Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Harry Trott

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, 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. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, CTO and founder of Striim, will delve into four enterprise-scale, business-critical case studies where streaming analytics serves as the key to enabling real-time data integration and right-time insights in hybrid cloud, IoT, and fog computing environments. As part of this discussion, he will also present a demo based on its partnership with Fujitsu, highlighting their technologies in a healthcare IoT use-case. The demo showcases the tracking of pati...
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...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
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.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.