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Open Source Cloud Roundup: Top Stories of the Week

Not to over-inflate the horse race nature of the cloud computing space right now, but this is an exciting time to watch the action as open source projects seek to compete with giants such as Amazon and the telcos. This week's Open Cloud Roundup of top stories illustrates just how much the industry is heating up this year, with The Linux Foundation's announcement of a new CloudOpen conference and OpenStack's recent accumulation of big-name partners. The week also turned up an interesting "how-to" and a product launch for building your own private cloud with Debian.
 OpenCloudRoundup2

Linux Foundation To Host Open Source Cloud Conference “CloudOpen”, TechCrunch
Of course, this was the top news of the week for us! As Linux Foundation VP Amanda McPherson stated in her blog post about the announcement this week: "The cloud and the open source technologies that comprise it are now reaching the point of maturity that this collaboration can truly benefit users." 

Top 10 Cloud Computing Providers of 2012, TechTarget
TechTarget’s list of top 10 cloud providers this year includes three open source projects, with one (care to take a guess?) taking second place. That’s compared with just one OS project on the list last year, a sign that open source is heating up in the cloud space. The list is also missing some noteable drop-offs from last year including IBM and Google.

OpenStack Optimism Overrides Confusion, Wired
Large companies are clamoring to participate in the project, but it’s still undefined. And many are asking who will be the Red Hat of the cloud? Hint: stay tuned for an interview here on Linux.com next week with a company that wants to answer this question.

Oracle And OpenStack: A Tale Of Two Completely Opposite Strategies, Forrester
This analysis from Forrester contrasts Rackspace and Oracle’s analyst conferences last week and highlights the difference in approaches between open source and proprietary projects. Who will win?

Deploy Your Own "Cloud" with Debian "Wheezy", Debian-news list
The open source project this week announced the availability of several new technologies that would ease the deployment of Debian-based clouds. Starting with the forthcoming release of Debian 7.0 "Wheezy", users will find ready-to-use packages for OpenStack® and Xen Cloud Platform (XCP).

Tutorial: Build a Private Cloud in Twenty Minutes, Sys-Con Media
Using OpenStack, set up devstack on a single server.

 

 

New data points to demand for Linux skills, training in Asia

With the Linux Foundation Enterprise End User Summit coming up on April 30, we revisited the data collected for our Linux Adoption Trends report to find some of the global trends among enterprise Linux users.

While the report published in January focused on large enterprises with more than $500 million in sales or 500+ employees, this previously unreleased data highlights regional trends among enterprise users in Europe and Asia.

For the most part the regional data showed similar patterns of adoption with large enterprise users. But one result in particular stood out.

More than 34 percent of 257 organizations surveyed in Asia cited finding trained developers and/or systems administrators as the top factor impeding Linux from having more success. That’s about double the percentage of large enterprises (17.6 percent) and European enterprises (16.3 percent) that listed finding talent as the top impediment.

Contrast these results with those of a recent Dice report that show demand for Linux skills in the job market reached a new high in April and you begin to see the need for more Linux training, especially in Asia. The data also jibes with Randstad Technologies manager Chris Mader’s suggestion that a huge opportunity awaits IT staffing agencies in Asia.

This data just scratches the surface of emerging trends in Linux enterprise use. For more insight and information on enterprise Linux we recommend attending the Enterprise End User Summit April 30 - May 1 in New York. The event is also an opportunity to meet other users such as Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (see the video, below) that can help illuminate other development opportunities. For opportunities specific to the Asia/Pac markets, check out the LinuxCon Japan agenda. This event takes place June 6-8 in Yokohama.

 

Open cloud top stories of the week

With the OpenStack Folsom Design Summit happening this week, much of the open cloud news has revolved around OpenStack's growing list of partners and analysis of the open source platform's role in the overall cloud ecosystem. Here are six stories featuring OpenStack, its partners and its prospects.
OpenStackDesignSummit

NOTE: This round-up of open cloud headlines is a new weekly feature on Linux.com. What were your top open cloud stories of the past week? Please let us know in the comments, below, or email editor Libby Clark, lclark (at) linuxfoundation.org. 

NEWS: 

Rackspace launches new OpenStack based cloud portfolio, IT World
The new Rackspace Cloud  includes "cloud servers, databases, block storage, networks, and monitoring, as well as a new control panel." It's more scaleable than the company's current platform and will eventually form the basis of Rackspace public cloud offerings.

Ubuntu wants to be your cloud and data-center Linux, ZDNet
Canonical's AWSOME (Any Web Service Over Me) cloud proxy is a hybrid cloud solution that deploys over Amazon Web Services and OpenStack.

Ubuntu-friendly HP cloud enters public beta, The VAR guy
The soon-to-be-released HP Cloud platform is built on open-source technologies including Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS and KVM.  

ANALYSIS:

Where enterprise enemies hug, NYTimes Bits Blog
OpenStack has united fierce competitors such as IBM, HP, Dell and Intel against Amazon Web Services. These 'frenemies' will have to distinguish themselves beyond the software to provide custom applications and services at low cost. 

