Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Automic Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Linux.SYS-CON.com's Mark Hinkle: Confidence in Open Source

"I am a believer in Linux as an enterprise solution."

Mark Hinkle (pictured), editor-in-chief of LinuxWorld Magazine, writes: I recently attended a concert with a friend and one of his clients. My friend runs a storage practice for a systems integrator and his client works as an IT manager for a pharmaceutical company. During the introductions my friend mentioned to his client that I was "an expert" in Linux and Open Source. The IT manager made the comment, "We have a few boxes around but we really haven't gotten into Linux yet." I smiled and we continued to talk about kids, cars, home improvements, the typical topics that thirtysomething professionals in the suburbs gravitate to when socializing. However, the question remained with me, "Why was it that they have a few Linux servers lying around but hadn't gotten into Linux?"

Obviously he had some need for the Linux servers otherwise why have them taking up space? I suspect that he, like many others, might be hesitant about moving into uncharted waters. I know that for years the saying among IT buyers was, "No one ever got fired for buying IBM." Then OS/2 came along and the saying became, "No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft."

Stepping outside of the solutions comfort zone provided by industry leaders brings an inherent risk that has to be offset by some potential benefit whether it's better performance or cost savings or both.

I am a believer in Linux as an enterprise solution. I have come to that belief through my own research, observations, and real-life experience. Those without that experience often need some kind of guidance. I think we all gravitate to things we know so what will help build the confidence to gain new experience?

In our May issue (Volume 3, Issue 5), LinuxWorld editor Greg Wallace asked who should be behind the Linux Get the Facts Campaign? The more pointed question is, "How should I make my decision to move to Linux and/or Open Source technologies?" It would be nice if there were a great and powerful oracle (not the database company though it's a big proponent of Linux) that could tell you if you're making the right choice by moving to this new technology. But there isn't and you don't know for absolutely certain, just as you don't know that by keeping Microsoft on your desktop or Solaris in your data center you won't be wasting your IT dollars.

So what it all boils down to is confidence. So I thought I would share a few facts that might alleviate some of your doubts in Open Source's viability.

  • The world's two fastest supercomputers are IBM Blue Gene systems. The faster of the two, BlueGene/L, is a joint development of IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and set the speed record this year with 136.8TFlops (that's 136.8 trillion calculations per second).
  • The Mozilla Firefox browser has been downloaded over 76 million times since its release and has taken 10.28% of the web browser market, according to an April 2005 study by Janco, with no formal company support for the product.
  • HP has shipped over one million Linux servers since 1998.
  • IDC forecasts that by 2008 customers will spend $9.1 billion on Linux machines.
  • According to Gartner, the research firm, by 2008 Open Source applications will directly compete with closed-source products in every software infrastructure market, and by 2010, Global 2000 IT organizations will consider Open Source products in 80% of their infrastructure-focused software investments and 25% of their business software investments.
  • A survey last year by Evans Data Corporation shows Linux has the security advantage with 78% of Linux developers saying that they have never been hacked.
You could probably find numbers that would make Windows or even a commercial Unix like Solaris attractive too. The point is they are all acceptable choices in the right circumstances.

So the mentality of being a Windows, Unix or Linux shop has to go away along with the fear that Open Source technologies might be inferior. That's hooey. Sure you can still run your whole company on Microsoft and be a Windows shop but only if it's the best choice for you, especially when you factor in convenience and the cost of training technical personal. You must strike a balance between the things that might be offset by licensing costs or security risks.

Whatever you take from this, remember one thing - you can be confident that Open Source software can provide as good or better an experience as you've had with your commercial or proprietary infrastructure.

More Stories By Mark R. Hinkle

Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.