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Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

IBM, ARM Deliver Starter Kit for Internet of Things

Tuesday 24th of February 2015 03:55:08 PM

There is no doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging as one of the hottest stories of 2015. We've already reported on how as it gains momentum, there is a big need for collaboration, open and interoperable tools and standards, and governance. In our recent conversation with the AllSeen Alliance’s senior director of IoT, Philip DesAutels, he stressed the need for interoperability of devices.

Now ARM and IBM have announced a partnership that includes a starter kit for making IoT devices.  The ARM mbed IoT Starter Kit, Ethernet Edition, will channel data from Internet-connected devices directly into IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform. "The combination of a secure sensor environment by ARM with cloud-based analytics, mobile and application resources from IBM will allow fast prototyping of new smart products and unique value-added services," claims ARM. The first products developed using the kit are expected to enter the market in 2015.

“Securely embedding intelligence and connectivity into devices from the outset will create cloud-connected products that are far more capable than today,” said Krisztian Flautner, general manager, IoT business, ARM, in a statement. “Smart cities, businesses and homes capable of sharing rich information about their surroundings will be critical in unlocking the potential of IoT. The ARM IoT Starter Kit will accelerate the availability of connected devices by making product and service prototyping faster and easier.”

The IoT Starter Kit consists of an ARM mbed-enabled development board from Freescale, powered by an ARM Cortex-M4 based processor, together with a sensor IO application shield. Future versions of the kit will run the new ARM mbed OS and utilize ARM mbed Device Server software to deliver a wider range of efficient security, communication and device management features. Building on the momentum of recent announcements such as IBM’s IoT Foundation and the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform, ARM and IBM say they will continue to work together on interoperable, open, secure and scalable connectivity between devices and the cloud.

It's not clear yet, however, how exactly "open" this effort from ARM and IBM is. We are witnessing much fragmentation in terms of APIs and standards for connecting IoT devices, and leaders such as Philip DesAutels from The AllSeen Alliance are calling for open bridges and connectors. 

DesAutels also noted this in our recent interview with him:

“In five years, I think all of this will be around us everywhere, in everything. Predictions that were made three and four years ago have already come true in terms of the ubiquity of bandwidth, connectivity, the availability of radios, and more. We are going to have a lot of power to orchestrate the experiences that we want. The next phase is going to be the really transformational phase. Systems around you will have a whole lot more information. They’ll be able to deliver a lot more value.”

 ARM hasn't provided details on the pricing or availability of its starter kit. You can find out much more about the kit here

 

 

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Next Linux 4.0 from Linus' Zombie Shuffle Desk

Tuesday 24th of February 2015 04:22:54 AM

Linus announced yesterday that his poll has concluded and 29,110 voters have spoken. Elsewhere, Julie Bort got a look at the Accidental Revolutionary's workspace - which centers around his 'Zombie shuffling' desktop. In other news, two prominent distributions today announced the start of their community wallpaper contests.

Linus Torvalds yesterday announced "Linux 4.0-rc1 out.." Torvalds recently asked interested parties if he should jump the kernel version number from its then current 3.2.x to 4.0 and yesterday he announced the results. At a "margin of 56-to-44%" with 29,110 votes the next kernel version will be 4.0, codenamed "Hurr durr I'ma sheep." Linus reported that the most cited reason for the 4.0 preference was because 4.1.15 was the version of Linux used in the T-800 Terminator 2 movie. He hopes the version jump doesn't break anything but doesn't expect as much transition as was needed for 3.0.

"Hurr durr I'ma sheep" isn't the most outrageous codename used by developers for our beloved kernel according to Micheal Larabel. In fact, Larabel remembers 2.6.25 being dubbed "Funky Weasel is Jiggy wit it" and another codenamed "Flesh-Eating Bats with Fangs." "Jeff Thinks I Should Change This, But To What?" and "Linux for Workgroups" are my favorites.

In other Linus news, Julie Bort at www.businessinsider.com yesterday posted of the Linux leader's digs. She reports that Linus does most of his work from a workstation lovingly dubbed, in much the same manner as the kernels, "Zombie-shuffling desk." This is basically a stand-up desk in front of a slow moving treadmill running 1-mile an hour. Any faster and Linus has trouble manipulating his mouse according to Bort. She also included a full video tour of Torvald's workspace.

