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The Cloud, KVM and NYSE Star at Our Upcoming Enterprise End User Summit

Today I am happy to announce the program and speakers for The Linux Foundation's Enterprise End User Summit (https://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/enterprise-end-user-summit). This is one of our most unique events, bringing together the biggest and most technically advanced Linux users with the vendor and Linux kernel communities. And, this year's event is really special for a variety of reasons: first, we learned earlier this year from our annual enterprise end user trends survey and report (http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/linux-adopt...) that the world's largest companies are adding more Linux over the next 12 months to support cloud computing and "Big Data." There is much to discuss and work to advance in these areas at this year's Summit. Second, we're meeting at the office of NYSE Technologies, and an amazing party is...

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The Compiler That Changed the World Turns 25

Last year, Linux celebrated its 20th anniversary. The kernel that Linus Torvalds started as a hobby project helped the Internet bloom, challenged proprietary operating system dominance, and powers hundreds of millions of devices. From hacker toys like the dirt-cheap Raspberry Pi to most of the Top 500 Supercomputers, Linux dominates the computing industry. But it wouldn't have been possible without GCC, which turns 25 today.

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What's New in Linux 3.3?

Sunday, Linus Torvalds released the 3.3 Linux kernel. In the latest installment of the continuing saga of kernel development, we've got more progress towards Android in the kernel, EFI boot support, Open vSwitch, and improvements that should help with the problem of Bufferbloat.

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Greg KH Readies for Collaboration Summit, Talks Raspberry Pi

Linux kernel maintainer and Linux Foundation Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman will be moderating the highly-anticipated Linux kernel panel at the Collaboration Summit in a couple short weeks. He was generous enough to take a few moments recently to answer some questions about what we might hear from the Linux kernel panel, as well as some details on his recent work and projects. Oh, and we couldn't resist asking him about the new Raspberry Pi.

You will be moderating the Linux Kernel panel at the upcoming Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. These are big attractions for attendees. What do you anticipate will be on the kernel panel's mind during that  first week in April?

Kroah-Hartman: Odds are we will all be relaxing after the big merge window for the 3.4-rc1 kernel. Also, the Filesystem and Memory management meetings will have just happened, so lots of good ideas will have come out of that.

This panel moderation role comes after two Q&A-style keynote sessions with Linus last year to celebrate 20 years of Linux. How does moderating a panel of developers differ from interviewing Linus on stage?

Kroah-Hartman: I will need to bring more than just one bottle of whisky :)

Seriously, it's much the same, but instead of just one person answering questions, there are three different viewpoints being offered, which can result in the conversation leading places you never expect. An example of this would be the kernel panel that happened last year at LinuxCon Japan, where the developers on stage got into a big technical argument with the kernel developers in the audience, much to the amusement of the rest of the audience. If done well, it can show the range of ideas the the kernel developer community has, and how while we don't always agree with each other, we work together to create something that works well for everyone.

You recently released Linux kernel 2.6.32.58 but cautioned that you would no longer be maintaining version 2.6.32 and recommended folks switch to Linux 3.0. Is there anything else you'd like to say about people moving to Linux 3.0?

Kroah-Hartman: For a longer discussion on the history of the 2.6.32 kernel, please see the article I posted recently. Almost no end user will be building their own kernel and need to know the differences here; their distro handles this for them automatically. But, for the technical user, they know how to build their own kernels, and moving to the 3.0 kernel release should provide no problem at all. If it does, please contact the kernel developers on the linux-kernel mailing list with their problems and we will be glad to work through it with them.

Can you give us some updates on the Device Driver Project and/or LTSI?

Kroah-Hartman: There's nothing new going on with the Device Driver project other than we are continuing to create drivers for companies that ask for them.  I know of at least two new drivers going into the 3.4 kernel release that came from this process, and if any company has a need for a Linux driver, they should contact us to make this happen.

LTSI is continuing forward as well. Our kernel tree is public, and starting to receive submissions for areas that users are asking for. I've been working with a number of different companies and groups after meeting with them at ELC 2012 to refine how LTSI can best work for their users. There will be a report at LinuxCon Japan 2012 in June about what is happening with LTSI since the last public report at ELC.

Have you seen the Raspberry Pi? Sold out in a day. Any chance you've gotten your hands on one? If so, what's your reaction?

Kroah-Hartman: I have not seen one in person, but will be trying to get one (I signed up for one as soon as it went on sale, but was too late.) It looks like a great project, much like the BeagleBone and Pandaboard, both of which I have here and use for kernel testing. Hopefully the Raspberry Pi developers can get their kernel patches into the mainline kernel.org release soon, so that it is easier for users to take advantage of their hardware.

 

As Data Grows, So Grows Linux

IDC recently announced its numbers for 2011 Q4 servers sales: overall server revenues are up for the year 5.8 percent, and shipments are up 4.2 percent. As The Reg reports, these shipment numbers are back to pre-recession levels.

What’s more interesting, though, is the trends that emerge from the very latest reporting quarter, Q4. Linux was the only operating system that saw a revenue increase in servers Q4, with a 2.2 percent rise. Windows lost 1.5 percent and Unix 10.7 percent.

IDC attributes some of that Linux success to its role in what the analyst firm calls “density-optimized” machines, which are really just white box servers, and are responsible for a lot of the growth in the server market. These machines have gained popularity in a space still squeezed on budget and that continues to be commoditized. But there are other factors at play for Linux’s success over its rivals.

Coming out of the recession, Linux is in a very different position than it was 10 years ago when we emerged from the last bubble. Today it's mature, tried, tested and supported by a global community that makes up the largest collaborative development project in the history of computing.

Our latest survey of the world’s largest enterprise Linux users found that Total Cost of Ownership, technical superiority and security were the top three drivers for Linux adoption. These points support Linux’s maturity and recent success. Everyone is running their data centers with Linux. Stock exchanges, supercomputers, transportation systems and much more are using Linux for mission-critical workloads.

Also helping Linux’s success here is the accelerated pace by which companies are migrating to the cloud. Long a buzzword, the cloud is getting real, right now. While there is still work to do for Linux and the cloud, there is no denying its dominant role in today’s biggest cloud companies: Amazon and Google to name just two.

The mass migration to cloud computing has been quickened due, in part, to the rising level of data: both the amount of data enterprises are dealing with but the also how fast that data is growing. IDC this week predicted that the “Big Data” business will be worth $16.9B in three years. There is a huge opportunity here for Linux vendors. Our Linux Adoption Trends report, shows that 72 percent of the world’s largest Linux users are planning to add more Linux servers in the next 12 months to support the rising level of data in the enterprise. Only 36 percent said they would be adding more Windows servers to support this trend.

The enterprise server market is a strong area for Linux, but it’s an incredibly competitive market. Together we’ll continue to advance Linux to win here. In fact, we’ll be meeting at the NYSE offices in April at our Annual Linux Foundation Enterprise End User Summit where some of the world’s largest companies will talk in depth about exactly the things I’ve touched on here.

Yet again we are seeing market winners are born from collaboration. And we have the numbers to back it up.

 
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