really getting discouraged. He's been singing the praises of Open Source software for 20 years and today said, "I am never again going to tell people why they should be using Free Software. Instead I am going to ask them why they insist on using closed source software." He figures when they shrug their shoulders, he'll be half way to convincing them.

Bruce Byfield today asked, "Can Commercial Linux Gaming Succeed?" In answering it, Byfield begins:

Linux games have always been one of the goals of free software. If game developers could only be persuaded to develop for Linux, the daydream goes, the operating system would start to gain serious market share. The last few years have lent hope to the dream, but the progress remains slow -- so slow, in fact, that its realization is starting to look questionable.

He says the latest version of the dream has lasted for 21 months but it beginning to look "a little insubstantial." He contends that Steam amounts to most of the money generated in Linux gaming today is through Steam and continued growth is dependent upon the Steam Machine. However, it's been delayed and other manufactures are working on their versions. He thinks commercial gaming came to Linux too late because free versions of popular games have already taken hold. In related news, GamingOnLinux.com has a list of just some of games heading to Linux in the coming months.

Matt Hartley said recently, 'Anyone who believes Google isn't "making a play" for desktop users isn't paying attention.' He points out that right now the two target demographics for ChromeOS and Linux are very separatea and without proper marketing, they are destined to stay on their own separate paths. He suggests:

Offer Linux on the desktop to the ChromeOS market through offline efforts. This means Linux User Groups need to start raising funds to be present at county fairs, mall kiosks during the holiday season and teaching free classes at community centers. This will immediately put Linux on the desktop in front of the same audience that might otherwise end up with a ChromeOS powered appliance.

In other news:

* Taking stock of Linux – maturation continues

* Will the Earnings Streak for Red Hat (RHT) Continue?

* Making of GNOME 3.14

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The Public Submits a Record Number of Comments on Net Neutrality

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 02:58:52 PM

Apparently, people care about preserving a free and open Internet. Earlier this month, I reported on how a consortium of technology companies, many of which depend on speedy and dependable access to their websites, launched a very public protest against controversial proposed changes to net neutrality regulations.  The tech companies involved are calling themselves Team Internet. They are concerned that broadband service providers are developing business models that create slow lanes and fast lanes on the Internet, and that the FCC will provide its blessing for doing so.

The Internet Association and companies ranging from Reddit to Mozilla to Automattic participated in the protest, and called for the public to submit comments to the FCC. Now, following the deadline for comments, the FCC has reported receiving more than 3 million comments, easily a record number for any  FCC proceeding.

The bulk of the comments from the public called for the FCC to pass tough net neutrality rules prohibiting broadband providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic or charging Web content providers for premium access to broadband customers. 

“We believe in the free and open Internet, with no arbitrary fees or slow lanes for sites that can’t pay,” wrote the Team Internet members. “If [cable companies] win, the Internet dies.” 

The FCC has pledged to review all comments it has received, and has also acknowledged some comments opposing Team Internet, and calling for new schemes for creating fast and slow lanes on the Internet. 

You can read The Internet Association's full comments sent to the FCC here.  Full comments from AT&T are also available here. There is also much more information on the BattlefortheNet site.

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AMD, Canonical Deliver Ubuntu-based OpenStack Server Solution

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 02:47:21 PM

Canonical just keeps deepening its commitment to the OpenStack cloud computing platform, to the point where a lot of people who are loyal to the company for its Linux roots may not recognize its business model in a few years. Canonical is now partnering with AMD to upgrade the OpenStack cloud in the box concept that we've seen in the Ubuntu Orange Box to an OpenStack cloud housed on a rack.

The Orange Box, of course, capitalized on the fact that many people are deploying OpenStack on top of Ubuntu, and the new OpenStack on a rack concept serves up Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack in one bundled offering.

Specifically, the bundle comes on a set of rack-mounted servers and includes Canonical's Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS) and Juju DevOps program.

"AMD and Canonical have dedicated a tremendous amount of engineering resources to ensure an integrated solution that removes the complexity of an OpenStack technology deployment," said Dhiraj Mallick, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD data center server solutions, in a statement. "The SM15000 server, Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack is an amazing solution filling a need in the industry for an OpenStack solution that can be deployed easily without spending a fortune on professional services or hiring teams of people."

