|By Steve Suehring||
|August 31, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
WatchIT, a rich media company that produces education on demand, recently released a six-part series of interactive programs titled "Linux Education Series," targeted at executives and others who would like to learn about the Linux platform and the world of open source. The series consists of six programs ranging from high-level overviews of Linux to some fairly specific steps for Linux security.
I recently had the opportunity to review this series. When taken as a whole, the series provides helpful information for viewers who want to learn about the Linux environment. However, some programs appear to be somewhat out of touch with the reality of the Linux and open source landscape. These programs hurt what otherwise is a valuable series of educational programs.
As reviewed, the series consists of six CD-ROMs (which require Windows in order to play) bundled into a CD folder. The titles are:
- Linux at Work: Case Studies and Perspectives
- Understanding Linux
- Linux and Database Management Systems
- IBM's Linux Development Environment
- Linux in the IBM Production Environment
- Linux Security for Mission-Critical Applications
The Bottom Line: Linux at Work: Case Studies and PerspectivesThis program examines three organizations that rely on Linux for some aspect of their business: Boeing, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Mindbridge Software. It provides a very helpful look at how Linux has been deployed at these organizations as well as some of the hurdles that these organizations overcame in deployment.
Technical Briefings: Linux Security for Mission-Critical ApplicationsI'm naturally skeptical of any program on computer security and even more so with a program on Linux and open source security. However, this program provides thorough coverage that's quite refreshing to see in this format. The basics of Linux security are covered but the program also goes much deeper than I had hoped. Briefly mentioned were things like LIDS, chroot, and kernel patches such as GrSecurity.
Any viewer who knows some of the basics of operating system security but wants to learn or at least get a grasp on some of the more advanced topics would be well served by this program. Since the programs in this series are around 45 minutes, you won't get the level of detail that tells you how to patch a kernel, but you can certainly gain insight into the subject and learn what your next steps should be if you're interested in learning more.
Technical Briefings: Linux and Database Management SystemsLike the program on security, the Database Management Systems program provides insight into areas of importance for the platform. Some of the popular database systems on Linux are examined, including MySQL and Oracle, and their strengths and weaknesses are discussed. Important distinctions are made for the viewer as well, including what to consider when choosing a database platform.
Technical Briefing: Linux in the IBM Production Environment and Technical Briefing: IBM's Linux Development EnvironmentReviewing these programs together seems acceptable because they're both geared toward IBM shops. IBM's Linux Dev Environment program included some good information on development in Linux, but its strong IBM focus makes it seem as if IBM is one of the central players in the development of Linux. While IBM is certainly a player, you can't help but think of all the development in the Linux and open source world that has absolutely nothing to do with IBM. I feel that the Linux Education Series would have been better served if it had included a more generic program, such as Development on the Linux Platform.
The Linux in the IBM Production Environment program was entirely IBM-centric, which should come as no surprise based on the title. Like other programs in the series, you can't help but question how this fits within the landscape of Linux and open source as they're deployed in the real world. For an organization that relies on IBM, this program would be a great benefit, but it may be of lesser value for those who don't.
WatchIT is a very responsive company and the two IBM programs were produced at the request of their customers. To that end, these are both helpful programs if you're working in an IBM-centric environment.
Straight Talk: Understanding LinuxThe final program that I'll review is Understanding Linux. The goal of this program is to educate viewers on what Linux is as well as what role it plays in the computing world. Unfortunately, this program seems to be more of an opinion statement than a statement of fact. For example, with quotes like, "I think it's fair to say that the open source community hasn't produced a great deal of technical innovation," the credibility of the information throughout the program comes into question. Many other opinionated statements are included, making the program less valuable and far from helpful in understanding Linux.
The program also offers to educate viewers on the security of Windows and Linux but fails because it provides misleading comparisons. The viewer is led to believe that he or she has been given an apples-to-apples comparison when in fact the comparison is only Microsoft-produced software against all open source software, regardless of whether the software runs on Windows and Linux alike; it excludes all other closed source software that runs on Windows. While the goal may have been to show that no operating system is secure, comparing all open source software to one manufacturer's products is misleading and says nothing about the security of either operating system.
If misleading information is given about security, the program also seems out of touch with the open source community in other key areas. For example, the viewer is walked through the reasons that organizations deploy Linux and open source technology. Included among these reasons are philosophy, availability of source code, security (which was discounted for Linux based on the misleading information given about security), IBM's influence, and, the most important reason cited, that Linux costs less than its competitors. Absent from these reasons is what many consider to be the most important reason for deploying Linux: Linux is simply better. Granted, for every reason that you could produce for deploying Linux, another person could produce a reason against. However, it's important to realize that the list of reasons given in this program is presented as factual, not as opinion, and is therefore incomplete.
Since the quality of the material in the series as a whole is good, it's unfortunate that the Understanding Linux program was included. I should think that anyone wishing to learn about Linux or the open source world would be better served by looking at Web pages such as NewsForge or Slashdot rather than viewing this program.
Summing up the SeriesWhen taken as a whole, the Linux Education Series offers some value to organizations considering Linux and open source. The majority of the programs in the series are quite valuable. However, the viewer needs to be aware that some programs may be of less value and that one program, Understanding Linux, is more of an opinion statement than a factual examination of Linux. I would like to see the second version of this series include a better program to help people understand Linux and open source, along with more generic versions of development in Linux.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 29, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 456
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 29, 2015 04:30 AM EST Reads: 482
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 372
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 590
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 336
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Nov. 29, 2015 02:45 AM EST Reads: 419
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 434
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
Nov. 28, 2015 08:00 PM EST Reads: 431
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 28, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 479
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 341
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th 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 cha...
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 554
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 28, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 408
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 28, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 417
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 517
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 28, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 316
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 199
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 28, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 442
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 28, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 332
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 28, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 255
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Nov. 28, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 736