Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud

Linux Containers: Article

Getting Pot Odds from Open Source

"You Can Win Poker Without Having the Best Hand"

I'm a poker junkie.

Yes, the game that's been played at kitchen tables and on riverboats for the last 150 years. The game that American folk hero Wild Bill Hickok was playing in Deadwood when he was gunned down holding two pairs - aces and eights - since then know as the dead man's hand. The same game that has taken its place side-by-side with real athletic events on ESPN and has made virtual rock stars out of the guys that a few short years ago would have been considered to be living on the fringe of society.

What makes poker so seductive, at least to me, is that you can win without having the best hand. The only thing you need is skill and a "good enough" hand to play. Besides employing a great deal of skill, you must be able to grasp the concept and calculate the pot odds, which - initial investment or bet - are justified by the potential payout.

It may be a gross oversimplification but there's a certain similarity between Open Source and poker. In the seven-card stud game of Texas Hold'Em the best starting hand is two aces, one of the best drawing hands is an ace and king of the same suit also called a big slick (as is any ace and king of any suit), since it can yield an unbeatable flush or be used to draw to the best hand in poker, a royal flush.

I believe there are some similarities here. Microsoft software is like a pair of aces: it has a strong start on the desktop and an entrenched back office and data center presence. Then there's Open Source with its ace, Linux, and any number of Open Source projects as its king (Apache, Samba, Firefox, and OpenOffice.org).

This leads me to Linux on the desktop where I think there's a real opportunity. I find that most of the time Linux on the desktop is overlooked because Microsoft has the upper hand. It simply has a better starting hand though Linux has a very good draw.

The combination of Open Source development models and the market pressure for alternatives to the virus-ridden Microsoft platform are going to drive the Linux desktop into the arms of the disenfranchised PC user.

There's also a big event looming on the horizon - a new version of Windows that could coerce users into a hardware upgrade cycle to accommodate a new operating system that has potentially little incremental value over previous versions (until it's released we wouldn't know what to expect but can I point out the jump from Windows).

Despite the potential of this event, a mass migration to Linux isn't going to happen overnight. It's going to happen slowly and by the efforts of savvy IT managers looking to squeeze more value out of their IT budgets. When it's time to upgrade to the newest version of Windows a opportunistic IT executive will look at all his options and find Linux waiting to offer him an alternative or, at the least, a very strong leverage point to help drive his Windows costs down.

Adam Smith is probably turning over in his grave to see an industry, especially one as large as desktop computing, dominated by a vendor who controls 90% of the market. If you believe the conventional wisdom that efficient market competition helps regulate and drive prices down, then you are probably appalled at the virtual monopoly in desktop computing.

I was tempted to declare 2006 the year of the Linux desktop but that's happened every year since 2000 and it's getting a big old. Smart IT managers seldom take big risks by making sweeping changes. Instead they pick their spots and make changes at opportune times. When the opportunity presents itself and disruptions and acquisition cost are minimized, companies will move to the new Open Source systems and reap the benefits in spades (to use a poker analogy).

There are also thought leaders like Peter Quinn, the CIO of Massachusetts, who is breaking ground by mandating that his commonwealth's office suite vendor support open document formats to better utilize the tax dollars of his state.

The bottom line is that very seldom is the best hand presented to the IT executive. What will happen is that bit by bit value-conscious IT directors and CIOs will find opportunities to introduce Linux into their enterprise desktop infrastructure while small businesses, fed up with watching their limited profits fall prey to exorbitant software costs, will continue to evaluate and adopt Linux. So my hope in the course of 2006 is that new efforts like the Mr. Quinn's will be part of a trend rather than a shimmer of hope in the quest for open standards adoption on the desktop. This is really the first step in the quest for widely adopted Open Source desktops, so that every year can be the year of the Linux desktop.

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 (1) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
SYS-CON Belgium News Desk 01/28/06 05:06:01 PM EST

I'm a poker junkie. Yes, the game that's been played at kitchen tables and on riverboats for the last 150 years. The game that American folk hero Wild Bill Hickok was playing in Deadwood when he was gunned down holding two pairs - aces and eights - since then know as the dead man's hand.

@ThingsExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices t...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, 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...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – 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 results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited 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. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.