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Introducing CloudOpen: Why Now and Why The Linux Foundation?

I am pleased to announce CloudOpen, our new conference celebrating and exploring the open source projects, technologies and companies who make up the cloud. CloudOpen will bring together the open source projects, products and companies that are driving the cloud and big data ecosystems today and present best practices from the world of traditional open source.

You may be asking yourself, "Why another cloud event?" There are certainly no shortage of them, which isn't surprising given the nascent stage of an important new market segment. But  there was nothing that I felt focused on the open source technologies and the open source way behind the cloud.

This event began when developers from various cloud-related projects came to me and said, "We should probably be talking to each other." The Linux Foundation's role in the industry is to facilitate collaboration amongst developers, projects, companies and users. The cloud and the open source technologies that comprise it are now reaching the point of maturity that this collaboration can truly benefit users. Cloud infrastructure choice is also reaching the point of proliferation that users need to have a place to educate themselves on "open" as it relates to the cloud. And this isn't just at a source level: the conversation must include data policies, APIs and so on. The Linux Foundation can provide the neutral forum and the platform for this conversation on open to take place. 

I feel truly blessed to have assembled many leaders of cloud computing for the program committee:

  • Greg DeKoenigsberg, vice president of community, Eucalyptus Systems
  • Mark Hinkle, director of cloud computing community, Citrix
  • Gerrit Huzienga, cloud architect, IBM
  • Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer services, The Linux Foundation
  • Stefano Maffulli, community manager, OpenStack
  • Stephen Spector, cloud evangelist, Dell
  • John Mark Walker, director of communities, Red Hat

These indivuals represent the right technologies and also have the right background in open source to create a truly useful event. Expect content on cloud platforms, virtualization projects, storage, devops best practices and more. There will also be collaborative meetings between open cloud projects. 

I want to thank the platinum sponsors of CloudOpen who are supporting this work: Canonical, HP, IBM, Intel. The Linux Foundation is a non-profit who needs the support of companies to make collaboration possible. And in an event landscape where prices continue to climb, we try to make our events affordable for a broad group of people. These sponsors help us to do that. 

The CFP deadline is June 1 so please submit a talk if you would like to participate. Early bird registration ends on April 29th so please register. This year one registration gets you into both LinuxCon and CloudOpen. San Diego is truly shaping up to be an unforgettable gathering of the leaders behind open source. LinuxCon, CloudOpen, the Xen Summit, the Linux Kernel Summit, The Linux Plumbers Conference and more will all be there during the week. We hope you'll join us. 



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.

NOTE: This round-up of open cloud headlines is a new weekly feature on 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) 


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.  


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.


Linux Mint Debian: Now with Cinnamon!

There's a new Linux Mint in town, and something new has been added. Specifically, Mint's Cinnamon desktop is now part of Linux Mint's Debian Edition (LMDE). Mint giveth, and Mint taketh away. The 201204 LMDE release also says goodbye to GNOME 2.x, though users do have a transition plan one way or another.

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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."

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