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New Linux Kernel Adds X32 ABI, Btrfs Updates

It's been a "calm" release cycle, according to Linus Torvalds, but the 3.4 Linux kernel released on Sunday still has plenty of interesting new features. Top of the bill? A X32 application binary interface (ABI) that will help provide better performance for applications that don't really need huge chunks of memory or 64-bit variables.

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Survey: Open Source Adoption Rises, Drives Innovation

More than 50 percent of all software purchased within five years will be open source, according to a survey released Monday by a collaboration of 26 open source companies.

This year’s “Future of Open Source Survey” results signal a tipping point for open source software adoption in the enterprise and non-technical industries such as automotive, health care and finance. In the auto industry, for example, 59 percent of the companies surveyed use open source software and 35 percent said they’re evaluating it.

Of the 740 companies surveyed, 42 percent said adoption in the non-technical segments was the No. 1 trend driving open source in 2012. 

“It indicates the maturing and awareness of the technology and its benefits,” said Peter Vescuso, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Black Duck Software, a survey sponsor.

Open Source Drives Innovation

That broader adoption creates a larger community for testing and feedback, a “virtuous cycle,” that’s driving innovation in cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, mobile and big data, according to the report. The innovation cycle is also giving way to new business models.

Industries are moving toward cloud computing, which is enabled by open source software, said Michael Skok, General Partner of North Bridge Venture Partners. Cloud, in turn, allows for more mobile and data adoption.

“All of these areas build on each other as non-technical industries look to solutions,” Skok said.

They turn to open source software to escape vendor lock-in, lower costs and increase quality, according to the survey. As further proof that the industry is maturing, this marked the first year that quality ranked among the top three reasons in the study’s six-year history.

“I see open source projects such as Drupal or Linux win more often because it’s the better technology, rather than just win on price,” said Dries Buytaert, co-founder and CTO of Acquia and President of the Drupal Association. “It has the better functionality because we’re a community driven innovation model. That means it has become the better solution.”

The combination of technology, development and business innovation is all coming from a more open and accessible community-based process.

“To call it open source software falls way short of all of these elements coming together,” Vescuso said. “I’d characterize it as open innovation.”

More interesting stats from the study:

Number of Survey Respondents in 2011: 455

Number in 2012: 740

41% Vendors
59% Non-vendors

Top Barriers to Open Source Selection:

Unfamiliarity with open source solutions 48%
Lack of internal technical skills 47%
Lack of formal commercial vendor support 35%

Factors influencing the choice of OSS projects for non-vendors

Project maturity 46%
Availability of commercial support 21%
Size of the community 20%

What aspect of OSS experience is most important to hiring decisions?

Experience with a variety of projects 35%
Code contributions 28%

Hot OSS companies

Red Hat
Enterprise DB


Open Cloud Roundup: Top Stories this Week

This week's open source cloud headlines yielded the not-so-suprising news that NASA will discontinue support for the OpenStack cloud platform it helped engineer. The reason? OpenStack is now receiving commercial support and the agency's funds are best spent elsewhere, according to Datacenter Dynamics. 

OpenCloudRoundup2Uptime: NASA to cut involvement in OpenStack
Datacenter Dynamics
The agency that was central to developing the OpenStack platform has announced it will no longer be involved in the project. NASA will also stop work on Nebula, the cloud infrastructure developed alongside OpenStack.

OpenShift PaaS Roadmap for Enterprises Outlined by Red Hat
Application Development Trends

Red Hat announced its open source PaaS offering for the enterprise, a competitor to VMWare’s Cloud Foundry. 

A Mobile Storm in the Cloud (Infographic) via AllTop
This isn't open source specific, but the connection between mobile computing and the growth of PaaS, the third largest cloud category, is interesting. PaaS is expected to grow 232% between 2010 and 2014. Who are the big open source PaaS providers? Red Hat's OpenShift, for one. VMWare's Cloud Foundry is another.

Open Source Cloud Computing: Could It Be Part of Your Next Cloud Project?
Midsize Insider
When does it make sense for mid-size businesses to use open source frameworks for cloud computing? Web and social applications are a good fit. Internal IT skills are a must, according to this article. And for many, it may be too soon. The article argues that security is still an issue for SMBs in cloud adoption, but a Microsoft study on cloud adoption disagrees.

Marten Mickos: Openness is Winning in the Cloud
The CEO of Eucalyptus says open source cloud startups are scaling in size with important customers and a large install base that make them competitive with closed source solutions.


Marten Mickos: Eucalyptus Opens Up Under Agile Model

As part of our ongoing focus on open source cloud, we talked with Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos about the commoditization of hypervisors, what’s driving his company’s growth and its plans to release Eucalyptus 3.1 soon, marking the company’s shift to a much more open development model. The interview is presented in two parts. Yesterday’s post covered the open cloud, the role of APIs and where open source cloud computing is headed.

Marten Mickos, CEO What’s driving private cloud (Eucalyptus’s specialty)?

Marten Mickos: The driving force now is agility. Companies need the elasticity of cloud to assign infrastructure resources on the fly to different applications and shift the workloads around. That’s why our customers do it. Cloud is a new piece of software on your servers so there must be a benefit to installing it. Agility is that benefit. Longer-term, cloud also gives better manageability and higher utilization. How much overlap is there between the surge in interest in big data and the open cloud movement? Is one influencing the other?