Why open source is the key to cloud innovation, InfoWorld
This article outlines the seven defining properties of open source cloud computing, with a focus on interoperability and portability. 

The (Re)birth of the Next Big Cloud Provider, Wired
Recent acquisitions by Dell, a new supporter of the OpenStack Foundation, make it a serious contender in cloud services.

 

Microsoft fields tough questions about open culture at the company

A flurry of press coverage came with the news two weeks ago that for the first time Microsoft had made the top-20 list in the Linux Foundation’s annual development report on top contributors to the Linux kernel. 

The announcement generated an audible buzz at the Collaboration Summit as well, where Microsoft engineers K.Y. Srinivasan and Tom Hanrahan presented “Microsoft’s journey to the Linux kernel.” They gave a technical talk, but much of the discussion revolved around Microsoft’s noticeable shift toward open source. And the pair fielded an intense round of questions from attendees, including kernel developers Greg Kroah-Hartman and James Bottomley.

Hanrahan began by asserting that Microsoft hadn’t done anything special to deserve the press attention. It was “just another company that decided to go down the path of contributing,” he said.

But the discussion opened wide when Kroah-Hartman didn’t accept that answer. To be fair, he said, Microsoft isn’t like every other company because it’s been “so anti-Linux.”

That attitude has been slowly changing within Microsoft, Hanrahan said, driven by customer demand for Linux integration. In fact, the biggest challenge Microsoft faced in the development process wasn’t resistance to Linux, but internal pressure to meet release deadlines. The Hyper-V team quickly learned that the open source community isn’t concerned as much with a company’s internal schedule but rather, with the quality of the code.

Hyper-V has benefited enormously from that extensive community exchange. Six Hyper-V drivers have now emerged from the kernel staging tree process with significant stability and performance improvements that expand what the drivers are capable of doing, Hanrahan said. And that was just the first phase of Microsoft’s work on Hyper-V.

The press attention and the obvious improvements to Hyper-V have also started to shift Microsoft’s internal culture to be more open and collaborative, Srinivasan said.

Has it also then, Bottomley asked, changed the way the Hyper-V group works to reflect a “more iterative feedback model?” And perhaps that model is creeping into other areas of the company?

“I’m not sure we’re there yet. But your feedback is important to help fix issues in a way that will help all operating systems on Hyper-V,” Srinivasan said. “We learned the hard way how best to deal with community comments and I suspect other companies have similar issues when they start working with open source.”

Overall, the presenters said, the community has been extremely helpful and welcoming throughout the past four years.

Said Srinivasan in conclusion: "Our goal is to make Linux a first-class citizen on Hyper-V."

 

Exclusive: Zipwhip to open source ‘Textspresso’ machine and release cloud texting for Ubuntu

It’s a pretty nice dream. On your morning commute, you send a text message to the office espresso machine with your order for a double Americano and the warm mug is waiting when you get in.

For Seattle-based cloud texting company Zipwhip, the dream is reality. Its engineers custom-built an espresso machine that takes orders via SMS using their own cloud messaging application. (Watch the video, it’s pretty sweet.)

To make this dream perfect, though, it’s got to be built with Linux. So we wanted to know: what’s the underlying technology?

Zipwhip CEO John Lauer quickly and enthusiastically responded, “we couldn’t survive without Linux.”

While the “Textspresso” machine isn’t for sale, it operates entirely on Java code and could easily be built with a Linux box, Lauer said. Zipwhip plans to open source the entire application and release circuit designs with Arduino code so you can build your own, he said.

But really, open source coffee serves as a nice demo for their true product, the Zipwhip Android app, which runs on a whole suite of Linux-based products.

Zipwhip sends text messages to and from your desktop or tablet – fully synchronized with your phone to delete messages or mark them as read – via the cloud. The four-year-old company now runs 150 virtual machines across three datacenters that handle nearly a billion text messages each month.

Its Linux infrastructure includes Ubuntu 10.04 servers; Couchbase/Membase; ActiveMQ; MySQL; Nginx; Cassandra for MMS and SMS messaging; MogileFS for external file attachments; Nagios; Keepalived; and OpenSwan.

Zipwhip is available now on Mac OS and Windows and the Linux app will be available in three weeks. Here’s an exclusive sneak peak at the Ubuntu application.

“We’re very proud of this, it lets you get your text messages popping up right on Ubuntu,” Lauer said. "We're huge proponents of the Linux community."

Zipwhip Ubuntu desktop application preview

When a text message hits your Android phone, it also hits your desktop with a text bubble.

Zipwhip Ubuntu desktop application preview

When you click reply, you get to type an inline message and hit Ctrl+Enter on your keyboard to quickly fire off the response.

Zipwhip Ubuntu desktop application preview

The Zipwhip app runs in the notification area of your Ubuntu desktop—the same place apps like Skype run.

When you first install the app you have to login. If you have not created a Zipwhip account or installed the Zipwhip app on your Android phone, you can click register to do so.

 
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