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Case study: Clustering the penguins

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Linux

The humble personal computer has a well-deserved reputation as a giant-killer. After all, it was the virus-like spread of PCs which spelled the beginning of the end for the mainframe dinosaurs.

Because the first low-cost servers emerged from high-end PCs being asked to look after more than one user at once, it took quite a few of the diminutive workhorses to match the capacity of the mini-computers they were slowly but surely replacing.

At first, this was heralded as a good thing...

Systems managers cried out for fewer items of hardware to manage, and operating systems which made it easier to take advantage of the available power while ignoring the failed pieces of the puzzle.

Hardware vendors responded with ‘blade’ servers – simple plug-in servers which use a shared source of power and connectivity, and can be quickly swapped out and replaced should they fail. All that was required to complete the puzzle was the right kind of operating system, and both Microsoft’s Windows and various flavours of Unix offered the solution in the form of clustering.

Full Story.

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Imagine your company just acquired its competitor for $100 million. Now imagine the company’s most important asset – its proprietary software – is subject to third-party license conditions that require the proprietary software to be distributed free of charge or in source code form. Or, imagine these license conditions are discovered late in the diligence process, and the cost to replace the offending third-party software will costs tens of thousands of dollars and take months to remediate. Both scenarios exemplify the acute, distinct and often overlooked risks inherent to the commercial use of open source software. An effective tech M&A attorney must appreciate these risks and be prepared to take the steps necessary to mitigate or eliminate them. Over the past decade, open source software has become a mainstay in the technology community. Since its beginnings, open source software has always been viewed as a way to save money and jumpstart development projects, but it is increasingly being looked to for its quality solutions and operational advantages. Today, only a fraction of technology companies do not use open source software in any way. For most of the rest, it is mission critical. Read more

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