Linux Containers Authors: John Mertic, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Derek Weeks

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

WatchIT Releases Linux Education Series

Learning about Linux

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
In general, I was pleasantly surprised with the value of the information in the series, with one notable exception. Each part stands on its own and some were better than others, therefore I'll review each one separately.

The Bottom Line: Linux at Work: Case Studies and Perspectives

This 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 Applications

I'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 Systems

Like 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 Environment

Reviewing 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 Linux

The 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 Series

When 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.

More Stories By Steve Suehring

Steve Suehring is a technology architect and engineer with a solid background in many areas of computing encompassing both open and closed source systems, he has worked with a variety of companies from small to large, including new and old economy, to help them integrate systems and provide the best use of available technologies. He has also taken a hands-on approach with many projects and frequently leads teams of engineers and developers, and has written magazine articles as well as a book on the MySQL database server. He has also performed technical editing on a number of other titles.

Comments (0)

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
Intelligent machines are here. Robots, self-driving cars, drones, bots and many IoT devices are becoming smarter with Machine Learning. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sudha Jamthe, CEO of IoTDisruptions.com, will discuss the next wave of business disruption at the junction of IoT and AI, impacting many industries and set to change our lives, work and world as we know it.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, discussed how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from millio...
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...