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How did we end up with a centralized Internet for the NSA to mine?

By Andy Oram
January 8, 2014

I’m sure it was a Wired editor, and not the author Steven Levy, who assigned the title “How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet” to yesterday’s fine article about the pressures on large social networking sites. Whoever chose the title, …

Four short links: 17 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2013

Pencil — An open-source GUI prototyping tool that’s available for ALL platforms. lmctfy — open source version of Google’s container stack, which provides Linux application containers. ASCII WWDC — searchable full-text transcriptions of WWDC sessions. Cryptogeddon — an online infosec …

Survey on the Future of Open Source, and Lessons from the Past

By Andy Oram
May 15, 2013

I recently talked to two managers of Black Duck, the first company formed to help organizations deal with the licensing issues involved in adopting open source software. With Tim Yeaton, President and CEO, and Peter Vescuso, Executive Vice President of …

LISA mixes the ancient and modern: report from USENIX system administration conference

By Andy Oram
December 14, 2012

I came to LISA, the classic USENIX conference, to find out this year who was using such advanced techniques as cloud computing, continuous integration, non-relational databases, and IPv6. I found lots of evidence of those technologies in action, but also …

Four short links: 2 November 2011

By Nat Torkington
November 2, 2011

Thoughts on Web Application Deployment (OmniTI) -- if your web site is your business, this stuff is critical and it's under-taught. Everyone learns it on the job, and there's not a lot of standardization between gigs. Github Enterprise -- GitHub Enterprise is delivered in the industry-standard OVF format, which means you'll be able to run it on virtualization layers...

Four short links: 23 September 2011

By Nat Torkington
September 23, 2011

How Many Really? -- project by BERG and BBC to help make sense of large numbers of people, in the context of your social network. Clever! (via BERG London) Why the Best Days of Open Hardware Are Yet To Come (Bunnie Huang) -- as Moore’s law decelerates, there is a potential for greater standardization of platforms. A provocative picture...

Four short links: 5 August 2011

By Nat Torkington
August 5, 2011

NanoLumens -- flexible display technology, 2.6lbs/sq ft (that's 17 kilofrancs/kelvin in metric, I think). (via Fiona Romeo) The Noun Project -- a vast collection of free-to-use icons. (via Russell Beattie) VirtualBox -- Sun Oracle's open source virtualization product, trivial to run multiple VMs on your local box. VirtualBoxes has pre-built VMs for common OSes. Vagrant -- tool for managing...

On Virtualization and The Cloud: The Most Ridiculous Article I've Read in a Very Long Time

By Caitlyn Martin
June 8, 2011

In a piece published this morning called Don't Throw Away Your Physical Servers Just Yet, the author, Ken Hess, wrote a piece that ridicules and derides anyone who doesn't virtualize literally all, as in every last one, of their servers. No, I'm not exaggerating.

Four short links: 23 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 23, 2011

PC Emulator in Javascript -- days later and it's mindboggling. US Home Prices as Opera (Flowing Data) -- reminded me of Douglas Adams's "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" which has software that turns your company's performance numbers into music. The yearly accounts of most British companies emerged sounding like the Dead March from "Saul", but in Japan they went...

Feeding the community fuels advances at Red Hat and JBoss

By Andy Oram
May 8, 2011

Red Hat's usual modus operandi is the precise inverse of most companies based on open source. This drives what I heard at Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, solid progress along the lines laid out by Red Hat and JBoss in previous years.

What VMware's Cloud Foundry announcement is about

By Andy Oram
April 13, 2011

By now, the popular APIs for IaaS have been satisfactorily emulated so that you can move your application fairly easily from one vendor to another. But until now, the PaaS situation was much more closed.

Reaching the pinnacle: truly open web services and clouds

By Andy Oram
December 22, 2010

The merger of free software with cloud and web services is a win-win. The transition will take a buy-in from cloud and SaaS providers, a change in the software development process, a stronger link between computational and data clouds, and new conventions to be learned by clients of the services. (Part 5 of a 5-part series.)

Why web services should be released as free software

By Andy Oram
December 20, 2010

Let's put together a pitch for cloud and web service providers. We have two hurdles to leap: one persuading them how they'll benefit by releasing the source code to their software, and one addressing their fear of releasing the source code.

Why clouds and web services will continue to take over computing

By Andy Oram
December 17, 2010

My long-term view convinces me we all will be in the cloud. The advantages are just too compelling. But what can we do to preserve freedom in the cloud? (Part 3 of a 5-part series.)

