June 2007

The Burton Group’s Chris Wolf is interviewed by Alex Barrett about the Future of Virtualization, and some context creep results in a message that’s not true to Chris’s points.

Chris Wolf took exception, and the time, to write not really a rebuttal of Alex’s article, but let’s say a “firm clarification” of the points taken out of context in her article.

Both are a very interesting read for anyone who’s even slightly interested in the very active Virtualization marketplace. Regardless of who said what, the main point is that while VMWare is the clear leader now, Xen virtualization is catching up, and while it may not surpass VMWare, it will become a very viable option for enterprise virtualization needs.




In talking with several customers, it appears that your mileage will vary in terms of how long a laptop’s battery life might be if you run Linux. One thing’s for sure… making Linux more friendly towards power management is getting better and better. I can only speak of my own experiences. I’ve got a Lenovo T60p laptop, with an Intel Centrino Duo processor and I run SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP1. I typically get about 3-3.5 hours of battery life, and maybe a little less if I’m running wireless connections. What kind of battery life do you see on your hardware?

Obviously, the Linux community continues to work towards improving on this even further. Here’s a CNet article which talks about how developers are working on a “tickless” kernel which promises to make Linux even MORE frugal when it comes to energy usage. Additionally, here’s an article from SearchEnterpriseLinux.com that describes some of the collaboration between Novell and AMD related to power management.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to get 10 or 20 hours of battery life someday…

Once you get a good set of skills in system administration, or managing your application services, it’s a good idea to dive deeper into Linux’s many facets, particularly how you can tune and tweak performance of your systems.

One of my favorite guides for this is an IBM RedPaper, (IBM has RedBooks which are book or manual-sized treatments of technical topics, so therefore a whitepaper-sized set of content would then be a Red… well, you get the idea), called “Linux Performance and Tuning Guidelines“.

This is a very informative document, including such details as:

  • The lifecycyle of a process
  • How threads are created and what they contain
  • The Linux Memory Architecture
  • Linux File Systems
  • I/O and Networking Subsystems
  • Performance Metrics

The guide goes on to show you the monitoring tools available to all Linux distros, some benchmarking tools, how to analyze performance bottlenecks and how to tune the operating system to reduce those bottlenecks.

Seriously useful and highly recommended read for anyone who is responsible for a Linux system.



Great article recapping the state of Education and Open Source, the distribution players, the add-ons available and some good explanations of some complex topics that affect Education customers. Recommended.


P.S.  From the Founder of the Free Software Foundation; Richard Stallman comes an article about how Schools should use exclusively open software.

WOW, I want one of these. A company from France by the name of Calao Systems has come up with a complete Linux PC that fits into a slightly bulky USB Key form factor. Measuring 3.3×1.4 inches and sporting an ARM Processor, 256MB RAM, an Ethernet port and 2 USB ports, it also has a 50 pin expansion port.

Talk about your awesome Cyber-cafe security tool, you’d know no one was snooping on you if you booted their computer with your own version of Linux (SUSE, of course!) from a USB key that looks like this one:

Of course there are distributions of Linux that will FIT on a USB Key, but so far this is the smallest Linux PC I have seen.


In one of those “a customer just asked me how the different word processors compare to each other” types of questions and answers, here’s a very helpful comparison of 14 word processors, including:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Wordperfect
  • OpenOffice.org Write
  • and 11 others.

I hope the authors of this comparison will continue to do the same excellent treatment for the rest of the Office suite components, the amount of detail is very helpful.



Small business customers and VARs who service those customers might be interested to learn that Novell has a new, linux-based, small biz offering on the horizon. It is expected to be generally available in September 2007.
The Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise and includes:

(from the press release…)

More than just a bundle of enterprise products priced for small businesses, Novell’s suite features a simple yet customizable installation process along with remote management capabilities so solution providers can remotely manage their small business customers’ IT infrastructures, thus reducing costs and improving service. The Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition also has a newly developed integration layer that makes it easier for resellers and service providers to integrate their specialized products into the solution. The suite is supported by popular business software applications certified to work with SUSE Linux Enterprise.

Next Page »