Linux is ready

February 3, 2008

Why Linux? Well, the answer to this question was given in detail by PK Mishra, Senior Consulting Architect, Novell India in his presentation titled ‘Linux for eGovernance solution.’ In this session, he explained where and how Linux can be used and how it is absolutely ready for government as well as enterprises. According to him, cost, choice, security and reliability along with standards, peer review, freedom, flexibility, no lock in, TCO, reuse, and ROI are some of the significant advantages of using Linux. Talking about government, Mishra said, “Government has a complex way of operating and the role of the government is far from profits. Government costs are critical factors and they have to do things at the optimum cost.” Some of the ways to achieve this would be to improve server utilization and decrease the cost of owning and managing the same; deploy solutions on high volume, industry-standard hardware architectures; leverage open source and open standards maximally; use validated solution stacks for optimum performance & reliability; and decouple services from hardware by virtualizing servers, storage and the network.

Further, talking about adaptive data centres, he felt that enterprise-scale IT services must be hosted in a data centre that dynamically reconfigures itself based on policies that adapt to changing conditions like spikes in workloads, unforeseen failures and exigencies. He went on to talk about some of the features of Novell’s Linux with regard to reliability, availability and scalability. Heartbeat 2.x, AppArmor and XEN were some of the technologies discussed by Mishra on the availability, security and virtualization fronts respectively. He gave details of AppArmor which creates a firewall around any Linux program and isolates it from the rest of the system and Novell Identity Manager which automates password management and synchronizes access to all applications. Talking about Linux management, MIshra said, “Linux management is extremely important for the government as they will grow exponentially in about ten years and for that, management in a systematic and policy-based manner is important.”

He elaborated on the issue of interoperability which is a prime concern and the initiative by Novell in this area. He even listed some of the successful Linux implementations in the government sector by many components of citizen services, Indian railways, Indian courts, Indian police system, and some public sector organizations (banks, oil sector, airlines). He cited the case of the Tamil Nadu Government that has adopted SUSE Linux as its platform for all of its Citizen-Centric Service Delivery and thus, Linux, Particularly SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell is absolutely ready for government projects.

For help with all of your linux consulting needs, contact The Tek, LLC and Brian Carpio at 877-4-TheTek

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Linux developer switches to Microsoft’s Windows Security Team

January 23, 2008

According to Microsoft, the company was able to win over the brains behind the AppArmor Linux security system. Crispin Cowan now belongs to the core of the Windows Security Team that developed User Account Control (UAC) and integrity levels. What motivated Cowan to switch from open source to closed source is still unknown. Microsoft’s Michael Howard is exuberant about his intelligent, open and “brutally pragmatic” colleague in his Microsoft blog.

In October of last year, Novell parted with Cowan and five other AppArmor developers, who had been brought on board in mid-2005 following the company’s acquisition of Immunix, which included AppArmor. AppArmor safeguards access by processes to system objects such as files and network ports by adding a control layer to the Linux kernel. You can specify via capabilities whether a program is allowed to open network sockets. This is intended to limit the effects of a breach in the system.

Novell repeatedly attempted to integrate app armor into the official Linux kernel maintained by Linus Torvalds, but came up against resistance in the developer community. The community’s reservations were primarily aimed at the process of identifying files by their names. Currently, Suse, Ubuntu, and Mandriva all use AppArmor. Red Hat uses SELinux.

After his departure, Crispin Cowan had planned to continue work on AppArmor with some of his colleagues – including Steve Beattie and Dominic Reynolds, whom Novell had also sacked – in a new consulting firm. It is still unclear whether Cowan plans to continue developing AppArmor parallel to his duties at Microsoft or he will discontinue work on it, or whether one of the big distributors will take over further development. Heise Security has yet to receive a response to an inquiry made of Cowan.


Sears.com to offer $199 Linux PCs

January 23, 2008

Linspire, Inc., developers of community desktop Linux operating systems, and Mirus Innovations, a North American PC manufacturer, have announced the availability of a $199 Linux PC that will be sold through Sears.com.

Available now, the $199 Linux PC (after a $100 mail-in rebate) features a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron processor, 1GB memory, 80GB hard drive, Freespire 2.0 and free CNR software delivery service.

“It is breaking price point barriers,” said Larry Kettler, president and CEO of Linspire.”It was extremely important [for us] to show how far the [Linux] OS has come and how useful the OS is for average users.”

Other features of the Linux PC include a card reader, a modem, CD-RW, keyboard, speakers and mouse. As well, it offers out-of-the-box file type and multimedia support, such as MP3, Windows Media, Real Networks, Java, Flash, ATI, nVidia and WiFi.

Freespire 2.0 also adds legally licensed proprietary drivers, codecs and applications in its core distribution, to provide a better overall user experience. Freespire is a community-influenced, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that is designed to be powerful enough for sophisticated Linux users and developers, yet easy enough for someone new to Linux.

CNR.com is a free one-click software delivery service requiring no registration to use. CNR.com users can search for applications by title, popularity, user rating, category and function. An open source client for each supported distribution is then used to add the one-click installation as well as auto-updating functionality.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Wins SearchEnterpriseLinux.com ‘Product of the Year’

January 23, 2008

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 has been selected as Gold medalist winner in the SearchEnterpriseLinux.com 2007 ‘Products of the Year’ awards, in the Linux Server Distributions category. This annual award is presented by the editors of TechTarget’s Data Center Media Group.

The ‘Products of the Year’ awards were judged by the SearchEnterpriseLinux.com editorial staff, in conjunction with a team of users, industry experts, analysts and consultants. Judging was based on six criteria, including innovation, performance, ease of integration into existing environments, ease of use and manageability, functionality and value. Judges characterized Red Hat Enterprise Linux as “a solid choice for mainstream computing,” and “a full-featured release that delivers on a range of roadmap commitments, especially for CPU support, drivers, virtualization and package updates and upgrades.”

With solutions that span from the desktop to the data center, Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers compelling levels of performance, security and robustness, and is certified by leading enterprise hardware and software vendors. Enterprise Linux couples the innovation of open source and the stability of a true enterprise-class platform.

“Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 provides our customers with industry-leading virtualization capabilities, an impressive deployment ecosystem and world-record setting performance,” said Scott Crenshaw, vice president, Enterprise Linux Business at Red Hat. “To be honored as one of SearchEnterpriseLinux’s ‘Products of the Year’ is a testament to the validity of Red Hat solutions.”

For more information about Red Hat, visit http://www.redhat.com. For more news, more often, visit http://www.press.redhat.com.