Book Review - Open Source Software: Implementation and Management
Have you ever had a friend ask you how to introduce open source within an organization? Although some may have outstanding answers for this question, few of those answers carry the credibility that top management might require. If, as projected, half of IT professionals in 2005 will consider open source, this might be a question we all will be hearing more often. It would be nice to suggest a credible resource where those posing the question might be able to find some useful answers.
Open Source Software: Implementation and Management, by Paul Kavanagh, may be that resource. Aimed at professional managers and implementors of information technology, Kavanagh provides realistic discussions of the key topics an organization must consider before jumping on the open-source software bandwagon.
For the generalists that Kavanagh targets, he provides a good history of software and open source. His breakdown of where open source is successful sets up the reader to consider fully the strengths and weaknesses of open-source software. The chapters covering opportunities for open source provide some of the best deployment ideas that an organization can choose. Throughout the book, Kavanagh provides references to many of the most important open-source alternatives. These references give readers useful starting points for further research and are accompanied by realistic reviews of the open-source projects.
Probably one of the most frequent questions asked concerns the cost of implementing open source. Here, Kavanagh provides a common-sense process for breaking down this question. One way he simplifies this issue is difficult to refute: "When compared with similar closed code systems, open source systems as a general rule cost:
Much less for software
No more and often less for hardware
If other things are equal, no more for anything else.
Of course, this excludes the staffing costs that typically represent over 60% of the TCO calculation. Therefore, Kavanagh accurately predicts that for now the staffing costs aggregated into switching and sunk costs will delay adoption of open source within most companies.
If an organization wants to participate fully in the Open Source community, they will want employees to contribute to or originate an open-source project. Although Kavanagh provides great advice about how to achieve this participation, too much detail is given concerning the way open-source software is developed and the various application architectures. This material may be beyond the scope of the generalists previously mentioned.
In many cases, Open Source Software hits its target well, but chapter summaries could simplify the key points and make them more accessible. Offering checklists, action guides and other quick references would allow managers and implementors to draw quick and immediate benefits from the book.
Recently, someone did ask me how to best introduce open source into his company. Top management was looking for guidance, and he needed some help. Other than a few links, I really couldn't help much, but now I would suggest Paul Kavanagh's Open Source Software, and rest comfortable knowing they were going to get their questions answered.
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.
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- 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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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