Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Automic Blog, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Mobile IoT

Linux Containers: Article

Intel Counsels Desktop Linux Movement

Does Intel Want To Be "The Man Behind The Curtain" For Desktop Linux?

Everyone knows Intel wants to sell processors but the question is does it really care what operating system is running on the chip? The answer is apparently yes. It's taken notice of the effect Linux is having in the IT market and it's reacting. For example, Linux has continued to grow as governments worldwide invest in Open Source software. These users want an end to proprietary lock-in (think Windows desktop upgrade cycle), to keep IT dollars local (OSS installed by local firms), and to reduce costs. According to a 2004 IDC study Linux is expected to be in use on approximately 17 million PCs by 2008 worth $10 billion in PC sales.

Intel has also taken note of ISVs like MySQL AB and JBoss, which have created new business models based on revenues from services and related tools. Intel is also looking to China were dollars spent by IT users could be allocated to hardware in lieu of proprietary operating systems like Windows.

An initiative announced by Intel in January heralded five new Intel platforms including Mobility, Digital Home, Digital Enterprise, Digital Health Care, and Channel Products. The announcement indicates that the new Intel will stop focusing on silicon and chip speeds and start focusing on platforms on which to build solutions including Linux. At Novell's BrainShare in March Intel marketing manager Matt Semenza offered a presentation called "Intel and the Linux Desktop" saying that Intel is working to ensure that Linux and Open Source software solutions perform optimally on Intel platforms.

Intel isn't exactly new to Open Source software. It's a co-founder of OSDL and Richard Wirt, general manager of Intel's Software and Solutions Group sits on OSDL's board. Intel's Matt Wichmann is chairman of the Free Standards Group's (www.freestandards.org) Linux Standards Base Workgroup (www.linuxbase.org/).

Intel has also let free software developers use Intel products that were formerly only available for a licensing fee, including Intel compilers, VTune analyzers, performance libraries, threading tools, and cluster tools. Intel was also an early investor in now industry-leading Red Hat so it can't be considered a Johnnie-come-lately to Open Source.

Intel has a realistic view of the forces at play in the desktop market. These forces include accelerators, which have both technological and economic components. It sees the evolving government policies favoring keeping IT dollars in country so American companies like Microsoft and Apple seem to be at a disadvantage where Linux can be substituted. Lack of choice in software has led to anti-Microsoft sentiment. Having a chance to choose between Windows and Linux makes more sense and prevents single vendor lock-in. The rampant propagation of worms, viruses, and other security risks are making desktop PC users take notice of less vulnerable or less targeted operating systems like Linux. On the other hand, the outlook for desktop or client PC Linux (an Intel moniker) isn't that rosy. There are significant inhibitors to Linux adoption that Intel hopes to mitigate like providing hardware driver support to making sure that its hardware is supported under Linux. It also acknowledges that there are feature gaps like a Plug N Play architecture that's as seamless as the ones Windows and Mac OS users enjoy on their desktops. Application availability is also a concern. Windows the long-time leader has many more applications available for its operating system. A shift in the market where Linux becomes more widely used will make it profitable for ISVs to start offering solutions on both Windows and Linux. And as the time comes for older applications to be updated, moving them to Web Services as Intuit did with its Turbo Tax for the Web opens the door to new operating systems. Finally, Intel participation in making sure that there's adequate validation and training in best practices will help to relieve potential Linux desktop users of doubts about the Linux desktop.

Intel's Linux Agenda
Intel is very aware of the spike in malicious software attacks, globalization, the increased need for technology mobility, and the driving demand for storage of traditional data like databases as well as digital voicemail and the like as a result of VOIP adoption. Intel is trying to drive the digital office through richer collaboration among PCs, data analysis, and mobility through pervasive connectivity. Intel has even put together a Linux Quick Start Kit for system builders offering drivers for video (Extreme Graphics Driver, Graphics Media Accelerator 900), LAN (Gigabit LAN, Marvell Yukon Gigabit Driver) and Audio (Intel High Definition Audio, AC '97 Audio Driver). These drivers are being supplied in conjunction with Novell's Linux Desktop.

Intel has committed to supporting key vertical market segments for Linux on client PCs including basic office automation, government, transactional enterprise, and education. Additionally, it's working with technology providers like Novell to develop robust Linux solutions.

Vanderpool and Multi-Core Processors
Until recently Intel has been using the codename Vanderpool to describe its new Virtualization Technology. This virtualization technology is expected to be available on the new dual-core Pentium D. It's expected that PC users will be able to run multiple instances of the same OS simultaneously. The next step, though not confirmed, could be to run Windows and Linux side-by-side using it.

AMD has launched its multi-core Opteron chip as well helping to usher in a new era of multi-core architectures. AMD has outlined the possibility of running multiple operating systems side-by-side using its new Pacifica technology, scheduled to be out in 2006. This technology will let different operating systems reside on the same hardware.

It means that Linux could start living on the same PC in harmony with Windows, setting the stage for an eventual migration to a Linux desktop. In theory it sounds plausible, that solution and a way to do a side-by-side comparison. The likelihood of the server market also pushing this trend is very good since speed is less a concern these days and more emphasis is being put on hardware utilization. Consolidating servers in a virtualized environment makes a lot of sense not only from a hardware prospective but the point of view of space savings and power consumption.

Summary
Bottom line Intel sees Linux as a valid platform not only for the server but the desktop. As a corporation that believe in investing in emerging technologies that compliment its products, it has chosen to promote desktop Linux and ensure its success. It obviously wants to be the platform of choice for Linux solutions. It will continue to push new innovative technologies like its Virtualization Technology while being involved in the Open Source software community. It's apparent from speaking to its staff that its approach is to help reduce risk and time-to-market for Linux solutions by lending its support.

SIDEBAR

Intel Offers Centrino Support
As much a personal peeve as a legitimate gripe about Intel was its lack of support for Linux on Centrino. Centrino is a collection of chips aimed at maximizing the utility of mobile computers with low power consumption by virtue of the Pentium M chip as well as wireless capabilities. However, things are changing. With the release of its Intel Pro/Wireless Network Adapter Drivers (http://support.intel.com/support/notebook/sb/CS-006408.htm), Intel has started to offer e-mail support on installation issues and it has started Open Source projects to help with its PRO/Wireless 2100 driver (http://ipw2100.sourceforge.net/) and Pro/Wireless 2200 BG driver (http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/). Centrino launched in March 2003 and an Open Source initiative started in 2004. Going forward it appears that Linux will supported as a legitimate desktop platform in Intel's eyes and if not there have been successful projects to work around the wireless problem like Linuxant's (www.linuxant.com) DriverLoader for Wireless LAN (www.linuxant.com/driverloader/) devices that load native Windows drivers under Linux to power certain hardware including the Centrino wireless chips.

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 (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
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze 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. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...