Elsewhere:

* Ubuntu's Last Wallpaper Contest Begins

* Make Fedora 22 Beautiful!

* DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 598, 23 February 2015

* Linux Mint Monthly News - Recent Cinnamon Developments

* Deepin 2014.2 - Mindbogglingly unique

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On Private Cloud Popularity, High-Profile New Surveys Raise Questions

Monday 23rd of February 2015 04:03:47 PM

If you look at the results of some high-profile new surveys on cloud computing, they reveal that some seismic shifts are taking place. At the same time, some results from recent surveys conflict with each other.

Canonical came out with findings from its sixth annual Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey recently, which went out to respondents at the end of 2014. We covered it here.  Among other things, it showed that "cloud adoption remains heavily weighted to private clouds," which account for 35 percent of adoptions, Canonical said.  On the other hand, RightScale's 2015 State of the Cloud report, always one of the more definitive barometers for the state of cloud computing, found that private cloud popularity is waning, and hybrid clouds are all the rage.

Part of the issue with the difference in findings across the two surveys is that Canonical's 3,000 respondents "were mostly Ubuntu server and cloud users," according to the company. Meanwhile, RightScale's  930 respondents were professionals with technical roles across a broad cross-section of organizations.

RightScale's survey reported the following:

 Private clouds stalled in 2015 with only small changes in adoption: Respondents reported minimal changes in adoption of private cloud technologies from 2014. VMware vSphere continues to lead with 53 percent of enterprise respondents reporting that they use it as a private cloud. Enterprises using OpenStack shows the largest increase for 2015, growing by 3 percent. The new Azure Pack offering shows strong use in its first year, used by 11 percent of enterprises.

Where did the two surveys agree? They both determined that cloud computing has huge momentum in enterprises.

According to Canonical:

 "This year, the pattern is continuing and cloud adoption remains heavily weighted to private clouds (35%). The most popular platform for private cloud is OpenStack, used by 53% of those respondents who have deployed a private cloud infrastructure. Interestingly, hybrid clouds are on the rise at 20%, up from 15% last year. Today, hybrid cloud is almost as popular as public cloud (used by 23%) a clear shift from last year, when public cloud was at 27%. It’s interesting that recent price cuts by major public cloud providers don’t seem to have had a major impact on public cloud adoption, which could imply that the drivers behind the choice of infrastructure are more than economic."

 RightScale's survey also found that cloud decision-making patterns are changing. "The tide of enterprise cloud adoption has shifted from shadow IT to strategic adoption led by central IT teams," said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale. "As enterprise IT has become more open to public cloud and more comfortable with cloud security, it is now in a strong position to broker cloud services to internal customers and drive cloud adoption forward. In the next year organizations expect to shift more workloads to cloud, with public cloud workloads growing faster than private cloud."

 The full results of the RightScale survey are available at www.rightscale.com/2015-cloud-report.

 If you want to dig into the findings from the Canonical survey, there is a SlideShare here, and there is a detailed infographic at the bottom of the page here.

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Canonical Gains Powerful Partners in Internet of Things Push

Monday 23rd of February 2015 03:47:05 PM

Canonical, the firm behind Ubuntu Linux, announced last week that Microsoft and Amazon agreed to publish their Internet of Things (IoT) application programming interfaces (APIs) on Ubuntu Core. The move showed that Canonical is forging meaningful partnerships with big time technology players, and showed how seriously the company takes the Internet of Things.

Among other things, Canonical is noting that security--a possible problem with Internet of Things infrastructure--is a topic that Microsoft and Amazon can lend some intelligence to. 

As it is doing with its OpenStack efforts, Canonical is focused on certification and validation with the Internet of Things. “Certified and supported Ubuntu platforms set the standard for safety and security in connected devices” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu. “Device manufacturers who choose Ubuntu Core on certified platforms now have a popular platform that meets corporate and government requirements for security updates and management.”

The Ubuntu team came out with a new “snappy” version of Ubuntu Core late last year, and it is proving to have many use cases.