The SeaMicro SM15000 server and Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack solution is billed as one of the most scalable solutions in the industry. It is available today and you can learn more about it by emailing seamicro@amd.com.

"Canonical has developed the most sophisticated set of tools in the industry to remove the complexity of an enterprise grade OpenStack deployment," said John Zannos, vice president of cloud channels and alliances at Canonical. "The AMD-Canonical OpenStack solution bundle will help drive increased velocity for clients seeking to leverage scale-out cloud technology for next generation workloads." 

In conjunction with OpenStack Summit late last year, the OpenStack Foundation released the results of a broad user survey it did, and it showed that more than half of OpenStack deployments are built on top of Ubuntu. Canonical is becoming ever more focused on the relationship between Ubuntu and OpenStack.

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SUSE Parent Merger, Microsoft Copying Linux, and Predictions

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 03:30:25 AM

Today in Linux news SUSE owner, The Attachmate Group, announced a merger with Micro Focus leaving openSUSE users nervous. The Register says the new Microsoft Windows 9 is incorporating features long in use in Linux. Bryan Lunduke looked back at 23 years of Linux predictions to "make fun of them." Aaron Seigo, KDE developer, said recently that community managers are a "fraud and farce." And finally today, there is a release candidate for Fedora 21 Alpha!

Our top story tonight is the news that Novell parent company The Attachmate Group, which acquired Novell in 2011, will be merging with Micro Focus as of November 3, 2014. The announcement doesn't say much more, other than this merger will help both entities reach a wider audience and more financial stability, leaving openSUSE users left wondering if their chosen distribution will still be around next year. So Richard Brown, Chairman of openSUSE Project Board, released a statement to alleviate any fears. He said Nils Brauckmann, SUSE President and General Manager, said first and foremost it will "business as usual" for openSUSE and that no changes are planned for either SUSE or openSUSE. Brauckmann said The Attachmate Group and Micro Focus are committed to openSUSE and Open Source software.

As Linux celebrates 23 years, Bryan Lunduke looks back at some of the predictions to have come and gone over the years. His first example was Andrew Tanenbaum declaration that "Linux is obsolete." Then he remembered when Trae McCombs predicted in 1999 that Linux would put Microsoft and Apple out of business. Of course, his article wouldn't be complete without a discussion on the "Year of Linux Desktop."

Adam Williamson, Fedora Code and QA Monkey, today pointed to the announcement of Fedora 21 Alpha Release Candidate 1. This is good news for Fedora fans and may indicate no delay at this week's GO/NO Go Meeting.

In other news, The Register is reporting that leaked images of upcoming Windows 9 appears to have borrowed some inspiration, if not actual features, from Ubuntu and GNOME. Apparently, the feature is "multiple desktops" and looks a lot like "workspaces."

Softpedia.com caught KDE developer Aaron Seigo's Google+ post saying, 'The "community manager" role that is increasingly common in the free software world is a fraud and a farce.' He's received 68 comments so far.

techradar.com today posted an article titled Windows vs Linux: Which OS is best for your business?

Libby Clark has a nice article/interview on Qubes: The Open Source OS Built for Security.

And finally, here is Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 383, and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols takes an early look at Ubuntu 14.10.

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Facebook Launches Ambitious TODO Project to Improve Open Source

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 03:02:57 PM

Facebook's TODO project—which stands for Talk Openly, Develop Openly--is grabbing headlines this week as an effort to improve the way open source software is built and used. Over the years, Facebook has open sourced a number of its own tools, including Haxl, a library that eases access to remote data.

With TODO, though, Facebook is attempting to raise the quality standards of open source projects in general.

As PC World notes, the TODO project includes input from a number of collaborating companies:

"The TODO project aims to make it easier for a company or organization to get started with using an open source package, and also make it easier to kick off new open source development projects."

"The group consists mainly of the biggest online service providers, including Facebook, Twitter, Google and Box. It also includes Walmart Labs, Dropbox, Khan Academy, Stripe, Square and the open source software repository GitHub and others."

