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Of OpenSUSE, Xandros, and Microsoft…

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows, Xandros at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We probably ought to post this as an update to a previous post which claimed that Microsoft excludes everyone but its software patent partners, at least this time around. Although the claim was made based on some shallow fast-checking and Matt Asay’s rather hasty conclusions-jumping, an early comment posted in Matt Asay’s blog begs to correct him and say that the beta from Microsoft supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 too. Mary Jo Foley’s post seems to concur.

For what it’s worth, here is the story Xandros tells (press release appended below) and the story Microsoft tells (also appended. It’s mainly Microsoft’s software patent partners that speak up in the press, which may prove deceiving.

In other more-or-less interesting news, mind this post about contributing to an agenda of ‘control freaks’ that foster a so-called community of developers.

I agree – letting go of control is hard. And I’ve seen many companies struggle with it – Xara, Wengo, Sun, to name a few, and other companies skirt the issue by unashamedly keeping control – Trolltech, MySQL, Alfresco, JBoss, SugarCRM come to mind. It’s a question of expectations. When a company says “sure, we’re happy to work with you, on our terms”, you know where you stand.

But starting a project on Sourceforge, putting 4 years worth of code on there, telling your team of (proprietary) software developers “now you commit there”, and then expecting that Poof! like magic little Code Gnomes start appearing from out of nowhere to make your project better is unrealistic. It really is the difference between “organic” (grown from scratch, by developers for developers) and “non-organic” (code is liberated en masse) projects. If you have absolutely no governance guidelines whatsoever, who’s the maintainer? The manager who manage[ds] the development team in your lab? How well does that work?

We mentioned in the past — on several occasions in fact — just why OpenSUSE volunteers are simply being used, exploited (more details in Groklaw, which calls it “Brains for Sale”).

It now turns out that that Novell's principal booster (and community manager of OpenSUSE) was in Seattle, just like some other people who changed significantly after their journey [1, 2, 3, 4]. Here is just the gist of it.

Sitting in the Seattle-Tacoma airport now waiting for a flight, I’m wishing the weekend hadn’t flown by quite so quickly. I look forward to being here again next year.

Shortly afterwards came the longer post:

The announcement went out today that Novell and Microsoft are collaborating around the OpenPegasus project and other system management tools.

Thanks to Novell, Microsoft is going to be contributing to several open source projects — and making Linux easier to manage. Yes, you read that right. It will also make Windows easier to manage using Linux tools — which is going to be a breath of fresh air for Linux admins tasked with managing Windows boxen as well.


Microsoft will also be submitting some code under one of its OSI-approved licenses.

It’s not the GPL of course and NetworkWorld’s Microsoft Subnet is already poking some fun at what it calls “open source advocates” (link omitted intentionally). It will be interesting to watch how close the leadership of OpenSUSE is bound to grow to Microsoft.

Xandros Debuts Heterogeneous Systems Center Capabilities at Microsoft Management Summit

Xandros, Inc., a leading provider of mixed-environment management tools, intuitive Linux solutions, and Scalix e-mail services, today announced the beta presentation of Xandros BridgeWays Management Packs at the Microsoft Management Summit. This release is the first in a series of BridgeWays Management Packs designed to help extend the capabilities of the Microsoft System Center to heterogeneous environments. The new management packs will enable system administrators to monitor and manage Apache and MySQL on Windows, Linux, and Solaris from within the Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager 2007. Developed under the broad collaboration agreement between Microsoft and Xandros announced in June 2007, the management packs released today will be followed by others for such key data center applications as Oracle Database, Oracle Application Server, IBM WebSphere, and VMware.

“Xandros’ expertise in open source and its delivery of management packs, which utilize the Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions for the management of Apache and MySQL on Windows, Linux and Solaris, provides key functionality for extending the benefits of System Center across the heterogeneous enterprise,” said Robert Reynolds, director of System Center product management at Microsoft Corp. “The rapid pace at which Xandros was able to deliver these offerings and its road map for future solutions will provide our mutual customers with a wide variety of options for managing applications across their environments through a single management experience, and we look forward to our continued work together.”

