|By Mark R. Hinkle||
|December 22, 2003 12:00 AM EST||
Linuxcare recently announced the release of their Levanta 2.0 software, which configures and updates virtual Linux servers on the IBM eServer zSeries mainframe. I had the opportunity to speak with Linuxcare's president and CEO, Avery Lyford, about how they are moving forward with their systems management software and their goals as they establish themselves as a leader in the Linux on mainframe systems management.
Linuxcare prides itself on the ability to solve the toughest problems and provide value to the most demanding customers. Therefore their strategy has been to pilot their products in the financial and telecommunications sectors. After successful installations in customer sites in the industries with the highest demands, they expanded their target market to anyone running virtual Linux servers on the mainframe (IBM zSeries).
Levanta Value Proposition
Linuxcare is a software product company focused on reducing the time spent on repetitive tasks associated with change management on Linux servers, specifically those servers running on IBM's zSeries mainframe. In layman's terms, Linuxcare endeavors to accomplish three things:
- Make system administrators more productive by crystallizing the knowledge needed for repetitive tasks and automating these tasks through software.
- Reduce knowledge required for menial tasks and maximize skills reuse, allowing enterprise collaboration vertically but still maintaining overall control of Linux systems. Levanta enables the managed self-service virtual server environment because it can offer roles and permissions for server functions and it tracks changes for auditing purposes.
- Reduce planned maintenance windows, decreasing the number of unplanned outages through change management and rollback features. These features can make it possible to rebuild a server in minutes rather than hours or days.
Allowing System Administrators to Innovate
Systems administrators, a very highly skilled class of IT worker, have the ability to do a great number of things. Unfortunately, they often spend their time working on menial tasks like applying software patches, ensuring recoverability in the case of outages, and rebuilding servers after an unsuccessful upgrade. All of these functions are of critical importance but are seldom the best use of a system administrator's time. If system administrators could focus on enhancing IT infrastructure rather than maintaining it they would add to the company's overall bottom line. Levanta provides them with more time to improve and best utilize their skills rather than work on projects that least utilize their skills.
In a large enterprise it's often hard to complete projects due to centralized IT staff's ownership of the infrastructure needed by department or branch-level IT employees. IT staff often spend their time doing tasks on behalf of other departments, tasks that these departments would probably rather do themselves given the ability to enact their own changes. The Levanta framework allows delegation of individual systems based on permissions and roles. This allows smaller IT units to complete necessary tasks without being subjected to a central IT structure. It also allows the IT authority to have confidence that they have served their internal customer without shirking their ultimate responsibility for the systems they manage. Avery ultimately compares this to taking a cab ride in New York, in the sense that sometimes it's more difficult being a passenger than being the one driving the cab. Levanta allows the passenger (department-level IT personnel) to take action and "drive the cab" without the central IT authority worrying about the repercussions.
Rollbacks and Audit Trails
Levanta has the ability to provide rollback on servers. In an age when it has become necessary to constantly patch software and operating systems, the ability to roll back to the last working server version is important. By being able to restore a server to its last stable state quickly, administrators can reduce the length of unplanned outages. Levanta is a "safety net" in the sense that it can provide an emergency fix to servers and give administrators the confidence to make updates without grave repercussions. Not only is the ability to restore available, but also the speed to resolution is much greater due to the automation of data and state restoration.
The capacity to track historical changes is important for a number of reasons. With the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, largely a financial act, auditing of the systems that provide financial data has even greater importance. CIOs could be held liable if they aren't able to provide proof that they have taken due care to maintain these systems. Historical records on updates, patches, and integrity of systems are available through Levanta, which would be important to those IT executives concerned about accountability for their Linux systems. This data can also be handed off to an enterprise management console like Tivoli.
Levanta does more than just manage the OS; it manages the whole application stack, which means that it handles change management in not only the server OS but also in the services provided on the server.
Levanta isn't a tool that any IT department would deploy, but if you're running multiple Linux servers on IBM's zOS virtual server environment then it's definitely worth a look.
The Linuxcare team is led by a number of industry veterans with varied mainframe and virtualization experience. They have also forged partnerships with IBM, the vendor of their OS, which their software complements. Linuxcare has done a good job identifying a problem in many corporate data centers and developing tools to enhance the productivity of the system administrator.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Sep. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 439
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Sep. 1, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 136
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Sep. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EDT
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Sep. 1, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 474
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 1, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 909
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Sep. 1, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 249
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 673
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 321
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 229
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Sep. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 242
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
Sep. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EDT
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Sep. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 168
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Sep. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 147
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
Sep. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Sep. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 466
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 31, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 381
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 31, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 427
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 200
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 560
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 493