According to Canonical:

"Ubuntu Core is a new rendition of Ubuntu for the cloud with transactional updates. Ubuntu Core is a minimal server image with the same libraries as today’s Ubuntu, but applications are provided through a simpler mechanism. The snappy approach is faster, more reliable, and lets us provide stronger security guarantees for apps and users — that’s why we call them 'snappy' applications."

 Canonical is working with telecoms operators to simplify customer premises equipment acquisition, deployment and maintenance, building on the carrier-grade systems and application update mechanisms built into snappy Ubuntu Core.

“Snappy Ubuntu Core is a valuable and powerful IoT enabler for talented developers and inventors. Our mission is to support them with Deutsche Telekom’s resources and business knowledge. We believe that our partnership will bring groundbreaking products and services created by creative individuals gathered inside and around Ubuntu community.” said Jakub Probola, of Deutsche Telekom’s incubator, hub:raum.

Although not everyone realizes it, Ubuntu is already the leading platform for telco OpenStack deployments. Ubuntu Core is intended to extend that lead.

Both Microsoft and Amazon have agreed to publish their IoT developer APIs on Ubuntu Core for snappy developers.

“Smart industrial systems need secure cloud back-ends for data storage and analysis. Microsoft and Canonical are partnering to deliver developer APIs to enable Ubuntu Core for snappy developers. This partnership will simplify cloud-backed device development,” says John Shewchuk, Technical Fellow at Microsoft.

 

 

 

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LibreOffice 3.4.6 Released as TDF Celebrates Three Years

Saturday 21st of February 2015 03:45:17 AM

The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4.6, the latest update for the conservative user and supported deployments. This release brings over 100 bug and security fixes as the foundation celebrates three years. TDF released a video as "a testimonial of the activity of many members of the LibreOffice community."

On Tuesday, February 17, The Document Foundation celebrated their three year anniversary with a video. The video was a montage of photos, many candid and others posed, telling the behind scenes story of the organization as it develops the world's leading Open Source office suite.  Congratulations, and thank you, to The Document Foundation and all its members.

TDF did all the work and we get the presents, as usual. This time it's LibreOffice 3.4.6, the recommended version for those who play it safe or hold support contracts. Some of the issues fixed include a resizing regression in Writer, image rendering issue in Writer, formatting and editing issues in Math, and lots of crashes and importing bugs. Downloads are available at libreoffice.org.

The project is actually older than a mere three years, but is today celebrating the time since incorporated in February 2012. The first beta release was offered to the public with their original announcement in October 2010. The first stable release arrived January 2011.

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LibreOffice 4.3.6 Released as TDF Celebrates Three Years

Saturday 21st of February 2015 03:45:17 AM

The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4.6, the latest update for the conservative user and supported deployments. This release brings over 100 bug and security fixes as the foundation celebrates three years. TDF released a video as "a testimonial of the activity of many members of the LibreOffice community."

On Tuesday, February 17, The Document Foundation celebrated their three year anniversary with a video. The video was a montage of photos, many candid and others posed, telling the behind scenes story of the organization as it develops the world's leading Open Source office suite.  Congratulations, and thank you, to The Document Foundation and all its members.

TDF did all the work and we get the presents, as usual. This time it's LibreOffice 3.4.6, the recommended version for those who play it safe or hold support contracts. Some of the issues fixed include a resizing regression in Writer, image rendering issue in Writer, formatting and editing issues in Math, and lots of crashes and importing bugs. Downloads are available at libreoffice.org.

The project is actually older than a mere three years, but is today celebrating the time since incorporated in February 2012. The first beta release was offered to the public with their original announcement in October 2010. The first stable release arrived January 2011.

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Q&A: MapR Technologies' Tomer Shiran on Hadoop, Myriad, Apache Drill, and Data Analytics

Friday 20th of February 2015 03:53:36 PM

 Recently, MapR Technologies, focused on Hadoop, has been out with some interesting announcements that we covered. We wrote about Myriad, an open source project focused on consolidating big data with other workloads in the datacenter, in this post. And we covered the latest release of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop in this post.

