Welcome!

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

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
Elon Musk is among the notable industry figures who worries about the power of AI to destroy rather than help society. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, embraces all that is going on. AI is most powerful when deployed across the vast networks being built for Internets of Things in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, healthcare, government and other sectors. Is AI transforming IoT for the good or the bad? Do we need to worry about its potential destructive power? Or will we...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media 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. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global 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. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud 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. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" 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. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze 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. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.