Defining clouds, web services, and other remote computing

By Andy Oram
December 15, 2010

Technology commentators are a bit trapped by the term "cloud," which has been kicked and slapped around enough to become truly shapeless. So in this section I'll offer a history of services that have led up to our cloud-obsessed era, hoping to help readers distinguish the impacts and trade-offs created by all the trends that lie in the "cloud."

Resolving the contradictions between web services, clouds, and open source

By Andy Oram
December 13, 2010

A "free software cloud" may seem to be an oxymoron. But I believe that free software and remote computing were made for each other; their future lies together and the sooner they converge, the faster they will evolve and gain adoption. (Part 1 of a 5-part series.)

Red Hat Overhauls the Enterprise Software Stack

By Andy Oram
June 24, 2010

Red Hat is openly badgering large, IT-driven organizations to move away from comfortable patterns and to adopt what they believe to be the best virtualization platform, the best cloud API, the best data storage mechanism, and so on.

Mårten Mickos discusses the strategy at Eucalyptus Systems

Mårten Mickos discusses the strategy at Eucalyptus Systems
By Andy Oram
June 22, 2010

Mickos responds to such questions as whether private clouds are needed, whether they are too hard to manage, and whether the Amazon API is the best foundation for Eucalyptus.

Technology Trends Transforming Higher Education

By Sarah Sorensen
June 18, 2010

Higher education institutions find themselves having to rethink almost everything they do in today's highly-connected, highly competitive digital age to ensure they maintain their pivotal role of advancing the opportunities of individuals worldwide by providing a productive, efficient learning environment.

VMware and partners point to benefits

By Andy Oram
June 4, 2010

At a VMware forum, a sense of expectancy about cloud computing seemed to be expressed more by speakers than by attendees.

Understanding the Cloud Landscape

Understanding the Cloud Landscape
By George Reese
April 29, 2010

Making sense out of all of the components of cloud computing confuses even many of the major analysts. It's easy to understand how Google, Amazon, or SalesForce.com fit into the picture. But who is Eucalyptus and what do they do? Does CohesiveFT compete with enStratus or does it complement enStratus? And what is this vCloud thing anyway?

Report from HIMMS Health IT conference: building or bypassing infrastructure

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2010

lectronic record systems need all kinds of underlying support. Your patient doesn't want to hear, "You need an antibiotic right away, but we'll order it tomorrow when our IT guy comes in to reboot the system." Your accounts manager would be almost as upset if you told her that billing will be delayed for the same reason.

The Sacred Barrier

The Sacred Barrier
By George Reese
February 25, 2010

Should public cloud providers reach into the guest operating system to perform various functions? I've always held that a public cloud provider should treat the border between the hypervisor and guest operating system as a sacred barrier that should never be breached. The fear in public cloud computing is giving up control. When a public cloud provider reaches into your virtual machine, you lose too much control.

Operating system expertise moves outward as programmers job-hop

By Andy Oram
November 3, 2009

I just held a reunion with people I worked with at a real-time and data acquisition computer vendor 20 years ago, and was interested to see how many ended up in another, related line of work.

Four short links: 28 October 2009

By Nat Torkington
October 28, 2009

GMail Labs: Got The Wrong Bob? -- When's the last time you got an email from a stranger asking, "Are you sure you meant to send this to me?" and promptly realized that you didn't? Looks at the clusters of CCs you send and, if you normally send to Bob X but are trying to send it to Bob...

A peek at VMware Cookbook (recipes on throttling traffic and monitoring usage)

A peek at VMware Cookbook (recipes on throttling traffic and monitoring usage)
By Andy Oram
August 27, 2009

O'Reilly's first book on virtualization gives you ideas about administrative tasks you might not have thought you could do, or could be doing more efficiently. Sample recipes are now online.

Open Cloud Manifesto: about openness, standards, and the vitality of SMTP

Open Cloud Manifesto: about openness, standards, and the vitality of SMTP
By Andy Oram
March 28, 2009

Thanks to George Reese, I learned about the bruhaha over an Open Cloud Manifesto. Let's put the debate in the context of some basic and perennial issues about openness and standards.

Xen: Scrambling For A Market Base?

By Chris Josephes
February 25, 2009

Citrix XenServer is now free. They were never winning over VMWare users on quality, so now they're shifting focus to price. That may not be a bad idea in this economy, but my suspicion is that Xen was more worried...

Concept Management

By Eric Larson
January 30, 2009

Distributed version control systems have brought up some pretty important questions. A DVCS adds a good deal of complexity to an already complicated system. Source control is rather sticky business as it not only deals with complex content, but the...

Analysis 2009: IT Departments Disappear into the Cloud

By Kurt Cagle
January 6, 2009

While other IT sectors may be struggling, one area that will likely be quite hot will be in the cloud computing/hosted services market. This particular market has been the subject of a great deal of hype over the last...

