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Servers: Amazon, HPC and Red Hat/IBM

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Server
  • Stay classy: Amazon's Jassy gets sassy with Larry

    Amazon’s consumer business has switched off its Oracle data warehouse and will be almost Big Red-free by Christmas – at least according to AWS boss Andy Jassy.

    The claims – made over Twitter, so it must be true – were then doubled down on by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, who said that the database was one of the largest in the world, adding “RIP”.

    It’s the latest in a long-running war of words between the rival tech giants that normally sees Oracle CTO Larry Ellison smack-talking the online marketplace-cum-cloud vendor.

  • U.S Supercomputers Lead Top500 Performance Ranking

    The IBM POWER9 based Summit system has retained its crown that it first achieved in the June 2018 ranking. Summit is installed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and now has performance of 143.5 petaflops per second, up from the 122.3 petaflops the system had when it first came online.

    [...]

    Though China doesn't hold the top spot on the list, it now has more supercomputers than any other other nation with 227. In contrast, there are now only 109 systems on the Top500 list that are located in the U.S., which is an all-time low.

    That said, thanks to the enormous power of Summit and Sierra at the top, the U.S. is home to 38 percent of the total aggregate supercomputing power on the top500 list, while China's systems account for 31 percent.

  • Introducing Red Hat virtual central office solution: An open pathway to modern telecommunications services

    Digital transformation and technology modernization aren’t trends that are limited just to the enterprise world. Behind the walls of proprietary stacks, many telecommunications service providers also want to use open innovation to evolve their infrastructure and services in an agile, flexible fashion. But these closed stacks are a problem and one that extends from the core datacenter all the way to the central offices.

    Central offices are the local “hubs” of many telecommunications networks, often handling “last-mile” operations like telephone switching, copper, and optical terminations. These operations lean on purpose-built equipment that can be rigid and complex. Coupled with a lack of open standards, these devices can struggle to interact with each other, making the life of operations teams in central offices harder, especially in the face of demand for modern services expected from 5G. These differentiated services increasingly require virtualized environments and computing power at the network edge, leading to substantial demand for resources, flexibility and operational simplicity.

OpenStack expands focus beyond the IaaS cloud

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In Berlin, at OpenStack Summit, Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack's Executive Director, announced that this would be the last OpenStack Summit and it would be replaced next year by Open Infrastructure Summit. This is more than just a name change. It represents that OpenStack is evolving beyond its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud offerings to offering a full range of cloud services.

This isn't a sudden change. OpenStack has been expanding its offerings for some time. As Thierry Carrez, the OpenStack Foundation's VP of engineering wrote, in 2017 OpenStack started "shifting our focus from being solely about the production of the OpenStack software, to more broadly helping organizations embrace open infrastructure: using and combining open source solutions to fill their needs in terms of IT infrastructure."

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The mainframe returns – as a platform for large-scale Linux

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GNU
Linux
Server

There are several ways to build large scale Linux server environments, with x86 and public cloud being obvious ones. But there’s another option too, as I reminded myself when I caught up with Adam Jollans, program director for LinuxOne product marketing at IBM. LinuxOne is a solution built by IBM using the mainframe platform as its base, but it’s solely focused on running Linux workloads.

We discussed the way some organisations are using LinuxOne to keep mission-critical open source solutions running without service interruption and, just as importantly, to keep them secure. Typical workloads his customers run include core banking services – where resilience is essential, not just desirable – and similar solutions for Telcos and SPs. These are services that must scale to hundreds or even thousands of virtual machines, doing so both cost-effectively and without risk.

The characteristics of such mission-critical workloads clearly resonate with the traits of the venerable mainframe. After all, the mainframe is regarded by many, even those who have never seen one, as the gold standard for IT resilience and availability. Unfortunately for IBM, and arguably for the wider world, the mainframe is also widely thought of as being out-dated, expensive, and difficult to manage – even though this hasn’t been true for a long time, and is certainly not the case with LinuxOne.

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OpenStack vs. Cloud Foundry vs. Kubernetes: What Fits Where?

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Open-source cloud application infrastructure can be a confusing landscape to navigate with multiple projects, including OpenStack, Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. While there are some points of overlap, each technology has its own merits and use-cases.

Among the vendors that uses and contributes to OpenStack, Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes is SUSE, which also has commercial products for all three technologies as well. In a video interview with eWEEK, Thomas Di Giacomo, CTO at SUSE explains how the three open-source technologies intersect at his company.

"We see that our customers don't use a single open-source project, most of the time they to use different ones, with different lifecycles and sometimes they overlap," Di Giacomo said.

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IBM/Red Hat: Moving, Supercomputing and How IBM and Red Hat Will Impact Your Cloud Strategy

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Red Hat
Server
  • Moving house and moving applications are not the same. Or are they?

    As a Solution Architect I see my job as many things, from supporting customers in adopting Red Hat technology, educating organisations about using open source technologies and the benefits it brings, to thinking of ways to solve business challenges using technology and culture change. However, these are all generally in the space of “green field” app development. But what about all the systems keeping the business going today?

    The challenges businesses face in dealing with these “legacy” systems are complex, multi-faceted, involve many teams, and often businesses face knowledge gaps in how everything works together.

    In the public sector, where I work, this problem of legacy systems is arguably larger and more challenging, with the need for organisations to share information, outlined by things like Digital Service Standard. But, it’s worked that way for years, so why change it?

  • Red Hat at Supercomputing 2018: Bringing open source innovation from high performance computing to the enterprise

    All supercomputers on the coveted Top500 list run on Linux, a scalable operating system that has matured over the years to run some of the most critical workloads and in many cases has displaced proprietary operating systems in the process. For the past two decades, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has served as the foundation for building software stacks for many supercomputers. We are looking to continue this trend with the next generation of systems that seek to break the exascale threshold.

    SC18, a leading supercomputing conference, begins today. Red Hat hopes to hold conversations and share our insights on new supercomputers, including Summit and Sierra, nascent architectures, like Arm, and building more open computing environments that can further negate the need for proprietary and monolithic implementations. The updated Top500 list is an excellent example of how open technologies continue to proliferate in high performance computing (HPC) and highlights how the ongoing software optimization work performed on these systems can benefit their performance.

  • New TOP500 List Lead by DOE Supercomputers

    The latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers is out, a remarkable ranking that shows five Department of Energy supercomputers in the top 10, with the first two captured by Summit at Oak Ridge and Sierra at Livermore. With the number one and number two systems on the planet, the “Rebel Alliance” vendors of IBM, Mellanox, and NVIDIA stand far and tall above the others.

  • How IBM and Red Hat Will Impact Your Cloud Strategy

    Barring a heavy-handed approach to the recent acquisition, IBM and Red Hat can do some amazing things in the market.
    IBM is a long way from making physical machines. That part of the business went with Lenovo several years ago. So, what has been their focus ever since? Software and services. And, among those software pieces and services has been the cloud.

    Until today, you may have heard little about IBM’s cloud presence. Although I can assure you it’s there, it was really struggling to compete with the likes of AWS, Azure, and even GCP. Now, with predictions like those from Gartner stating that by 2020, 90% of organizations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities and that the market in general could be worth $240 billion or more – this was as good a time as any to really take a dive into the cloud management and delivery ecosystem.

  • Improved support information for RHEL on Azure: sosreport plugin updated [Ed: The author a "Microsoft MVP for Visual Studio" (Red Hat hiring them)]

The Ceph storage project gets a dedicated open-source foundation

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Linux
Red Hat
Server
OSS
  • The Ceph storage project gets a dedicated open-source foundation

    Ceph is an open source technology for distributed storage that gets very little public attention but that provides the underlying storage services for many of the world’s largest container and OpenStack deployments. It’s used by financial institutions like Bloomberg and Fidelity, cloud service providers like Rackspace and Linode, telcos like Deutsche Telekom, car manufacturers like BMW and software firms like SAP and Salesforce.