According to the TOD project site:

 "Open source is part of the fabric of each of our companies. Between us, our open source programs enable us to use, contribute to, and maintain, thousands of projects - both large and small. These programs face many challenges, including ensuring high-quality and frequent releases, engaging with developer communities, and using and contributing back to other projects effectively."

"The members of this group are committed to working together in order to overcome these challenges. We will be sharing experiences, developing best practices, and working on common tooling. But we can’t do this alone. If you are a company using or sharing open source, we welcome you to join us and help make this happen. We believe we can better improve our open source programs - and our contributions to the open source movement as a whole - by working together."

“TODO is a new open source collaboration formed to address the challenges that companies have encountered in consuming open source software and running open source programs,” Facebook said in a statement.

The company also announced that it will open-source mcrouter, a memcached protocol router used at Facebook to handle all traffic between caching servers. More about the tool can be found in a post here.

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Eucalyptus Will Bring Added Choice to HP's OpenStack Cloud Strategy

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 02:49:04 PM

Late last week, news broke that Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy cloud computing firm Eucalyptus, and HP intends to retain open source veteran Marten Mickos as a cloud computing lead. It's all part of HP chief Meg Whitman's pledge to pour $1 billion into HP's Helion cloud business.

Since the news broke, there has been a lot of discussion about exactly what HP is getting in Eucalyptus. The answer is that HP is getting a lot, because many enterprises want open source cloud infrastructure, but are also used to leveraging  Amazon-style cloud functionality.

It was all the way back in 2008 when OStatic broke the story about a cloud computing project at U.C. Santa Barbara called Eucalyptus. At the time, Rich Wolski and a team of university folks were focusing on creating a cloud computing framework that would be open source but include the feature set and feel of Amazon Web Services. Even early on, the Eucalyptus project was focused on implementing infrastructure for cloud computing on clusters that duplicated the functionality of Amazon's EC2, using the Amazon command-line tools directly. 

That duplication of functionality can make a difference for many enterprises that want the flexibility of an open source cloud platform, but have experience using Amazon's cloud tools.

HP's Helion Cloud Portfolio uses OpenStack for private and public cloud services. As Information Week notes:

"With the deal still unconsummated, Mickos said it was too soon to say how HP and Eucalyptus will manage their respective product lines. He disagreed that OpenStack had designed its APIs to be similar enough in function with Amazon's to ease the task of making them eventually interoperable. 'OpenStack APIs had similar thinking behind them [to Amazon's] but the implementation was quite different,' he said."

With Eucalyptus, HP can tune its Helion cloud line to offer users a choice of either using Amazon's interface, or not. Eucalyptus has also tuned its platform to work across an array of hypervisors, and many IT departments are deploying cloud computing platforms in conjunction with virtualization. They want to run multiple operating systems, and Eucalyptus' platform caters to that.

Eucalyptus's platform supports KVM which is an open source hypervisor owned by Red Hat, and KVM is the default hypervisor in OpenStack, which is at the center of HP's cloud strategy.

Not every aspect of what HP will do with Eucalyptus is clear, but it is likely that the Eucalyptus platform will give IT administrators added choice as they roll out hybrid clouds in conjunction with virtualization, and, in many cases, still demand Amazon-style feature functionality.

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Linus' Systemd Indifference, PCLOS Review, and Rebecca

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 03:36:18 AM

Today in Linux news Linus Torvalds tells Sam Varghese that he's Switzerland in the Systemd war as Paul Venezia is back to clarify his "split Linux in two" post and Linuxgrrl takes the community pulse. Jesse Smith reviews PCLinuxOS 2014.08. Clem has announced a change in naming protocol at the Mint project for upcoming 17.1. And finally today, Jim Zemlin talks about what it takes to be a successful Open Source project.

The systemd controversy has taken an interesting turn with today's interview of Linus Torvalds by Sam Varghese. Torvalds told Varghese "When it comes to systemd, you may expect me to have lots of colourful opinions, and I just don't. I don't personally mind systemd, and in fact my main desktop and laptop both run it." Torvalds said today's systems, both hardware and software, are too complicated for the old Unix "do one thing and do it well" and "everything is a file" philosophies. But he does agree with me about the logs saying, "I'm still old-fashioned enough that I like my log-files in text, not binary, so I think sometimes systemd hasn't necessarily had the best of taste." They also discuss a few other topics as well such as Btrfs, Git, and even the Torvald children's computer experience, so see the full interview for all that.

