How Linux Makes Companies Smarter
The new imperative for vendors is to give customers what they want and not bother trying to lock them into no-choice relationships. They've had enough of that, thank you. Mårten Mickos, CEO of MySQL (mysql.com), believes vendors like his can help raise IT consciousness. He says, MySQL successfully sells free software (MySQL is GPLed code) because “there is more value to code you can see than to code you can't see”, adding, “We are part of a huge community of customers and other developers who are all passionate about improving the code base. Every day we are proving it is possible to have a commercial relationship that benefits free software.”
That commercial relationship still is not one that happens between the tops of the vendor and customer bureaucracies. Among big customers it happens down among the middle tiers on both sides. For MySQL, that list of customers is impressive, and it includes Nokia, Yahoo, NASA, Silicon Graphics and Cisco. Jeremy Zawody, a self-described “technical yahoo” with Yahoo Finance, says, “MySQL will penetrate the enterprise similarly to the way (Microsoft) SQL Server did, but with much greater speed. MySQL is to Oracle as Linux is to Windows. It will slowly but steadily creep up the food chain, just like Linux has.” But when I asked Mårten Mickos if MySQL is competing with Oracle yet, he said no. “We complement Oracle far more than we compete with it.”
Still, we're at a point in history where the action is clearly shifting up the stack, from operating systems and applications to data. “We think it's the information age, not the operating system age”, Larry Ellison says. “The OS manages hardware; we manage the software.”
Because more and more of that software runs on Linux, Oracle has wisely chucked its long-standing OS agnosticism and repositioned itself, alongside IBM, as one of the world's leading “Linux companies”. Wim Coekaerts (otn.oracle.com/oramag/Coekaerts.html), head of Oracle's Linux kernel team, says “Linux is really, really important to Oracle. We are very much a Linux company.” He proudly credits the work his kernel development team has contributed to helping to make Linux “enterprise class”. There is proof in the customer pudding, too. Roland Smith says:
I would say that Oracle is probably the best vendor in the marketplace, in respect to Linux. When we told our Oracle account team that we wanted to put up an Oracle database on Linux, they were all over it. They really knew what they were doing. Within a week they had us in touch with their development folks back in Redwood Shores. They had good documentation. It was easy to put up. They were patient. It was easy to run, easy to connect to. We're very happy about it.
Smart companies naturally want smart relationships. Oracle seems to be doing a good job of meeting that market demand. It should help them continue to adapt to the successes of MySQL and PostgreSQL.
Like Oracle, other vendors will need to adapt to a world where Linux and its open-source companions serve as fundamental infrastructure for IT. That infrastructure is quickly becoming as standard as two-by-fours, ten-penny nails and sheetrock screws. Vendors always will be welcome to take advantage of that infrastructure and to contribute to its improvement; but their frame of reference will shift from the abstract to the concrete—from abstract playing fields to concrete IT projects where they have something useful to contribute. When that happens, and the software industry finishes growing up, credit will finally go where it's long overdue: to the smart people who used Linux to make their companies smarter, no matter what those companies bought and sold.
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide