Thursday, January 20, 2000

Linux 2

In this report, I will tell how open source software and Linux can be used to reduce costs in the nature of hardware, software, and operating systems in the long term.
Large corporations have been open source for years and continue to use these operations. Small businesses are beginning to look at Linux or OpenSolaris. Small businesses can use VoIP, because the operating system supports it. The software is free, but people with Red Hat Enterprise Workstation/Server or Suse Enterprise Workstation/server or Ubuntu server purchase contracts for tech support. For best performance, you can use Gnome/KDE on Opensolaris distribution and it’ll run like closed source Solaris 10 would, and why it was popular in the first place. Otherwise, you can run Red Hat Workstation Linux and some commercial mature Windows emulator such as Crossover Linux which costs $39.99 instead of $139 for Windows XP Pro/XP x64/Vista Business/7.0 Business. Then, it is possible for employees to be able to execute Microsoft Office 2007 and other specialized software off their Linux workstations through emulators if need be. Otherwise, Administrators can compile Linux Unified Kernel, Wine v1.0, and integrate it into the Linux operating system manually to run Windows applications at no charge. LUK can run Adobe Photoshop on Linux, not native Linux software. [davidtavarez, 2008][Linux, 2008][ neteasyinc, 2008][Codeweavers, 2008]
Windows Server 2008/2008R2 or Windows Vista/7.0 cost money to purchase the OEM to license tech support. The closed source 3rd party software costs money for GPO tools, because companies who develop for Microsoft are usually trying to make a profit off customers. GNU is a non-profit organization with continuously updated applications, because of endless bug reports from all over the world. The major hardware vendors submit hardware drivers to the Linux kernel team to integrate free of charge. The IBM blade servers have Cell Broadband Engines or Cell-based PPC, and Linux recognizes that RISC CPU. Sometimes Blade Servers can have two CBE and XDR RAM in it. That’s like 7 SPEs and 1 PPE per CBE at 3.2 GHz. It makes these servers very fast. Closed source software won’t recognize CBE yet. There are places like South America and Asia that want affordable PCs and that is part of the reason. Another reason is the Department of Defense, and NASA are funding Linux so that the government can see stability for all their many supercomputers. (IBM, 2006)
With Suse Enterprise Server, you can run Apache software for servers which is open source. This is cheaper than Microsoft IIS to run MySQL. Suse Enterprise also supports DHCP, Postfix, DNS, IMAP, Samba, System Statistics (Uses MRTG), User management, Proxy Server. They serve the same file systems. Personally, I always used ReiserFS over EXT3, because it is noticeably faster than the latter. However, EXT4 file system is out in Suse Enterprise 11, OpenSuse 11.2, Redhat Enterprise 5.3, and Fedora 10 so I recommend workstations switching to that file system later this year. EXT4 is supposed to be the flagship file system of Linux as of either Fedora 10 or kernel 2.6.28 and better Linux so I recommend that best solution for workstations if you have either EXT3 or ReiserFS right now. EXT4 is more stable, faster and less fragmented than NTFS for Windows 6.0. Afterwards, Suse 10.1 switched back to the flagship Linux file system, EXT3 so the administrator had to switch file systems again for a speed boost. ReiserFS can handle a lot of small files better than EXT3 and is as mature as EXT3, because both came out in 2001, not including betas. High performance Linux servers use OCFS2 file system, because it’s faster than ReiserFS or EXT4. OCFS2 isn’t as forgiving as EXT3, EXT4 or ReiserFS when concerning unintentional power offs, is but the best server file system out there not in beta. OCFS is an option in most Linuxes since 2006. OCFS2 has also less latency than NTFS. (oracle, 2008)(devx, 2004),
The installers Linux have now-a-days makes installing a breeze especially the Yast Control Panel in any Suse distribution. The ideal way would involve a small army of technicians to execute this installing on workstations so the secret administrator password may stay secret. Someone should burn a DVD per PC with the passwords and file system instructions on paper. The company should make the employees to split the cost of a DVD spindle, use the Administrator and his network technicians install Linux off the DVDs at the similar times. Either way would save a few $1000 on otherwise buying Microsoft licenses and legit Windows OEM CDs. Pirating would be a type of security fraud holding the company accountable.
A lot of open source software is highly robust at an early stage of development and mature open source projects are setting new industry standards. In comparison closed source software has typically a defect report that needs to be filed and then a delay before the vendor determines when or whether to issue new bug fix. What makes open source better is users aren’t at the mercy of the vendor. The open source developers are pride and kudo driven so they want to have the most robusts software before adding features. The motivation to fix bugs is much higher if the source code is freely available. Another important reason why open source software can reduce costs is the stability. The closed source software can be outdated and assist an task, because if it works then end users aren’t motivated to spend more money to upgrade when it suits their needs. If a software supplier can establish a monopoly, force upgrades, than profits are high. One of the motivations is to add improved file formats and applications that can decode/encode them. Users will feel isolated with older versions. With huge amounts of server space, open source provides source code to compile an old version that is compatible with the business needs. Security holes are filled much quicker, because a third party can audit the vulnerability or exploit and send the reports and easily submit a report and expect a fix within 3 months. The GNU actually claims that Linux has less virus vulnerabilities in security breaches or hack attacks with a commercial firewall, because it is newer than Windows kernel in terms of years. Open Source identifies software that is being attacked, yet unlike closed source code will see vulnerability assessment scanners. Vulnerability assessment scanners look for vulnerabilities in configured systems on purpose. [gbdirect, 2008] [DWheeler, 2008]
In terms of Apache servers, open source software can reverse engineer a draft specification into the real product very quickly outpacing that of closed source developers and business strategy. Apache was used with IBM open source since 1998 and is more popular than Microsoft IIS on a year to year basis. The idea is when these open source projects source code is downloadable, it keeps companies from monopolizing file formats. Open source believes it is more business flexible than closed source software, because it allows any business to download whatever they need instead of having features from commercial software that is less than what the company needs. The company isn’t restrained by the software this way so that it is a specifically-built IT platform. The only over-dependency in open source is the requirement of upgrade to new versions that are more stable, faster, more backwards compatible with data formats. Important projects never die, and any group of programmers can resurrect a project if need be as it is passed on. A lot of how toos are documented at Linux vendors website, official forums, unofficial Linux forums, and vendor’s wikis so there is no shortage of support. Because the source code is freely available, organizations are not limited to obtaining support from the authors. The developers of Apache, MySQL, and high profile projects speak of the amount of high-reliability these software process that tech support isn’t a high profile priority even though the vendor does that job. (IBM, PDF, 2008)
With Linux on System Z mainframes, there is more efficient server platforms increased utilization rate, almost doubling from 36% to 79% compared to Microsoft IIS. Linux would reduce possible scalable servers resulting in power savings. Cutting edge applications, especially web-centric applications, are usually made for Linux first, because it is a product of the Internet. According to IBM virtualization today is more mature on RISC and mainframe platform than x86 servers. If Linux was employed, it would have less server footprints. Linux has better compatibility with unified user management available on RISC and mainframe systems. (IBM, PDF, 2008)
Linux is more compatible with high performance computing workloads. These replaced enterprise workloads. Linux has a 10% year to year growth now which is about 13.4% of worldwide factory server revenue. (IBM, PDF, 2008)
Mainframes like System Z have Integrated Facility for Linux processors to accelerate performance of Linux that runs on their servers resulting in the total number of Linux instances increased compared to Linux without IFL. If your system is still x86 based, IBM’s chiphopper program can provide economic benefits. Although, a business doesn’t really need chiphopper. The PowerVM Lx86 emulator will run x86 Linux programs without source code modification. (IBM, PDF, 2008)
With Linux running on System Z the annual savings for 100 users could be 60% IT infrastructure improvement, 25% user productivity improvement, and 14% IT staff productivity increase. Significant cost saves were realized in terms of power/cooling and space utilization with System Z mainframes. With Linux, the downtime was 53 minutes a year compared to five hours with Windows Server. IT staff were able to optimize resources, increase IT service levels, reduce staffing in datacenters and the help desk. (IBM, PDF, 2008)
Pretty much with the hardware reorganization like Cell Broadband Engine, the free updates, the LUK/Wine emulation and fast file systems over Windows; our company is better off cost, hardware and software wise. Linux will always get better, and with closed software, you never know when it’ll go in reverse as far as stability and functionality. Most likely closed software will be unstable at the beginning of the gone gold date, while open source software has no such limitation.
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