Speaking of systemd, Paul Venezia is back to respond to comments to his earlier post on splitting Linux into separate server and desktop distributions. He said:

I believe the time has come when a major, dedicated, server-only Linux distribution is needed. This distribution does not maintain any desktop packages or dependencies -- and is not a distro that merely offers a different default package set for desktop and server use cases.

To be even more precise, I do not want the consideration of desktop usage to impact my servers. Historically, Linux distributions were essentially servers that could run as a desktop if desired. Lately, however, a preponderance of Linux distributions focus solely on the desktop, and desktop requirements are taking precedence there and in other distributions. This changes the server-first approach, and that needs to be recognized.

Katherine Noyes gathered some of the opinions to which Venezia was responding. She found one that said, "This is a solution in search of a problem" and another that said this spitting-in-two thing has already been done. But I think blogger Alessandro Ebersol hit the nail right on the head when he said, "If they would only let sysinit or upstart or whatever be, there would not be so much backlash against them. But, no, Systemd must be the Highlander and cut the heads off everyone else." If users still had a choice, systemd wouldn't be an issue.

In other news:

* Initial impressions of PCLinuxOS 2014.08 (in today's Distrowatch Weekly)

* Linux Mint 17.1 codenamed ‘Rebecca’

* The True Measure of a Successful Open Source Project

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Despite Controversy, CloudStack is Alive and Healthy

Monday 15th of September 2014 03:22:17 PM

In a post last week, I took note of a big shakeup at Citrix, surrounding its cloud platform tools and the leadership behind them. Specifically, some important Citrix cloud executives (including General Manager Sameer Dholakia) left the company, and Citrix veteran Klaus Oestermann is now in charge of a newly formed cloud group. The the success of OpenStack has been cited as part of the reason for the shakeup, as Citrix officials have been questioned about touting CloudStack as far and away the most widely deployed open source platform in the cloud.

Now, though, there are signs that the open source arm of CloudStack overseen by Apache is healthy, and the project is unlikely to be disrupted by a shift in strategy at Citrix.  

According to an InfoWorld post last week:

"CloudStack is a clear alternative to OpenStack, which has won the market for open source cloud platforms. Of course, "won" is a relative term: OpenStack adoption remains low in a market largely dominated by commercial public cloud providers such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services, none of which is pushing either OpenStack or CloudStack. But at least OpenStack has the support of Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Red Hat -- by contrast, CloudStack has been left out in the cloud computing cold."

But a follow-up post notes this:

"As several CloudStack project contributors explained to me in a Twitter thread, the project is unlikely to even notice a change of strategy at Citrix. Just because the company donated the original code to open source, it doesn't mean it's still in control. Giles Sirett of cloud integrator ShapeBlue, a PMC member in the Apache Cloudstack project, explained, 'Seriously -- they have no 'role.' CloudStack is driven mainly by its users."

"In fact, it's doubtful that Citrix has ever controlled CloudStack. Granted, it's a huge organization, and there have certainly been projects at Apache effectively under the control of one company, but the Incubator process usually weeds out the worst examples. Those that remain are either tolerated for political reasons or have failed post-graduation. Either way, they eventually end up in Apache's "attic." But CloudStack does not seem to be in that category. Rather, it's a great example of the strengths of Apache's ideology."

What we're really looking at here is a classic example of how it can be very healthy for a commercial arm of an open source project--and the project itself--to go separate ways. Citrix is definitely shifting its cloud strategy, but the open branch of CloudStack overseen by Apache remains healthy, and we've seen steady upgrades to it.

If you need evidence, just take a look at the huge list of CloudStack users shown here.  That list aggregates users of the commercial arm with the open source users, but it's clear that the CloudStack community is far from folding.

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Google's Cloud Platform for Startups Offers Free Tools and Funds

Monday 15th of September 2014 03:08:09 PM

When the OpenStack Foundation released the results of a broad user survey it did late last year, one of the trends that emerged was that businesses could leverage the open source cloud platform on top of operating systems like Ubuntu and incur nearly no costs for the actual software infrastructure that runs applications. Cloud computing is reducing the cost of doing business for many organizations, especially many startups.

