But Wait, There's More
Novell Set to Launch SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 at LinuxWorld
The LinuxWorld trade show is in full swing as we go to press with this week's edition of The Linux Beacon, and Jack Messman, the chairman and CEO of commercial Linux distributor Novell, is expected to launch SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 at the event. Like the SuSE 9 Professional and Personal Editions, the server editions of SuSE 9 are based on the Linux 2.6 kernel and a similarly more current stack of open source middleware and applications software.
As we have been showing you in prior editions of this newsletter, the SuSE 9 server editions appear to scale a lot better and further than SuSE 8 did. (SuSE 8 was based on the UnitedLinux tweak of the Linux 2.4 kernel. SuSE 9 is based on SuSE's and now Novell's improvements to Linux 2.6.) SuSE 9 runs on Xeon, Opteron, Itanium, Transmeta, and VIA X86 processors as well as on Power processors from IBM. We'll give you the lowdown on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 in next week's issue.
Creator of Openexchange Server Takes It Open Source
You may not have known it, but Novell's SuSE Linux Openexchange Server groupware was not created by SuSE, but rather another German software company called Netline Internet Service. (We use SLOX as out groupware and messaging backbone, and we didn't know this, either.) Since being acquired by Novell, which has its own GroupWise groupware that it is porting to Linux, people have been wondering what Novell is going to do with SLOX. (I know we have been wondering that.) The answer seems to be that Novell is going to let it go open source through Netline.
At the LinuxWorld show, Netline announced that it would be releasing Open-Xchange, its version of SLOX, under the GNU General Public License as an open source program. By doing this, companies can now get most of the functionality of SLOX for free, and can even contribute to the future development of the groupware platform. The open source version of the code will be available by the end of August at the Open-Xchange Web site. The open source software will not include connectors to Windows client software, but these will be available for a fee by the end of the year, according to Netline. The Web-based client that is built into Open-Xchange can be supported on most browsers. (We know this from personal experience.) Open-Xchange will be available for SuSE, Red Hat, Debian, and Red Flag Linux.
Red Flag Uses Intel Compilers for Its Linux
Red Flag Linux, the upstart commercial Linux distributor based in China, says that it is the first of the Linux distributors to use the C++ Compiler 8.0 for Linux to actually compile its Linux operating system. Specifically, Red Flag Server 4.1 was compiled and tuned with the Intel tools, and moreover, the compiled server will include a 60-day evaluation copy of this Linux compiler from Intel.
The Intel compilers are said to offer better performance on Xeon and Itanium processors than the open source gcc compilers. The Intel compiler set includes C++ and Fortran for both Windows and Linux platforms. Neither Novell or Red Hat use the Intel compilers to compiler their Linuxes. But if the performance advantage is really there, then it probably won't be long before they do--provided the compiled code will work on Opteron chips, that is.
Xandros to Create a Linux Server Variant
Way back when, desktop application rival Corel had aspirations to become a Linux powerhouse, and it set about to create a variant of Linux based on the open source Debian implementation of Linux. Corel ran out of money in the summer of 2001 and pulled back to focus on its WordPerfect suite (which it acquired from Novell), and sold off its Linux biz to Xandros, which has created a consumer-friendly version of Linux that has the ability to run Microsoft Office applications in an emulation environment as well as supporting the open source StarOffice clone of Office. This week, Xandros is showing off its Desktop OS Business Edition at LinuxWorld, and it is also previewing its first server product, Xandros Desktop Management Server. This server program went into beta testing three months ago, and it has not been announced yet as we go to press. This server program, as the name suggests, seems to be a repository for desktop instances that can manage multiple configurations for different classes of users. Whether or not Xandros will offer a full-fledged Linux server that rivals Red Hat and Novell remains to be seen.
U.S. Army to Build Monster Linux Super
The U.S. Department of Defense's Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center today announced that it is buying a 10 teraflops Linux cluster from IBM. That machine will be comprised of 1,186 of IBM's two-way eServer 325 Opteron servers--not the new Nocona-based xSeries 236 servers that Big Blue just announced this week that compete against the eServer 325s. Those Opteron servers will use 2.2 GHz Opteron processors and will run Novell's SuSE Linux (probably a workstation version). The servers will be linked to each other using Myrinet interconnections and will have an aggregate of more than 11 terabytes of main memory. The Army plans to use this Linux cluster alongside other supercomputer gear to design and simulate weapons systems.
IBM Buys Cyanea for Systems Management Wares
IBM last week acquired a little-known private software company called Cyanea to bolster its Tivoli systems management software suite.
Cyanea, which is based in Oakland, California, and has only five employees, is a three-year-old company that has already partnered with IBM. In fact, IBM resells the Cyanea/One application performance management software as an adjunct to its WebSphere middleware, which Big Blue calls the WebSphere Studio Application Monitor, which is available on zSeries mainframes. Cyanea/One manages and tunes the performance of Java applications on mainframe and other platforms, as well as tuning applications written in the CICS transaction monitor and hitting IMS flat-file databases. The software also has predictive capabilities that allow system administrators to deal with problems before bottlenecks cause application performance to degrade.
IBM plans to integrate Cyanea into its Tivoli division, and it will hook deeply into the WebSphere middleware stack and eventually be woven into the Rational toolsets from IBM so that application coders can do deep performance analysis of applications on host-based systems like mainframes and iSeries boxes as well as on Windows, Linux, and Unix systems.
SCO Loses Ground in AutoZone, DaimlerChrysler Suits
The SCO Group has not gotten much traction in its first lawsuits against Linux and AIX users. The suits involve AutoZone, a Linux user, and DaimlerChrysler, an IBM AIX shop. SCO contends that AutoZone, a former SCO Unix customer, violated its licensing agreements with SCO as it moved to Linux. In its filing of a motion to stay the trial, pending the outcome of SCO vs. IBM and SCO vs. Red Hat, raging since March 2003, AutoZone told Judge Robert Jones, U.S. District Judge for the District of Nevada, that SCO had told AutoZone, a user of OpenServer, that it would eventually discontinue support for OpenServer and that that was the reason it made the jump to Red Hat Linux. While Judge Jones granted the stay, in lieu of the completion of the SCO vs. IBM suit, he denied a motion to move the case to the Tennessee court that is on AutoZone's home turf. The Nevada courts did give SCO the go-ahead to begin discovery in the AutoZone case, however, so the stay is not freeze-drying the lawsuit so it can be reconstituted later.
SCO is suing car-maker DaimlerChrysler in the Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan for violating the terms of its AIX license, one of which is to certify that it has properly licensed Unix licenses on its servers. When DaimlerChrysler ignored SCO's request to certify its Unix licenses, SCO sued the company for breach of contract to compel DaimlerChrysler to provide that certification. As it turns out, the car maker has not used AIX (at least not on the machines that SCO claims it did), and its Unix System V licenses, which came directly from AT&T, the creator of Unix, have not been in use for seven years. Oops! So Circuit Court Judge Ray Lee Chabot threw out the case and has only allowed SCO to argue for the damages that the car maker caused as it dragged its feet into providing the information SCO requested.
The AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler cases were meant to rattle Unix and Linux customers into certifying their licenses and acquiring Unix intellectual property licenses from the SCOsource unit of SCO. After an initial round of licenses of IP by some major players, including Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and a relatively minor service provider, the Unix IP licensing deals have pretty much dried up for SCO.