In addition to his role as Vice President of Product Management at MapR Technologies, Tomer Shiran (shown here) is founder and PMC member of the Apache Drill project through the Apache Foundation. OStatic recently did an interview with Shiran about Apache Drill, and we caught up with him for another interview about MapR Technologies and its latest news. Here are his thoughts:

 Q: Earlier this week, OStatic covered Myriad. What can organizations using Hadoop get out of Myriad?

A: Myriad paves the way for Hadoop jobs to co-exist with non-Hadoop jobs in large-scale clusters that can span across multiple data centers. With Myriad, entire data center resources can be managed as a single pool of resources, breaking down processing silos and thus improving resource utilization efficiency. The fewer moving parts lets enterprises spend more time on real work and less time on troubleshooting. Google has benefited from this type of large-scale resource scheduling, and Myriad is the open source software project that delivers this capability for everyone.

Q: A whole ecosystem of tools and enhancements is arising around Hadoop. There are tools like Myriad and tools that do next-generation types of batch processing. Which types look most promising, and why? 

A: Of course Myriad looks promising, but a project that will change the way data is queried is Apache Drill, an open source interactive SQL query engine for Hadoop and NoSQL. Modern big data applications such as social, mobile, web and the Internet of things deal with large amounts of data that are often self-describing and complex (JSON, Parquet). Apache Drill is built from the ground up for such data, providing low latency queries on rapidly evolving datasets.

Drill’s unique value comes from its capability to query data without requiring pre-defined schemas. This not only allows for instant querying on newly-ingested data in Hadoop but also avoids the constant maintenance associated with evolving schema requirements for diverse data types. No ETL process or DBA intervention is required at any stage of the data lifecycle.  That said, Drill can also leverage any defined schema in the Hive metastore.

Q: Do you have any metrics or even just anecdotal data about whether organizations are finding it hard to hire people with Big Data and Hadoop skills?

A: There is a shortage of trained big data technology and analytics experts. Labor supply constraint is a key inhibitor of adoption and use of big data technologies. Current training offerings in the marketplace do not meet the cost, convenience and flexibility needs of today’s professionals. In-person training incurs significant costs, travel, and a big contiguous block of committed time. This is why we launched free on-demand Hadoop training last month. MapR wants to enable individuals to get trained on valuable skills and increase big data adoption in the market.

Q: MapR offers a sandbox for using Hadoop. How can people without Hadoop experience get to that and benefit from it?

A: The MapR Sandbox is perfect for people without Hadoop experience.  We offer two Sandboxes for developers, administrators, and business intelligence analysts.  First, the MapR Sandbox for Hadoop provides tutorials, demo applications, and browser-based user interfaces to let developers and administrators get started quickly with a fully functional Hadoop cluster running in a virtual machine. You can download it here:  https://www.mapr.com/products/mapr-sandbox-hadoop/download .

Second, if you are a business intelligence analyst or a developer interested in self-service data exploration on Hadoop using SQL and BI Tools, we also have a MapR Sandbox including Apache Drill. The Drill Sandbox is available here: https://www.mapr.com/products/mapr-sandbox-hadoop/download-sandbox-drill

Q: How can organizations get a real sense of ROI from the use of Hadoop and other emerging data-centric tools?

A: A third-party research firm recently surveyed more than 50 of our customers and a majority of them experienced payback in less than 12 months and greater than 5X returns on their investment using the MapR Distribution.

The reason for this is the emergence of data-centric enterprises that have realized the value in architecting IT infrastructures to collect and analyze big data in real time.  This enables organizations to impact business as-it-happens through automated processes that shorten data-to-action cycles.

Hadoop is an extremely effective technology to leverage big data because it runs on lower cost commodity hardware, benefits from continuous technology innovation shared through a thriving open source development community, and raises opportunities to generate more revenue and mitigate risk.  All these benefits point toward more rapid ROI.

Q: What can we expect from MapR going forward?

A: MapR believes open-source software is extremely important, especially when coupled with our patented technology. We invest heavily in participating and contributing to OSS, furthering the viral adoption of Apache Hadoop.  We also continue to focus on delivering the best Hadoop Distribution on the market.