With that last thought in mind, Google is delivering a package to help startup businesses launch their business with free Google Cloud Platform services. Qualifying startups are to get a $100,000 credit for Google Cloud Platform services, in addition to 24/7 support from the company's technical solutions team.

Businesses that apply for the services and funding have to produce under $500,000 in annual revenue, can't have been running for more than five years, and are required to have taken less than $5 million in investments. Google Cloud Platform for Startups is targeted at early-stage startups that are already in a technology incubator or accelerator. Startups that have funding from VCs can also qualify.

To apply, startups can contact their incubators or VCs and ask about participation, or email CloudPlatformStartups@google.com to get them added.

 Google's announcement notes:

"Focus on building your product and don't worry about complex infrastructure. Google manages your application, database, and storage servers so you don't have to."

This sounds like a good deal for some cloud-focused businesses that are just starting out, and along with free and open source cloud platform tools, could lay the groundwork for promising businesses that don't have a lot of capital.

 

 

 

 

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Fate of Bodhi Linux in Balance as Founder Quits

Saturday 13th of September 2014 03:29:58 AM

Our top story tonight is the resignation of Jeff Hoogland from his popular Linux project. Michael Larabel is reporting that X.Org Server 1.17 will probably have built-in KMS modesetting driver. Matthew Miller speaks to ServerWatch.com about Linux development. The Linux Rain reviews The Journey Down: Chapter Two. Unixmen reported today that Munich is giving out Ubuntu CDs to its citizens to increase Open Source awareness. And finally today, Leif Lodahl says Open Office and LibreOffice should join (or rejoin) forces to combat proprietary office alternatives.

Jeff Hoogland, founder and lead developer of Bodhi Linux, today blogged that he will no longer be continuing with the project. Bodhi began four years ago and reached impressive heights of popularity being recommended by some of the biggest names in Linux. However, version 3.0 is way overdue and Hoogland says he just doesn't have the bandwidth to finish it or continue the project. The code is available at GitHub and Hoogland is hoping someone will volunteer to take over for him. For those currently using Bodhi, repositories will remain available until April 2015.

Leif Lodahl today posted that he thinks Apache Open Office and The Document Foundation's LibreOffice should join forces to help compete more efficiently with proprietary suites like Microsoft Office. It wasn't Lodahl's idea, but he says he agrees with this proposal of such. One quote states, "The current division between the two groups risks creating more instead of less incompatibilities." Lodahl, a Document Foundation member, says, "Combining the effort would naturally benefit the community." But as a consequence of licensing, code from LibreOffice can't be put in Open Office but Open Office code can go into LibreOffice. But why would LibreOffice want any of that old code anyway? They just spend 3 years cleaning the LibreOffice code base up. In related news, here's why TDF doesn’t do crowd-funding.

Matthew Miller is asking folks if Linux distributions have become too boring, according to Sean Michael Kerner. Kerner spoke with Miller in a video interview recently about the Linux distribution building process and how it's changed over the years and how it will change more going forward. "Over the past decade things have changed and the volume of applications that are available outside of Linux distribution have grown at an exponential rate." So Miller says the application is what's important and hopefully their plans to make it easier to contribute will help Fedora be less boring going forward.

In other news:

* Munich Is Giving Free Ubuntu 12.04 LTS CDs To Its Citizens

* The Journey Down: Chapter Two (review)

* X.Org Server 1.17 Likely To Have Built-In KMS Modesetting Driver

* Evil Linux Users Teach Mac OS X Fans How to Destroy System

* 7 Crazy-Named, Crazy Good Open Source Enterprise IT Tools

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Mozilla Delivers Adapter for Cross-Browser Testing in Firefox

Friday 12th of September 2014 01:50:47 PM

If you work with web content very much, you're probably familiar with doing debugging and content editing directly from within a browser. You may also be familiar with debugging and testing web apps across browsers.

