Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Virtualization ready for serious tire kicking...

With Red Hat's announcement, Xen based virtualization is now available pretty much anywhere you'd want to use it. In addition to many/most variants of Linux, Solaris also is enabled for use in Xen's domain 0. There is still some work to do in mainline with paravirt_ops to make any linux kernel easily or trivially configurable for use as a domU (guest) operating system but most of the work for paravirt_ops initial uses is complete.

For those looking to consolidate workloads, test new environments, rapidly prototype new workloads, and perhaps even experiment with application containers, this is a good time to do so. From here on out, virtualization should just get easier and easier to use on Linux.

Venture Capitalist funding on the rise again

According to this article, venture capital funding is again on the rise. Health Care is definitely a focal point for funding (much needed, IMHO). Of course, one of the challenges will be deploying solutions which are not just expensive "one-off" solutions, where every deployment in any geographical or logical area is unique to that area, and thus more expensive. Finding open source solutions which are broadly applicable across the health care industry, as well as help drive more accuracy in diagnostics, more follow up in referrals, and a better holistic picture of our individual (or family) health would be an excellent area to help drive down costs in health care while raising the overall quality of health care.

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Ian Murduch goes to Sun

Ian Murdoch is (and has been) the lead for the Linux Standard Base (LSB) effort which attempts to standardize Linux APIs and ABIs for applications. Also, as a result of the merger between the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG), Ian was briefly the Chief Technology Officer for the resulting Linux Foundation.

Ian was snatched up by Sun this week. There are numerous rumors about what Sun might get out of this, including LSB branding for OpenSolaris on x86-64, addition of Java to the LSB, or certification of Sun's Java as an LSB certified application. Sun has a mixed history of working with Open Source, with positives being OpenSolaris and more recently choosing to license Java under GPLv2.

Ian's move obviously creates an opening at the Linux Foundation for a CTO. That position will likely be filled quickly to aid with the continuing/ongoing transition to the newer, more streamlined model that LF will be using for protecting, promoting, and standardizing Linux.

Software Appliances on your iPod?

There's been a lot of hype about software appliances - basically pre-packaged applications which provide a fully encapsulated, targetted solution. Some of them have the advantages of reducing testing by packaging a tested operating system, libraries, necessary middleware (e.g. the version of Java that *works* with the application), and all the appropriate configuration files so that the applications "just works". Another use of software appliances is the use of a full system that you can carry with you, plug into any computer, "boot" your image, and use all of your normal applications, data files, etc. This solution from moka5 seems to be in the latter camp, where you can put your entire personal image on a USB key, or, more fun, on your iPod, carry it anywhere, boot from it on your friend's PC, etc.

I believe there will be some move that allows your personal PDA, phone, iPod, whatever to be your home image, allowing you the ability to use a larger display, keyboard, etc. whereever you happen to be, but without requiring you to carry the bulk of a laptop. And, with configurations like VPN's, personal apps, email, you can carry your world in your shirt pocket or purse.