“The System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions have already delivered exciting results for Xandros. They enabled us to cut our expected development time in half as we created our management packs for Apache and MySQL running on Linux and Solaris, resulting in quicker time to market and delivery of betas to our customers today,” said Andreas Typaldos, CEO of Xandros. “This new foundation from Microsoft enabled us to focus on the development of high-level management functions for applications, with the knowledge that the Cross Platform Extensions were providing the necessary underlying interfaces to System Center Operations Manager, enabling heterogeneous management from a single location across customer environments.”

Showcased at Microsoft Management Summit

Previews of the Xandros BridgeWays Management Packs for Apache and MySQL are showcased at the Xandros booth at the Microsoft Management Summit at Las Vegas, Nevada, April 28-May 2, 2008. The beta software is also available as a free download for testing and review from the Xandros web site at www.xandros.com.

About Xandros

Xandros, Inc. is a leading provider of mixed-environment BridgeWays management tools and intuitive Linux solutions including SMB and enterprise servers, consumer and business desktops, OEM products, and mission-critical applications. Xandros subsidiary Scalix provides the premier e-mail, calendaring and messaging solutions based on open standards and open source. Xandros and Scalix foster Linux adoption with graphical products that leverage existing skill sets while providing seamless Windows-Linux interoperability. Xandros server and management tools feature workflow automation and centralized remote deployment and administration. The company is headquartered in New York with research and development facilities in Ottawa, Europe, and Mumbai, and sales and support offices worldwide. For more information, please visit www.xandros.com.

Xandros® is a registered trademark of Xandros, Inc. All other trademarks and/or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Xandros Contact:
Xenia von Wedel
Terpin Communications Group
Email Contact

Xandros sales and other inquiries:

Microsoft Expands Datacenter Management Offerings With Advanced Heterogeneous and Virtualization Capabilities

New Microsoft System Center solutions for management of multivendor virtualization, operating systems and applications available for customer evaluation.

LAS VEGAS, April 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Today, before an audience of more than 4,000 IT professionals and partners at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2008, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft Corp., outlined the next phase in the company’s strategy to enable dynamic IT organizations. As part of this strategy, Muglia announced technology innovations that are designed to expand Microsoft’s virtualization capabilities and introduced its use of open source technologies and industry standards to broaden its ability to deliver automated management of heterogeneous IT environments.

“At Microsoft we are helping redefine what it means to do IT management in the enterprise with the new capabilities we are announcing today,” Muglia said. “By taking our knowledge of the Windows environment and expanding it to address heterogeneous management needs across platforms, applications, hardware and virtualization, we are opening up a new level of opportunity for companies to drive greater efficiency, responsiveness and value for their business.”

As IT environments grow more diverse and complex across desktops, datacenters, physical and virtual deployments, and heterogeneous infrastructures spanning Windows and non-Windows environments, Microsoft has worked closely with customers to deliver a comprehensive enterprise strategy for an integrated management solution. The announcements today build on the strong, existing Microsoft System Center presence in the datacenter with key additions in the areas of cross-platform, expanded interoperability and multivendor virtualization management solutions, which are further extended by the contributions of a strong and growing partner ecosystem.

Extending Cross-Platform Management for the Datacenter

Microsoft today announced the availability of a public beta for System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, which build on the existing Operations Manager 2007 technology and capabilities and are designed to help customers extend the value of their Microsoft System Center investments. Providing customers with a comprehensive management solution, this new end-to-end IT systems monitoring capability incorporates industry standards and proven open source technologies, including Web Services for Management (WS-Management) and OpenPegasus, extending the capabilities across both physical and virtualized Windows and non-Windows operating systems and applications. Microsoft delivers the core foundational cross-platform support out of the box for HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Solaris and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating systems so that partners can focus on adding their deep domain expertise in the form of management packs. Companies such as Novell Inc., Quest Software Inc. and Xandros Inc. have demonstrated their support by working to deliver monitoring abilities for applications made by organizations such as The Apache Software Foundation, MySQL AB and Oracle.

