CrossOver Office Server Edition
Price: 25 clients for $2,407.50 ($96.30/client); 50 clients for $3,532.50 ($70.65/client); 100 clients for $5,595.00 ($55.95/client); 500 clients for $21,950.00 ($43.90/client)
Awesome installation program(s).
All software in one place, thin clients on desktops.
Support for Solaris clients.
Figuring out whether a file is shared on the network is too picky.
Price—for anything but an enterprise environment (their target) its priced out of reach.
I first heard the name CodeWeavers as I was lurking on www.slashdot.org one day. They announced a product to allow you to play Apple QuickTime movies within your browser using the QuickTime plugin for Microsoft Windows. I was skeptical, but as it was only $20, I decided to try it out. It worked so well, I ended up sending CodeWeavers an e-mail of praise and thanks. I didn't think it could get any better.
CrossOver Office is a similar type of product from CodeWeavers. Like their QuickTime plugin (CrossOver Plugin), it uses a patched version of Wine, the Windows emulator, to run an application. In this case, the application is Microsoft Office and several other popular Windows applications.
Several differences exist between CrossOver Office, and CrossOver Office Server Edition. In CrossOver Office, Microsoft Office and Wine run on your local computer. In CrossOver Office Server Edition, the application runs on an application server on your network. CodeWeavers tries to make the distinction as invisible as possible. MIME types are added to all of the default applications so file associations and links in web pages can be processed appropriately. After installation, when you double-click on a .doc file, Microsoft Word opens it.
Setting up the server was an easy process. My server sits in a dark corner of my office, and I typically walk over there only to put in CDs. That was no problem. SSHing to the server was enough to install and configure the software.
The application setup also was easy to do. There is a list of “supported” applications that you can install. I tested with Microsoft Office 97 and Intuit's Quicken 2001 Basic, as well as a newer version of Microsoft Media Player. I was surprised once again; they all installed without a hitch.
One of the coolest things about the server is it can generate RPM files to install on the client. And, if you use SSH, it installs them for you too. This is a system administrator's dream. I simply typed in the hostname of a client computer, and presto, it had Microsoft Office 97 and Quicken installed.
Using CrossOver Office is easy too. The installation process installed MIME types for most applications, so on filesystem browser the file is opened by the right application automatically. Word, Excel, Outlook and Quicken all worked without any problems. I even was able to connect to my bank with Quicken's on-line banking. Some applications did have issues, but they were predictable: Microsoft Media Player was not able to play video properly, and Internet Explorer had some problems with plugins.
The applications themselves also were usable. Running them on another machine did not seem to produce any noticeable performance degradations, even when two users ran the same applications. My network is 100Mbps and the server is a Pentium III 650. I was impressed that two separate versions of Microsoft Excel were running without any noticeable performance loss. Actually, the applications came up faster than I remember them loading with Windows installed.
The only downsides I noticed to using CrossOver Office Server Edition were in the SSH scripts themselves. When you open a file, the scripts try to determine if the file exists on the file server or on the local (client) machine. If the file is local, it sends a copy over to the server for viewing. If the file is on the server, you are able to edit it. But, I noticed that it was not always obvious that the file should not be edited. When the file is copied, it is renamed to Temporary-Copy-Of-filename-######. Surprisingly, that is not always noticeable when you bring up a document. A few times, my wife (the unknowing tester) entered data into an Excel spreadsheet and did not notice that the file was a copy until she tried to save. If the file had somehow been marked read-only for Excel, so that edits were prevented, it would have been much nicer. Also, if the client's time drifts from the server time, the NFS vs. local file times may not match, which could cause a temporary copy to be made of a file that is on the server.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
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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- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
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- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
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