    These days, you can’t have a successful open source project without setting up a foundation that manages the many diverging interests of the community and so it’s maybe no surprise that Ceph is now getting its own foundation. Like so many other projects, the Ceph Foundation will be hosted by the Linux Foundation.

  • The Linux Foundation Launches Ceph Foundation To Advance Open Source Storage

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announces over 30 global technology leaders are forming a new foundation to support the Ceph open source project community. The Ceph project develops a unified distributed storage system providing applications with object, block, and file system interfaces.

Behind the scenes with Linux containers

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Linux
Server

Can you have Linux containers without Docker? Without OpenShift? Without Kubernetes?

Yes, you can. Years before Docker made containers a household term (if you live in a data center, that is), the LXC project developed the concept of running a kind of virtual operating system, sharing the same kernel, but contained within defined groups of processes.

Docker built on LXC, and today there are plenty of platforms that leverage the work of LXC both directly and indirectly. Most of these platforms make creating and maintaining containers sublimely simple, and for large deployments, it makes sense to use such specialized services. However, not everyone's managing a large deployment or has access to big services to learn about containerization. The good news is that you can create, use, and learn containers with nothing more than a PC running Linux and this article. This article will help you understand containers by looking at LXC, how it works, why it works, and how to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.

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Servers: Red Hat and Kubernetes

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Red Hat
Server
  • Cloudy weather ahead for IBM and Red Hat?

    The world is buzzing about the software industry’s largest acquisition ever. This “game changing” IBM acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion eclipses Microsoft’s $26.2 billion of LinkedIn, which set the previous record. And it’s the third largest tech acquisition in history behind Dell buying EMC for $64 billion in 2015 and Avago’s buyout of Broadcom for $37 billion the same year.

    Wall Street certainly gets nervous when it sees these lofty price tags. IBM’s stock was down 4.2 percent following the announcement, and there are probably more concerns over a broader IBM selloff around how much IBM is paying for Red Hat.

    This sets the stage for massive expectations on IBM to leverage this asset as a critical turning point in its history. Given that IBM’s Watson AI poster child has failed to create sustainable growth, could this be their best opportunity to right the ship once and for all? Or is this mega merger a complicated clash of cultures and products that will make it hard to realize the full potential?

  • A Slow Motion Strategic Train Wreck With The Color Blue

    IBM's high premium price for the Red Hat buyout places its stamp of approval on Linux cloud services while cheapening its own brand value.

  • Road to ansible-bender 0.2.0

    I’m pleased to announce that ansible-bender is now available in version 0.2.0.

    I would like to share a story with you how I used ansible-bender to release the 0.2.0 version.

  • VMware Buys Kubernetes-based Heptio to Boost Its Multi-Cloud Strategy

Evaluate Linux server distros for your data center

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GNU
Linux
Server

Most data centers include Linux, but there are many Linux server distros to choose from. Deciding which one is the right fit for your data center can be confusing, but there are three main options: Ubuntu Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CoreOS.

Linux is flexible, reliable, agile and secure, which makes it a strong contender for enterprises and SMBs. If you want your Linux OS to cover a wide range of use cases, you cannot go wrong with Ubuntu Server 18.04. This Ubuntu version is a long-term support release, and it's capable of serving large scale-out needs, as well as some more specific workloads, such as database servers, web servers, lightweight directory access protocol servers and OpenStack.

Ubuntu Server supports the ZFS volume management/file system, which is ideal for servers and containers because it includes all the tools you need for containers and clustering, as well as snap universal package support. It is also certified as a guest on AWS, Microsoft Azure, Joyent, IBM, Google Cloud Platform and Rackspace.

When it comes to Linux server distros, Ubuntu Server has many customization options and few system requirements. Ubuntu Server is terminal-only; you can install a GUI desktop environment, but that can consume precious system resources.

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Also: Docker invites elderly Windows Server apps to spend remaining days in supervised care

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