VirtualBox 2.1.0 Released: A Look at the Mac Version

By Todd Ogasawara
December 24, 2008

VirtualBox 2.1.0 adds Intel VT-x hardware virtualization support as well as the ability to run 64-bit Guest OSes on a 32-bit host OS. I installed Xubuntu (based on Ubuntu 8.1.0) and brought in the previously built Windows 2000 Guest OS for testing. The results look good so far.

Are Computer Languages Irrelevant?

By Kurt Cagle
November 24, 2008

Consider this - I spend a significant amount of my working day staring at a web window pane within a browser. Now, that browser may be written in C++ (which would certainly have been the case even five years ago) but is increasingly likely to be written in JavaScript or Python of even Java, not necessarily because these languages are any faster (even with some of the most startling improvements in JavaScript, there's still an order of magnitude or two separating performance) but because these languages are generally easier to work with.

Why Jerry Seinfeld Probably Cost Microsoft a Lot More than $10 Million

By Nitesh Dhanjani
November 10, 2008

In this article, I want put forth a case study to demonstrate how capturing feelings on the social web can allow companies to measure the reputation of their brand.

oVirt, Open Virtualization Done Right

By Mike McGrath
October 9, 2008

One thing that most people don't realize with virtualization is that its not the actual virtualization layer that is important. It works, they all do. The important part is in the management tools and that's something that's been sorely missing from the Open Source arena for too long.

vCloud: VMware adapts to cloud computing

By Andy Oram
October 7, 2008

Virtualization has been the hottest trend in computer administration for the past decade. But what happens to any administrative software provider, including VMware, if large numbers of major companies move to the cloud? The recent vCloud announcement, coinciding with VMWorld conference, shows why VMware manages to keep its top place.

VirtualBox 2.0 Update OK for Windows, Not So Good for Linux

By Todd Ogasawara
September 9, 2008

Sun VirtualBox 2.0 was released on Sept. 4, 2008. I tried this free Open Source cross-platform virtualization hypervisor on an iMac running OS X Leopard. Microsoft Windows virtualization looks somewhat improved. But, running Fedora 9 Linux resulted in problems that I did not see with VirtualBox 1.6.2 a few months ago.

VMware Fusion 2 Release Candidate 1: Looking Better!

By Todd Ogasawara
September 3, 2008

VMware Fusion 2 Release Candidate 1 addresses the major problems I ran into when I tried the Beta 2 release a month ago. There are a few glitches I ran into. But, it looks like Fusion 2.0 is on track for a production release soon.

VMware Fusion 2 Beta 2: Almost There But Not Quite

By Todd Ogasawara
August 6, 2008

VMware Fusion 2 Beta 2 looks good when used with Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. I ran into problems when testing it with Fedora 8 though. It is a Beta release, however. So, I'm not passing judgement on it until I see the Release Candidate and production release.

Bill Coleman to keynote Velocity

By Jesse Robbins
June 11, 2008

Bill Coleman has twice transformed our industry, and I'm excited to announce that he will keynote Velocity later this month. Bill is most famous for being the "B" in BEA and for leading the creation of Solaris while at Sun. He is now the CEO of his new startup, Cassatt, which "makes Data Centers more efficient". Bill is awesome and...

VirtualBox 1.6.2: Open Source Virtualization for Macs

By Todd Ogasawara
June 10, 2008

VirtualBox 1.6.2 is an Open Source virtualization hypervisor that runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. I tested it by installing Windows 2000 and Fedora 9 on my iMac. It doesn't have all the features of VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop. But, the price is right and it does a pretty decent job. Read on for more impressions from my testing...

Windows Server 2008 Installs and Runs Fine Using VMware Fusion

By Todd Ogasawara
February 28, 2008

Unlike Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 (Standard Edition in this case) installed fine from an ISO file using VMware Fusion. I used Fusion's Windows Server 2008 Experimental preset installation configuration. It seems to be running smoothly with 512MB RAM allocated to the Guest OS. The one thing that surprised me is how huge a basic Windows Server 2008 Standard...

Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion vs. Windows Vista

By Todd Ogasawara
February 25, 2008

There's been a lot of changes since Intel Macs and Parallels Desktop let Macs virtualize Linux and Windows back in 2006. And, Microsoft Windows Vista introduced its own set of challenges for virtualization. Here's a quick summary of some key changes over the past 2 years that affect virtualization decisions.

OK to Virtualize Windows Home Basic and Home Premium on Your Mac Now

By Todd Ogasawara
January 22, 2008

Go forth and virtualize Windows Home Basic or Home Premium on your Mac using Parallels or Fusion. It is ok now. Phew...


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