Mickos: I think both are driven by the large increase in the number of connected devices. The underlying trend is connected devices. How many new devices with an IP address are there? They produce a lot of data and have compute needs. They need clouds to run on and big data to be analyzed. You can run big data solutions on cloud platforms. That’s just a practical reality.  Is virtualization in the cloud going away? More companies are offering cloud services without the hypervisor. What does that mean for VMware and others?

Mickos: Virtualization is needed and useful but ultimately it will be compressed into the hardware, into the CPU. Sure you can do deployments that don’t use hypervisors and get some improvements in use case. But how do you maintain flexibility of your own virtual machine? I don’t think they’re going away but I can see them being commoditized.

But we shouldn’t think companies like VMWare are losing their business anytime soon. Although the technological change could happen fast, customer deployments happen slowly. They virtualization vendors will be able to monetize that for many years to come. And now they’re moving up the chain into PaaS and IaaS that they didn’t have before.

But with a hypervisor background you might not have the needed frame of thinking for building a cloud. A hypervisor is a single piece of software; it runs in one machine. A cloud platform like Eucalyptus is essentially a multi-machine piece of software.  It takes a different mindset to develop distributed systems.

Here’s an analogy: The world had hierarchical databases, and then someone developed a relational database. It wasn’t the hierarchical designers who came up with it, it took new guys. Where is Eucalyptus now?

Mickos: We are unique in the space in that we’ve had production use of Eucalyptus for over two years. We have taken a step into mission-critical uses and now have high availability (HA) in the product. What’s new for you this year and where are you headed?

Mickos: We are growing very rapidly. We shipped Eucalyptus 3.0 which is revolutionary in that it has features no other cloud service has. We signed a deal with AWS and have raised $30 million in capital a few weeks ago.

We have lots of customers going and that’s just the U.S. We’re equally active in China , India and Europe. We’re pushing hard on all those fronts and shipping software faster than before. And we have the financial funds to keep expanding. But it’s always hard to build a company.

The 3.1 release is coming out in two months from now. It will mark the transition we agreed on internally in terms of a new development model. We’re working now under an agile model and we’ll use Git and GitHub for our source code repository.  This marks a much more open model for how we develop our product. Does that mean Eucalyptus will be completely open source, or will you still reserve some aspects of your code for customers under an “open core” model?

Mickos: The platform is totally open, we will have plugins we give to paying customers. The good news is anybody can develop plugins so we’re a much more pluggable architecture and we’ll welcome that sort of development.


2012 Linux Foundation T-shirt Contest: Inspired by Linux

So much has happened recently in the Linux community to be inspired by. This is my second month as the Digital Content Editor for and as a newbie member I’ve already met so many amazing people and seen so many significant milestones pass just since I started.

- With the Linux Foundation’s Annual Development Report we learned that more than 7,800 developers from almost 800 different companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since tracking began in 2005.

Their contributions make Linux the largest collaborative development project in the history of computing. That’s pretty amazing, and inspiring.

- Linux Creator and Linux Foundation Fellow Linus Torvalds in April was named a Millennium Technology Prize laureate -- an honor considered to be the Nobel prize of technology.

Wow, am I proud to work in the same community as him.

- New advances are happening all the time, whether it’s Ubuntu’s recent 12.04, the soon-to-be-released Linux 3.4, OpenStack and the open cloud movement, Android seizing market share or the myriad other technologies and trends that form the Linux juggernaut.

You had me at Ubuntu.

Bottom line: This community is continually innovating and inspiring the next generation of Linux products and developers. The list of accomplishments is as diverse as the community that contributes to the success of Linux. I can’t help but be in awe, and I’ll bet you can’t help it either. That’s why we’ve chosen the theme of this year’s T-shirt design contest to be “Inspired by Linux.” Tell us:

How does Linux inspire you?

We invite you to take that kernel of an idea and turn it into an inspiring T-shirt design for the Linux community to wear proudly in our 3rd Annual Linux Foundation T-shirt Design Contest. The design can depict literally or figuratively the events or ideas that get you pumped up for Linux. It can have words, graphics, or both in whatever font and colors you like. Let Linux be your muse.

Submissions are due on June 8. (Submit your design and see the official rules and submission guidelines.)

This year we’re pleased to announce that two winners will be selected by the communty. The first place winner will be reimbursed $2,000 to be applied toward airfare, hotel and admissions to their choice of LinuxCon North America in San Diego, CA on Aug. 26 - 29, 2012, or LinuxCon Europe in Barcelona, Spain Nov. 5-7, 2012. Second place will be reimbursed $1,000 toward LinuxCon North America or LinuxCon Europe in 2012.

We’ve also taken steps this year to ensure a fair voting process. The Linux Foundation staff will choose the top 5-7 submissions from designs received by the deadline. The community will then vote on the finalists to choose two winners. Voters must be registered members of and must be logged in to vote. Only one vote per registered member is allowed.

First place will be awarded to the design that receives the most community votes and second place will go to the runner up. Winners will be announced on or around July 17, 2012.

Good luck! I can’t wait to see all of your designs. And if you're looking for more inspiration, check out our contest video:

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