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

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
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
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 settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
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.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO 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 over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we 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...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
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...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...