We’re seeing customers evolve to a data-centric enterprise where data is used as the primary influence for deploying IT infrastructures. This results in more agile and scalable applications that offer faster time-to-value. MapR lets our customers handle many data formats with multiple workload requirements, and our latest release lets them more effectively extend their reach to a global user base.

You can expect us to continue to invest heavily in our technology, including our in-Hadoop NoSQL database, MapR-DB, to support real-time operational analytics so customers can impact business as it happens. MapR will also continue to invest in engineering resources for data agility by decreasing time to value from data, including investing heavily in open source projects such as Apache Drill, Project Myriad, etc.

Editor's Note: This interview is the latest in a series of interviews with project leaders working on the cloud, Big Data, and the Internet of Things. The series has included talks with Rich Wolski who founded the Eucalyptus cloud project, Ben Hindman from Mesosphere, Tomer Shiran of the Apache Drill project, Philip DesAutels who oversees the AllSeen Alliance, and co-founder of Mirantis Boris Renski.

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PLUMGrid Offers Virtual SDN Sandbox for Testing OpenStack Concepts

Friday 20th of February 2015 03:37:24 PM

There are lots of IT adminstrators out there wrestling with sticky issues as they pursue OpenStack deployments, and many of them say that they simply need to experiment with security and stabiity before rolling out mission-critical applications. Enterprises simply don't want to trust a cloud platform and move apps and data to the cloud without having full platform confidence.

Sandboxes, or test environments, can be the antidote to these problems. Now,  PLUMgrid, which focuses on virtual network infrastructure for OpenStack clouds, has announced PLUMgrid Ignition, a comprehensive program offering test drive of Open Networking Suite (ONS) via virtual sandbox, hosted and onsite options. While PLUMgrid Ignition is built with PLUMgrid ONS for OpenStack, the environment provides learning opportunities for anyone seeking to try out OpenStack networking, according to the company. "PLUMgrid Ignition eases the onramp to OpenStack for enterprises and service providers by enabling users to create, test, monitor and troubleshoot multi-tenant cloud networks from any location," the announcement states.

PLUMgrid Ignition provides the following set of test drives:

 PLUMgrid Ignition Sandbox provides a defined and structured experience for learning PLUMgrid ONS for OpenStack in a virtual environment. The company says this option is ideal for users to learn how to create instances, define policies with security, and troubleshoot a cloud application network. The experience allows quick hands-on evaluation from any location.

PLUMgrid Ignition Hosted option provides an off-site bare metal environment hosted by PLUMgrid without hardware costs to users. The Hosted option is billed as ideal for users who need a longer test period or specific requirements to build and test a cloud infrastructure.

PLUMgrid Ignition Onsite provides on premise experience for users to evaluate PLUMgrid ONS for OpenStack with a starter kit. This option is for users to design, build, and install a cloud infrastructure in their own data centers with PLUMgrid staff providing training and support.

Users interested in taking a test drive can visit the PLUMgrid Ignition website for instructions on how to get started.

"By offering a comprehensive approach to build, test and learn OpenStack networking, PLUMgrid Ignition is helping many organizations accelerate the process of evaluating virtual networking," said Minehiko Nohara, Product Engineer at Macnica Networks Corp, in a statement. "PLUMgrid Ignition was easy to sign up and access. The virtual sandbox was simple enough to get going quickly, while it offered a compelling set up with monitoring and troubleshooting. The overall experience was useful."

PLUMgrid also offers an OpenStack Networking Suite that provides virtual networking and security.  OStatic coverd it in depth here.

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The Linux Foundation Reports on the State of Kernel Development

Thursday 19th of February 2015 04:01:28 PM

In conjunction with The Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit in Santa Rosa, CA this week, the foundation has announced the release of its 2015 report “Linux Kernel Development: How Fast It is Going, Who is Doing It, What They Are Doing and Who is Sponsoring It.” This is the sixth such report covering what the foundation calls "work that defines the largest collaborative project in the history of computing." This year’s paper covers work completed through Linux kernel 3.18, with an emphasis on releases 3.11 to 3.18.

 Key findings from this year’s paper include:

Nearly 12,000 developers from more than 1,200 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since tracking began 10 years ago. Just since the last report, more than 4,000 developers from 200 companies have contributed to the kernel, half of whom contributed for the first time.