For some time now, Mozilla has been focused on delivering tools for doing development tasks directly within Firefox. For example, users have been experimenting with WebIDE, a development environment for HTML5 apps built into Firefox. Now, Mozilla is offering an adapter that lets it connect the Firefox developer tools with Chrome and iOS to help developers test their web apps directly within Firefox.

The adapter is available in Firefox’s Nightly builds with the Firefox Developer Tools Add-on installed. It works with the current beta of Chrome (37) and Safari on iOS.

According to Mozilla:

"Developing across multiple browsers and devices is the main issue developers have when building applications. Wouldn’t it be great to debug your app across desktop, Android and iOS with one tool? We believe the Web is powerful enough to offer a Mobile Web development solution that meets these needs!"

"Enter an experimental Firefox add-on called the Firefox Tools Adaptor that connects the Firefox Developer Tools to other major browser engines. This add-on is taking the awesome tools we’ve built to debug Firefox OS and Firefox on Android to the other major mobile browsers starting with Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS. So far these tools include our Inspector, Debugger and Console."

"Nothing can replace on-device testing. But developer tools on devices have been cumbersome and vendor-specific. Cross-platform development involved learning and switching between all the different browsers developer tools."

"This add-on allows you to use your desktop environment to work on several small screen devices without using up precious screen space. You simply use the device and find out what is going wrong on your computer – regardless of platform and browser engine on the device."

Mozilla has made a video available that shows how the adapter works, which you can watch here. If you want to tinker with the tool, follow the Firefox Tools Adapter instructions to get started.

 

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In Buying Eucalyptus, HP Strengthens its Growing Cloud Muscle

Friday 12th of September 2014 01:36:02 PM

It was all the way back in 2008 when OStatic broke the story about a cloud computing project at U.C. Santa Barbara called Eucalyptus. At the time, Rich Wolski and a team of university folks were focusing on creating a cloud computing framework that would be open source but include the feature set and feel of AWS. That was long before the project gave rise to Eucalyptus Systems.

Now, Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy Eucalyptus, and it will retain Marten Mickos as a cloud computing lead. With HP's backing, Eucalyptus could become a bigger player in the cloud.

Mickos will report directly to Meg Whitman and is going to expand HP's Helion portfolio, a group of software products that run internal and external cloud services on the OpenStack platform. Mickos will be senior vice president and general manager of HP Cloud.

Mickos, of course, is famous from his time working with MySQL, and is a well-known figure in the open source community. 

Eucalyptus is underestimated by some in the cloud community. Early on, the Eucalyptus project was focused on implementing infrastructure for cloud computing on clusters that duplicated the functionality of Amazon's EC2, using the Amazon command-line tools directly. 

Even the name Eucalyptus has a university feel to it. It stands for Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems. Say that ten times fast.

Martin Fink, who has other responsibilities at HP, will stay in place, but HP has gained a powerful open source advocate in Mickos, and a flexible platform in Eucalyptus.

Meg Whitman has pledged to pour $1 billion into HP's cloud business, and buying Eucalyptus is a shrewd move from the former chief of eBay.

"The addition of Marten to HP's world-class Cloud leadership team will strengthen and accelerate the strategy we've had in place for more than three years, which is to help businesses build, consume and manage open source hybrid clouds," said Whitman, in a statement. "Marten will enhance HP's outstanding bench of Cloud executives and expand HP Helion capabilities, giving customers more choice and greater control of private and hybrid cloud solutions."

"Eucalyptus and HP share a common vision for the future of cloud in the enterprise," said Mickos. "Enterprises are demanding open source cloud solutions, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to grow the HP Helion portfolio and lead a world-class business that delivers private, hybrid, managed and public clouds to enterprise customers worldwide."

 Terms of the Eucalyptus acquisition were not disclosed.

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This Week's Fedora Delay, Sparky Review, and New SteamOS

Friday 12th of September 2014 03:23:03 AM

Today in the Linux news feeds is the migration of Turin to Ubuntu. The Mukt scored an interview with Monty Widenius. Fedora 21 is delayed again by another week and SteamOS got updated. The Hectic Geek recently reviewed SparkyLinux 3.5 with Enlightenment 18 and Jack Wallen asks if "convergence" is hindering Ubuntu.

