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Freedom to Innovate

Freedom to Innovate

If you're like me, one of the most interesting things about following Linux is being constantly amazed at how many radically different directions you can see it going in. For example, in the last 30 days I've talked to people about Linux applications running on platforms ranging from a massive cluster to a small, embedded system on a circuit board about the size of a stick of chewing gum.

Linux gives hardware developers much more freedom to innovate than they've had recently. By letting them directly inspect and modify the operating system they are porting to new systems, Linux allows hardware manufacturers to more easily adapt to creative, new designs. As a result we're now seeing an explosion of new systems all based on Linux.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Linux clustering. And in this issue, you're going to get some great information on the leading edge of Linux clustering. We've worked hard to bring you great information directly from the people involved in this groundbreaking work.

For example, Ibrahim Haddad (a LinuxWorld Magazine contributing editor) is here with a team of researchers to discuss the HA-OSCAR project, which he helped found. This is an important project that is finding applications in such areas as telecom and Web services, where the systems simply can't go down.

Few companies have jumped into high-performance Linux-based computing as deeply or quickly as Silicon Graphics (SGI). SGI has a history of technical innovation that they've brought to Linux with a vengeance. In this issue, we are fortunate to have Jason Pettit - one of the bright stars at SGI - going over some of the groundbreaking work they're doing. In his article, "Dissolving the Limits of Linux," Jason describes some of SGI's recent accomplishments, including unveiling a server that literally runs Linux on a single kernel instance across 64 processors. He even talks a bit about work they've done with NASA to scale Linux up to 512 processors.

There are a number of other articles on clustering as well as a collection of informative pieces such as John Terpstra's monthly update on the Samba project (John's one of the cofounders of Samba) and Mark Hinkle's popular Dr. Migration column. We're also fortunate enough to have Stuart Cohen (executive director of Open Source Development Labs - the organization that is the current employer of Linus Torvalds) provide us with an update on OSDL and what they're doing to promote Linux adoption worldwide. OSDL is continuing to grow and expand its influence, so this is something you won't want to miss.

We've already got even more great material on tap for next month. We'll be focusing on Desktop Linux - look for interviews with Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens (talking about his new UserLinux project), and Francois Bancilhon, CEO of MandrakeSoft. We'll also have a great interview with Jack Messman (CEO of Novell) on, among other things, how Novell suddenly got to be so cool again. It's going to be another great issue.

I hope you enjoy this issue - we're pretty proud of it. And as always, thanks for reading!

More Stories By Kevin Bedell

Kevin Bedell, one of the founding editors of Linux.SYS-CON.com, writes and speaks frequently on Linux and open source. He is the director of consulting and training for Black Duck Software.

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