The News from LinuxWorld New York

The latest incarnation of LinuxWorld has come and gone. Here's what you missed.

LinuxWorld was in New York this week and despite the blanket of snow and ice covering the majority of the state a few things were cooking in the Open Source space. But if you’re looking for ground-shaking announcements, you’ll probably have to wait until the Spring thaw. In brief, here’s what the vendors were pitching around the show.

IBM’s Open Client

IBM grabbed the lion’s share of the attention with two announcements, the first being the release of the company’s Open Client solution for enterprise desktops. Open Client is a collection of IBM products for Windows and Linux desktops that allow you to, as the release put it, trade propriety lock-in for open standards.

The apps include Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime (IBM’s instant messaging client), WebSphere Portal, and something called Lotus Expeditor. Lotus Expeditor is probably the most interesting piece of software in this bunch. It’s an an SOA toolbox, but IBM avoided calling it that in the release choosing to say it’s for creating “business ‘mashups’.” Very trendy.

Consolidating the Web-Tier

IBM’s big announcement was around virtualization technology for System p. IBM is pitching a server consolidation strategy for web server farms with a solution based on System p that can run several hundred virtual server images on a single system. The solutions come in three sizes:

  • The new IBM System p5 560Q rack of eight servers for high-end deployments (consolidates 320 Linux servers)
  • A 14-blade IBM BladeCenter-based system for mid-sized deployments (consolidates 140 Linux servers)
  • And, finally, a couple of 1U Express versions of System p5 for businesses with only a handful of servers to consolidate.

All systems are based on IBM’s POWER architecture and run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Novell’s Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux Enterprise (ISSLE) as the LAMP stack.

Open Solutions Alliance (OSA)

Also of note, was the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) announcing their formation. The goal of the group is to improve the interop between OSS products in order to better develop comprehensive business solutions. The alliance intends to differentiate itself from other groups by not focusing on a single project or product and instead intends to promote all business class OSS.

News from consortiums tends to be a bit ho-hum since getting sign-off from all parties involved on something really exciting is next to impossible. But one sentence in the alliance’s FAQ, I found interesting,

While individual vendors are seeing some measure of success, the open source software market won’t realize its full potential until today’s stand-alone products can be bundled into mission-critical software suites that are easy to deploy for business users.

OSA middleware suite anyone?

Microsoft-Novell Roadmap

On the opposite coast, Novell and Microsoft decided the that audience at the IDC Virtualization Forum would welcome the announcement of the company’s technology partnership roadmap better than the crowd at LinuxWorld. The companies are working on a set of Web Services standards for administrating desktops in a multi-OS environment and offered further details on their virtualization initiatives.

The virtualization part of the announcement is where the bulk of the work is being done. This project will allow SLES 10 to run as an “enlightened” guest on Microsoft Virtual Server. Which is exactly how you want to run Linux because, you know, Windows never crashes or anything… Big ups to the MS public relations staff for keeping conspiracy theories high by using vague terms like “enlightened.”

In other virtualization news, Novell and Intel announced in fairly clear language that they’ve managed to get unmodified versions of Microsoft Windows Server to run in SLES 10′s XEN environment. Which is exactly how you want to run Windows because, you know, Linux crashes or anything.

No, really.

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