Further demonstrating support for its commitment to OpenPegasus, Microsoft also announced today that it will be joining the OpenPegasus Steering Committee and contribute code back to the open source community under the Microsoft Public License, an Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved license.

“The System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions have already delivered exciting results for Xandros,” said Andreas Typaldos, CEO of Xandros. “They enabled us to cut our expected development time in half as we created our management packs for Apache and MySQL running on Linux and Solaris, resulting in quicker time to market and delivery of betas to our customers today. This new foundation from Microsoft enabled us to focus on the development of high-level management functions for applications, with the knowledge that the Cross Platform Extensions were providing the necessary underlying interfaces to System Center Operations Manager, enabling heterogeneous management from a single location across customer environments.”

Microsoft also delivered a beta of the updated System Center Operations Manager 2007 Connectors, based on many of the same extensible open source technology and industry standards as the Cross Platform Extensions, which provide an integrated administrative experience and the ability to interoperate and exchange System Center monitoring data with third-party management offerings such as HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console.

Single Pane of Glass for Managing Virtualized and Physical IT Assets

Also delivered today was the public beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (formerly code-named “Virtual Machine Manager vNext”), which enables customers to configure and deploy new virtual machines and to centrally manage their virtualized infrastructure, whether running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or VMware ESX Server.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 tightly integrates with Operations Manager 2007 to deliver a new feature called Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO). Using deep knowledge of the IT environment including operating systems, applications and hardware, Operations Manager identifies opportunities for more efficient physical and virtual resource allocation and generates “PRO tips” within the Virtual Machine Manager console. Administrators can implement these PRO tips and dynamically optimize their datacenter based upon pre-defined policies and the real-time, changing demands of users. When used in conjunction with the broad System Center management suite, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 enables customers effectively to manage both their virtualized and physical servers and applications across their desktops and datacenters with a single set of consistent, compatible tools.

“Deploying, monitoring and managing applications across a heterogeneous IT infrastructure can present many challenges and complexities, all of which are compounded when consolidating servers, optimizing desktops and applications, or creating business continuity solutions using multiple virtualization solutions,” said Jerry Phillips, senior director of Systems Operations at Clear Channel Communications Inc. “Our experience with System Center solutions has demonstrated that Microsoft not only recognizes our need to manage our Windows datacenter infrastructure, but also non-Windows and virtual servers from other vendors. Being able to do so through a single administrative console will provide improvements in productivity and reductions in our cost of IT operations, enabling us to improve overall organizational contributions.”

A number of partners, including Brocade, Dell, EMC Corp., Emulex Corp., HP, NetQOS, QLogic Corp. and Quest, announced they will deliver management packs enabled for PRO. These management packs enable partners and customers to integrate their domain-specific knowledge directly into Virtual Machine Manager and further integrate physical and virtual management.

“Dell’s focus is to simplify IT for our customers and drive complexity out of the datacenter, and virtualization is a key technology driving this effort,” said Laurie Tolson, vice president of systems management at Dell Product Group. “By working with industry leaders like Microsoft on advances in systems management between Dell OpenManage and Microsoft Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and Windows Server 2008, we’re able to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual management spaces, providing an optimized solution that helps our customers get the most out of their hardware and virtualization investments.”

“New ways to lower energy costs, reduce server sprawl and optimize datacenters are provided by the collaboration between HP and Microsoft as virtualization goes mainstream,” said Scott Farrand, vice president of Industry Standard Server Software at HP. “Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager used alongside HP Insight software on HP ProLiant servers, and HP Server Automation software, allow customers to seamlessly manage physical and virtual environments. The combined solutions also allow customers to maximize availability, performance and flexibility of physical host servers, virtualized guest operating systems and workloads.”

Beta software of System Center Operation Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, Connectors and Virtual Machine Manager 2008 were made available to attendees at the conference and can be downloaded at http://connect.microsoft.com. Customers interested in finding more information on the System Center offerings or in evaluating them through trial offerings can visit http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter and the System Center blog at http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft NASDAQ: MSFT is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Website: http://www.microsoft.com//

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A Single Comment

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    April 30, 2008 at 7:01 pm


    Microsoft will also be submitting some code under one of its OSI-approved licenses.


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