 The Top 10 organizations sponsoring Linux kernel development since the last report include Intel, Red Hat, Linaro, Samsung, IBM, SUSE, Texas Instruments, Vision Engraving Systems, Google and Renesas. It’s worth noting that the FOSS Outreach Program for Women ranks #13 for contributions to the Linux kernel during this last cycle with the interns contributing 1.5 percent of the patches to Linux kernel 3.11. The complete top 20 contributing organizations can be seen in the full report.

The rate of Linux development is unmatched; in fact, Linux kernel 3.15 was the busiest development cycle in the kernel’s history. This rate of change continues to increase, as does the number of developers and companies involved in the process. The average number of changes accepted into the kernel per hour is 7.71, which translates to 185 changes every day and nearly 1,300 per week. The average days of development per release decreased from 70 days to 66 days.

The number of paid developers is on the rise, as companies aggressively recruit top Linux talent. More than 80 percent of kernel development is done by developers who are being paid for their work. Volunteer developers tend not to stay that way for long.

The report is co-authored by Jon Corbet, Linux kernel developer and editor of LWN.net; Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux kernel maintainer and Linux Foundation fellow; and Amanda McPherson, chief marketing officer at The Linux Foundation.

 “As the largest collaborative development project in history, Linux can offer a lot of insight on software development trends and methodologies,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, in a statement. “The ‘Who Writes Linux’ report gives us a close look at how rapid development supported by thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies can result in the best software in the world.”

To download the full report, visit The Linux Foundation’s Publication’s website at: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/who-writes-linux-2015

 

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RightScale's State of the Cloud Survey: Hybrid Clouds, Docker Thriving

Thursday 19th of February 2015 03:50:39 PM

RightScale is out with its 2015 State of the Cloud report, always one of the more definitive barometers for the state of cloud computing. The findings show that private clouds may be waning in momentum, hybrid clouds are the favorite solution for most enterprises, and Docker and container adoption are absolutely on fire.

Here are more details.

Although more enterprise workloads are currently deployed in private clouds, public clouds are used more broadly and are expected to attract new workloads at a faster rate, the survey found. The survey also found that enterprise central IT teams are now making the majority of cloud spending decisions and taking the lead to broker cloud services to their organization.

"The tide of enterprise cloud adoption has shifted from shadow IT to strategic adoption led by central IT teams," said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale. "As enterprise IT has become more open to public cloud and more comfortable with cloud security, it is now in a strong position to broker cloud services to internal customers and drive cloud adoption forward. In the next year organizations expect to shift more workloads to cloud, with public cloud workloads growing faster than private cloud."

The full results of the survey are available at www.rightscale.com/2015-cloud-report.

Other highlights include:

-Cloud is ubiquitous, hybrid cloud is the preferred strategy: 93 percent of organizations surveyed are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service; 82 percent of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy (up from 74 percent in 2014). -

- Public clouds are used by more organizations while private cloud runs more workloads: 88 percent of organizations use public cloud compared with 63 percent that use private cloud; 13 percent of enterprises run more than 1,000 VMs in public cloud, while 22 percent of organizations run more than 1,000 VMs in private cloud.

-Significant headroom for more enterprise workloads to move to the cloud: 68 percent of enterprises run less than a fifth of their application portfolio in the cloud; 55 percent of enterprises report that a significant portion of their existing application portfolio is not in cloud, but is built with cloud-friendly architectures.

- Enterprise central IT teams take the reins to broker cloud services: 62 percent of enterprises report that central IT makes the majority of cloud spending decisions; 43 percent of IT teams are offering a self-service portal for access to cloud services, with an additional 41 percent planning or developing a portal.

- DevOps rises; Docker soars: Overall DevOps adoption has risen to 66 percent, with enterprises reaching 71 percent; Chef and Puppet are used by 28 and 24 percent of organizations respectively; Docker, in its first year, is already used by 13 percent of organizations with a whopping 35 percent of organizations planning to use.-

- Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate in public cloud, but Azure makes inroads among enterprises: AWS adoption is 57 percent, while Azure IaaS is second at 12 percent vs.6 percent in 2014; Among enterprise respondents, Azure IaaS narrows the gap with 19 percent adoption as compared to AWS with 50 percent; Google's IaaS offering shows the faster growth among enterprises, increasing from 4 percent in 2014 to 9 percent in 2015.

