LinuxCon Coverage: Collaboration Can Change the World


Linux-foundationToday, Jim Zemlin (Executive Director at The Linux Foundation) opened LinuxCon North America in Seattle with a welcoming keynote. Here is a quick summary of this morning’s keynote addresses.

Addressing a packed ballroom, Jim Zemlin thanked the conference sponsors, promised “tremendous content” in the days ahead, and introduced two brand-new projects:

Through support of these and other projects, Zemlin described some of The Linux Foundation’s current goals:

  • Encrypting the Internet (through Let’s Encrypt)

  • Defining the portability layer of the cloud (with the Open Container Initiative)

  • Funding the timekeepers of the Internet by supporting NTPD

  • Helping improve the security and stability of the Internet (Core Infrastructure Initiative)

  • Supporting the open source community through many projects

  • Supporting learning through edX

  • Supporting diversity in open source (through Ada Initiative and more)

zemlin-2015According to Zemlin, The Linux Foundation believes that through projects like these “collaboration can change the world.” Zemlin stated that the reason open source is successful is because the people involved are unique. He said The Linux Foundation believes in developers and encourages participation at any level. Zemlin then showed a video describing the experience of Zachary Dupont, who wrote to his hero Linus Torvalds as part of a school project and was rewarded with a personal introduction.

Following Jim Zemlin were Dr. Angel Diaz (Vice President of Cloud Technology and Architecture, IBM) and Ross Mauri (General Manager, IBM z Systems), who presented the keynote: “Unleashing the Full Potential of Linux and Open Technologies​ ​to Fuel New Innovation​.” This talk set the stage for a major announcement from IBM that, according to Mauri, combines the best of Linux and open source with the best of enterprise computing.

Mauri announced two new IBM LinuxONE systems: the Emperor and the Rockhopper, which can scale up to 8,000 virtual machines or thousands of containers in one system. The systems feature a new “elastic” pricing approach and will work with open source software such as Apache Spark, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and Chef. Mauri, who was joined on stage by Mark Shuttleworth (Founder of Canonical) announced that IBM will distribute the Ubuntu operating system on LinuxONE systems. This announcement comes just as the industry marks 15 years of Linux on the mainframe. Zemlin then returned to the stage with Mauri for another announcement: The Open Mainframe Project.  As part of its role in this collaborative project, IBM will contribute predictive analytics code.

The Collaborative Economy Is the Future

The next keynote talk “How Collaborative Systems Are Reinventing Capitalism” was presented by Robin Chase (co-founder of Zipcar and author of Peers Inc). Chase described how open collaborative systems think of customers as member and co-creators, rather than consumers. She said these systems take advantage of excess capacity, which can be thought of as sharing, and she cited such companies as Airbnb and BlaBlaCar as examples.

Chase stated that the idea behind Peers Inc builds on taking advantage of certain strengths: the Individual (Peers) and the Industrial (Inc). She described these complementary skill sets as “swimming in a sea of excess capacity” that can be reached through in one of three ways: Slicing (as in the example of Zipcar), Aggregating (Airbnb), and Opening (as in data). Chase said that diversity is the basis of this model and that through such collaborative efforts, three miracles can occur:

  1. We can defy the laws of physics.

  2. We can tap exponential learning.

  3. The right person will appear.

Chase reiterated that “the collaborative economy is the future” and challenged the audience to consider examples such as the GPL, Creative Commons, and Blockchain as ideas on which to build a new sustainable equitable economy.

Next up, Marianna Tessel (SVP Engineering at Docker) presented “Full Sail Ahead: What’s Next For Container Technology.” She described how container technology is transforming the application landscape, and cited the example of bioboxes — a standard for creating interchangeable bioinformatics software containers. Tessel also described how container technology is evolving in two paradoxical directions: It is becoming more sophisticated with deeper complexity while at the same time becoming simpler and easier — like a cruise ship sailing smoothly over water with a complicated engine room driving it from below. Co-presenters Diogo Monica and Michael Crosby presented demos of Docker security in action.

These diverse talks made up today’s morning keynote portion of the conference. Other keynotes and many technical talks will be presented in the next few days and more coverage of LinuxCon is to come.