Jack Wallen today said, "Usually, around this time of year, anyone who blogs, talks, or tweets about Linux and Ubuntu is on fire with speculation and feature lists for the latest-greatest Ubuntu release." However, this time the silence is deafening. Wallen says it's strange "considering what is supposedly on the way from Canonical and Ubuntu." He refers to the Ubuntu phone. He says Mir and Unity 8 need to be operational by October and, as it looks now, probably ain't gonna happen. On top of that, the last several releases didn't really have any new "killer features" and Wallen supposes "Ubuntu developers are phoning it in until they can finally release Unity 8 and Mir." This is causing Ubuntu to lose traction with its users according to Wallen who also said, "Placing all your eggs in the basket named Mir could seriously backfire."

Fedora 21 has been delayed yet again and for a week, again. It was decided in this week's GO/NO GO Meeting where what looks like the same blocker bugs holding up the works. So, now, the Alpha is scheduled for September 23, the Beta is expected October 28, and the Final should be released December 2, 2014.

Hectic Geek today posted a review of SparkyLinux 3.5 with E18. It's based on Debian Testing offers several lightweight desktop options. Gayan the Geek said, "SparkyLinux 3.5 E18′ edition boots reasonably fast, very lightweight, comes with a lot of applications and is responsive. However I did come across few software related issues." He said it's gorgeous but not "a pure E18 experience." He suggests folks wait for Bodhi 3.

In other news:

* There is no reason at all to use MySQL: Michael Widenius

* City of Turin decides to ditch Windows XP for Ubuntu and €6m saving

* SteamOS Now Based on Debian 7.6, Latest Drivers Integrated

* Retrogaming With Linux

* Dead Island Still Looks Like It Will Come To Linux

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Twitter and Other Tech Companies to Adopt Bug Bounty Programs

Thursday 11th of September 2014 02:59:56 PM

Twitter recently announced that it will give security researchers who find security flaws in its tools cold, hard cash, not just a pat on the back. The company is partnered with the existing bug bounty program HackerOne, which offers a minimum of $140 for each bug and has no maximum payout for bugs disclosed responsibly.  Meanwhile, Gizmodo has called for Apple to launch a bug bounty program.

These commercially-focused companies are taking cues from the successful bug bounty programs that have existed at companies like Mozilla and Google for years. The trend will only continue, and leverages principles that come from the open source community.

Bug bounties--cash prizes offered by developers to anyone who finds key software bugs--have been steadily on the rise for several years now, with Google and Mozilla increasing their bug bounty programs.  In fact, Google has been setting new records with the bounties it offers for meaningful bugs and confirmed last year that it paid out more than $31,000 to a single security researcher who identified three Google Chrome bugs.

In a post several months ago, Google confirmed that bugs previously rewarded at the $1,000 level will now be considered for rewards of up to $5,000.

According to the Google Security Blog:

"The Chromium program is raising reward levels significantly. In a nutshell, bugs previously rewarded at the $1,000 level will now be considered for reward at up to $5,000. In many cases, this will be a 5x increase in reward level! We’ll issue higher rewards for bugs we believe present a more significant threat to user safety, and when the researcher provides an accurate analysis of exploitability and severity. We will continue to pay previously announced bonuses on top, such as those for providing a patch or finding an issue in a critical piece of open source software."

Google is hardly the only open source organization focused on bug bounties. Funambol had lots of success with its Code Sniper Program, and Mozilla has paid out many bounties for bugs tracked down in its applications. Other tech-focused companies, such as PayPal, have succeeded in offering rewards for bugs, too.

It is inevitable that top-tier tech companies like Twitter and Apple will take advantage of bug bounty programs. The bang for the buck is huge, and these programs leverage the community in a fashion similar to the “many eyeballs” principles that the open source movement is based on.

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Mirantis and Piston Deliver New OpenStack Upgrades

Thursday 11th of September 2014 02:45:17 PM

Mirantis, which has been expanding its set of training, support and development initiatives surrounding the OpenStack cloud computing platform, today announced the launch of Mirantis OpenStack Express 2.0. The offering now enables enterprises to deploy the most current OpenStack edition, OpenStack Icehouse as an enterprise-grade cloud service. The new release simplifies the setup process by providing a minimal Web form.