- Private cloud stalls in 2015 with only small changes in adoption: Respondents reported minimal changes in adoption of private cloud technologies from 2014. VMware vSphere continues to lead with 53 percent of enterprise respondents reporting that they use it as a private cloud. Enterprises using OpenStack shows the largest increase for 2015, growing by 3 percent. The new Azure Pack offering shows strong use in its first year, used by 11 percent of enterprises.

 RightScale conducted its annual State of the Cloud Survey in January 2015. The survey questioned technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud computing. The 930 respondents range from technical executives to managers and practitioners and represent organizations of varying sizes across many industries. Respondents represent companies across the cloud spectrum, including both users (24 percent) and non-users (76 percent) of RightScale solutions. The margin of error is 3.2 percent, according to RightScale.

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New MapR Distribution Including Hadoop Supports More Big Data Applications

Wednesday 18th of February 2015 04:04:50 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This week, there are a lot of interesting big data announcements coming out of Strata + Hadoop World. MapR Technologies, Inc. has announced at Strata + Hadoop World the latest release of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop, which, the company notes, "has new features that accelerate the data-centric enterprise by supporting applications on globally-distributed, big data." The company's new MapR Distribution including Hadoop, version 4.1, features interesting table replication features and more.

According to the company, version 4.1 features:

- MapR-DB table replication - extends access to big and fast data by enabling multiple, active replica clusters across the world with real-time, asynchronous replication. Table replication also delivers real-time disaster recovery to reduce the risk of data loss upon site-wide failure. This active-active, cross-datacenter capability also enhances global application deployment for Hadoop and big data. Operational data can be stored and processed close to the users or devices, while immediately replicating all live data to a central analytics cluster in real time to enable large-scale analytics on enterprise-wide data. MapR-DB was recently recognized by an independent research firm as the highest scored NoSQL key-value database for current offering among all reviewed vendors.

- A new MapR POSIX client – provides NFS access to applications running on edge nodes with speed and security advantages. The MapR client boosts performance by leveraging compression and parallel access, as well as providing authentication and encryption to ensure secure data access.

- A new C API for MapR-DB - gives the huge talent pool of application engineers who code in C the ability to write real-time Hadoop applications. 

 “Businesses continue to push the boundaries of real-time analytics in Hadoop, but can be challenged by a geographically-dispersed environment,” said Nik Rouda, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a statement. “With the new product release from MapR, data is no longer tied to one site and can instead have global relevance. Live data updates across multiple clusters can be shared and analyzed immediately with the speed and reliability needed for enterprise operations.”

 Version 4.1 of the MapR Distribution is available immediately.

As we noted in a previous post, MapR's CEO has also offered up a series of interesting predictions for Big Data in 2015. According to his predictions:

"In 2015, IT will embrace self-service Big Data to allow developers, data scientists and data analysts to directly conduct data exploration. Previously, IT would be required to establish centralized data structures. This is a time consuming and expensive step. Hadoop has made the enterprise comfortable with structure-on-read for some use cases. Advanced organizations will move to data bindings on execution and away from a central structure to fulfill ongoing requirements. This self service speeds organizations in their ability to leverage new data sources and respond to opportunities and threats."

"As organizations move quickly beyond experimentation to serious adoption in the data center, enterprise architects move front and center into the Big Data adoption path. IT leaders will be vital in determining the underlying architectures required to meet SLAs, deliver high availability, business continuity and meet mission-critical needs. In 2014 the booming ecosystem around Hadoop was celebrated with a proliferation of applications, tools and components. In 2015 the market will concentrate on the differences across platforms and the architecture required to integrate Hadoop into the data center and deliver business results."

 

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OpenStack Earns Plug-in Replacement for Amazon EC2 API

Wednesday 18th of February 2015 03:53:55 PM

All the way back in 2013, the folks at Cloudscaling were adamant that the future of OpenStack depended on embracing Amazon Web Services (AWS), and there has continued to be much debate on the topic. Eucalyptus Systems, among other open cloud players, proved that by integrating Amazon's command interfaces exactly, many users would react positively.

