I’m happy to announce that the OPS East Blog is now the OPS Americas Blog. We’ve moved everything over to:

OPSAMERICAS.COM

We will maintain this site as a historical archive.  This will be the last post on this site.

The blogging team has grown by almost double, so look forward to seeing some very interesting and exciting new areas of articles and howtos on the new blog.

Blog Stats for opseast

In the last year, since January 3rd or so, we have amassed the following stats:

  • Total Views: 81,757
  • Best Day Ever: 3,065
  • Posts: 399
  • Comments: 206
  • Categories: 42

Thanks for a great run for this particular incarnation of the blog, we’re raring to go over at the Americas blog, so come see what’s happening.

Thanks everyone,

RossB

I recently had someone ask me about converting from Outlook Express (I nearly fainted, it’s been so long since someone admitted to using OE in front of me) to something more open source (great way to keep from getting a bunch of spam and viruses), and in my research I found a great couple of articles about converting to Open Source mail packages.

The first deals directly with converting from Outlook Express to either Thunderbird or Evolution (which worked great, they told me) and the next is for those converting from that beast from the land of insufficient light, Microsoft Outlook, Converting All Your MS Outlook PST Files To Maildir Format.

Personally, it’s been over 10 years since I was based on Windows email programs, and that only for work. Here’s to all of us who “survived” all those many years on pine and mutt.

Enjoy,

RossB

You can add another to the list of computer manufacturers who are pre-loading SUSE Linux… Shuttle. (Thanks to TrustedReview’s article for the heads-up). Actually, these new small form factor PCs are now available in the UK and Austria; and can be configured with your choice of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop or openSUSE.

Shuttle LinuXPCs with SUSE Linux Operating System is available immediately in the UK. Delivery to Austria also possible

Shuttle Inc., the market leader in the Mini-PC sector and manufacturer of Multi-Form-Factor solutions, is now also selling its Mini-PCs with the Linux Operating System in the UK. The two compact PCs made of aluminium can be individually configured in the official Shuttle Systems Configurator. They are delivered pre-installed and ready to connect and include the 24 months Pick-up-and-Return Service for reliable help in the case of a warranty claim.

Overview

So you’re working with SLES or SLED, and someone asks you if a particular package or product is supported. What do you do? Of all the options available, I refer constantly to the following pages and references to make sure I give accurate and helpful information to the querying person.

Where to Go

The top page I usually refer people to in this case is the Tech Specs section. On this page is listed SLES, SLED and Partner hardware and software support links. If I click on the “SuSE Linux Enterprise Server” link, I will reach the technical specifications page for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. We’ve seen this page in other posts, such as How Many ____’s Does SLES Support? – Part I, where we discussed Kernel Limits and File System Features.

The chief thing I want to determine when someone asks me about a particular package’s support is that we do include it in our distributions. I query the person about what version and patch level they want to know about, and then click on the appropriate link, which is listed in the paragraph below the menu tabs, “see the list of supported packages”.

This link leads me to the “SuSE Linux Enterprise Server Supported Packages page, where for example I will pick the link for “SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 for X86“, a PDF file that I can then search for a package by pressing Ctrl-f, and typing the name I’m looking for, either in my browser, or my PDF reader that popped up.

All Together Now

My example would be someone asking me if there is support for Mono (a Dot Net compatible server solution) on SLES 10 SP1, both on the X86 and System Z platforms.

Those PDF files will tell me very quickly that there is support all the way to Level 3 for SLES 10 SP1 on X86 and the IBM System Z Mainframe.

Hopefully this will help you determine quickly what packages are included in the various distributions and patch levels, and make it easier to find what level of support is provided for those packages.

Enjoy,

RossB

Watts Water Technologies needed to replace 1000 old shop-floor terminals with more flexible desktops. They ended up choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on Neoware thin client hardwares along with ZENworks to help manage the environment. You can also check out the Open PR blog entry for some info.  From the customer success story…

After evaluating several desktop and thin-client solutions, Watts Water Technologies selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop for use in a thin-client deployment, as well as Novell ZENworks to manage more than 1,000 desktops.

“Linux really shines and Novell has a great Linux strategy,” said Ty Muscat, Data Center Manager for Watts Water Technologies. “We have almost every platform imaginable and are moving more and more to SUSE Linux Enterprise desktops and servers. We like having an open platform with a lot of flexibility.”

The results:

“Without Novell, we would have had to invest far more to get anything similar to what we have with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop,” said Muscat. “The ongoing management and maintenance costs of other options would have been overwhelming for us.”

SUSE Linux Enterprise is designed for the enterprise. Part of what it means to be “Enterprise-ready” is to have “rock solid” components in the distribution which have been fully tested and can be supported. Unstable and unsupportable components/packages just won’t do. BUT… Every now and then, it’s necessary to run “the latest” version of a component of the distribution. Perhaps you have a new application which requires the latest java, or a new development library, etc. So you don’t want to have to wait until that “latest version” of the package gets fully tested and “officially supported”. You’ve got to have that new version now!

You could go to the source and compile your own package for SUSE Linux Enterprise – and while not difficult, it is still kind of a pain – and certainly a turn-off for many a new Linux user. A much better option is to simply visit the openSUSE Build Service and see if your desired package is already being built for SUSE Linux Enterprise. You’ll find builds for SUSE Linux Enterprise, openSUSE, -plus- several other Linux distributions as well… Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, … So save some time, and check to see if the package you need has already been built by looking here.

Want more info on the openSUSE Build Service, check out this good overview article and this blog entry. and of course the project site which includes other great info.

From the article:

Return on Investment… the holy grail of IT.

Simply put, ROI is defined as the “ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested”. One formula used to determine ROI is “net income plus interest divided by the book value of assets equals Return On Investment.“

In real terms, when you invest in a technology for your business, it’s about more than that. IT-related ROI often needs to provide cost savings, rather than generate revenue. In the case of virtualization for consolidation, this is often a simple calculation made difficult by many variables.

More here.

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