Also arriving now is Piston Cloud Computing's OpenStack distribution version 3.5.  It features commercial add-ons including support for Intel Trusted Execution Technology and a rolling-upgrade plan that is similar to how Red hat regularly updates its OpenStack platform.

According to Mirantis' announcement:

"Mirantis OpenStack Express 2.0, an on-demand Private-Cloud-as-a-Service (PCaaS), offers the Mirantis OpenStack distribution for enterprises searching for ease, reliability, agility, and zero lock-in in the cloud...To learn more about Mirantis OpenStack Express, attend a live demo, or sign up for a free trial, please visit https://express.mirantis.com/ or the OpenStack Foundation Marketplace."

"Mirantis OpenStack Express is the fastest way to get to production with a managed Mirantis OpenStack environment," said Adrian Ionel, Mirantis CEO, in a statement. "Enterprises no longer face the hassle of integrating hardware and software or worry over how to make OpenStack work. With Mirantis, they can focus on what they do best: building and running applications."

The new release of Piston OpenStack is billed as "a software product that automates the orchestration of an entire private cloud environment on x86 servers."

"By managing a group of servers as a single pool of elastic and scalable computing resources, Piston OpenStack improves datacenter efficiency thereby accelerating the application development process," the announcement adds.

In conjunction with its product news, Piston also introduced an interesting  OpenStack TCO calculator that estimates the total cost of ownership of a Piston private cloud and allows customers to compare it to their AWS bills.

“For businesses in need of a scalable software development environment, Piston OpenStack provides the same ease of use and developer-centric features as AWS without the high price tag or security concerns,” said Jim Morrisroe, CEO of Piston, in a statement. “If your AWS bill has gone off the rails or public cloud isn’t a fit for your business’ regulated environment, then Piston OpenStack is for you. Unlike traditional on-premise solutions, Piston OpenStack is so easy to deploy and manage that your complete app dev environment can be built in a single day and virtually no ongoing operations support is required.” 

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GNOME vs KDE, Linux Myths, and the Linux Toilet

Thursday 11th of September 2014 03:37:02 AM

In tonight's Linux news Matt Hartley dispels those persistent Linux myths. Bruce Byfield uses KDE and GNOME projects' financial statements to analyze their priorities and direction. Ubuntu community wallpapers for 14.10 are beginning to be chosen and some guy built a Linux toilet in hopes of getting a job.

In our top story tonight, Thomas Ruecker recently got "rightsized" out of his job and to show off his skills, he built a smart-toilet powered by a BeagleBoard and Linux. It apparently monitors the amount of water used and tweets it out for folks to ponder. It's a drop in the bucket for the environment, but hopefully Ruecker can impress prospective employers with his skill and imagination.

Bruce Byfield says one can glean the direction and priorities of Open Source projects by following the money. He was comparing the last quarterly financial statements from KDE and GNOME and said you sure can tell the "two projects have very different practices and are in very difference situations." He goes through the details but summaries his findings:

KDE's bottom line has remained much the same since 2009, differing only 5-7% each year. GNOME has a recent record of reduced income and increased expenses, and, at the same time, is spending less on key items. While KDE seems likely to continue for the next couple of years in much the way that it has in the past, GNOME looks as though it may soon be forced to become more active about seeking sponsorships or else to reconsider its priorities and reorganize its daily operations.

Matt Hartley can not sit by while the same old egregious myths continue to circulate. He says, "This nonsense needs to be put to rest once and for all." One myth discussed is hardware incompatibility. Hartley said, "I grow tired of hearing how Linux hardware compatibility isn't as good as with Windows. This is so false I want to scream it from the rooftops! It's factually, without any question, a lie."

The one that really "bugs" Hartley though is "the belief that there's not any decent software titles for Linux." He says, "Obvious titles that might be missing for Linux would be MS Office and maybe, for some users, Photoshop. Generally speaking though, the software available for Linux users is fantastic."

In other news:

* Meet the 12 Ubuntu 14.10 Wallpaper Contest Winners (So Far)

* Freexian’s first report about Debian Long Term Support

* 3 Drupal education distros reviewed

* Will the packages you rely on be part of Debian Jessie?

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