Fast-forward to today, and Cloudscaling has released a plug-in replacement for OpenStack's existing Nova EC2 API. With it, OpenStack users can interact with OpenStack Compute using APIs that are compatible with the Amazon AWS EC2 APIs.

In a post on the new plug-in replacement, Cloudscaling notes the following:

"Many people still very much care about the EC2 and AWS APIs and are quite concerned about their state and the lack of attention to keeping them current...It’s taken a while and the entire backstory and history isn’t really relevant for this article, but Cloudscaling (now part of EMC) has been working diligently to build a drop-in replacement for the existing Nova EC2 API. This standalone EC2 API can be found in StackForge. This re-implementation of the EC2 APIs is now ready for prime time and serendipitously you can see from the opening comments that the community is very interested in adopting it."

"During the 'debate' that occurred in 2013, I was frequently bemused by the attempts of community members to downplay the importance of the EC2 APIs. I think it’s all settled down now and generally accepted that we want the EC2 APIs to live on and succeed in OpenStack-land and hopefully we’ll even support other APIs down the road."

 Cloudscaling has made clear that it is not in favor of dropping the OpenStack APIs in favor of AWS. Rather, the company wants to bridge OpenStack and Amazon's platform.

It's a strategy that makes a lot of sense, because despite the momentum behind open cloud platforms, Amazon remains the 800-pound gorilla in the cloud. For more on the topic, it's worth reading the original Cloudscaling post that sparked discussion.

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Bodhi 3.0 Released, Top 11 Distros for 2015

Wednesday 18th of February 2015 04:33:45 AM

Jeff Hoogland today announced Bodhi Linux 3.0.0. This is the first release after the scare of losing founder and lead developer; a release many thought may never come just a short while ago. Over at Linux.com Swapnil Bhartiya penned an article describing the best Linux contenders in a variety of categories for the coming year. Elsewhere, five developers say Linux should be used for making music.

It's nice to see Bodhi Linux 3.0 released today as it was just a couple of months ago many feared this day wouldn't come. But it has and today's release features Enlightenment E19.3, Linux 3.16, Terminology 0.8.0, and UEFI support. Accompanying this release is brand new website and forums - which look great. You can almost hear the joy from users in the comments. "This is amazing, thanks for all your hard work" is just one example. Download the latest at sourceforge.net.

In other news, Swapnil Bhartiya offered up The Top 11 Best Linux Distros for 2015. He said elementary OS is the most beautiful and openSUSE is best for the desktop. Debian is the best for servers, because as Bhartiya said, "Nothing could possibly go wrong on a Debian server." Steam OS is the best for gaming and he said Sugar is the best for children.

Other interesting tidbits today:

* Why should you consider using a Linux-based system for music making?

* Red Hat: What An 'Advanced' Cloud Looks Like

* Debian Project News - February 16th

* Where do we stand 30 years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation?

* First fully sandboxed Linux desktop app

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Cloudera, Focused on Hadoop, Grows Out its Partner Ecosystem

Tuesday 17th of February 2015 04:05:08 PM

Providing evidence of how fast the Big Data space is growing, Cloudera, which specializes in enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop, has announced that its partner ecosystem grew more than 75 percent over the past year to include over 1,450 partners. In the past year, Cloudera announced new and expanded strategic partnerships with Accenture, Capgemini, Dell, EMC, Red Hat and many other companies. It also has previously announced alliances with Amazon, CenturyLink Technology Solutions, HP, IBM Softlayer, Oracle, SAS, Splunk, T-Systems, and VMware.

Cloudera's total ISV application and tools partners, companies that build applications that run on the platform, increased more than 60 percent to 267. System Integrators (SI) and solutions partners jumped 50 percent to 851. Cloudera says that it is working with SI partners on 18 industry solutions built on Cloudera, with more than 20 others in development. OEM application partners grew during the past year to 29--delivering full product solutions in verticals such as financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and technology.

Cloudera, of course, is not the only commercial enterprise focused on Hadoop. Hortonworks recently had a successful IPO, and has expanded its menu of training and support options for Hadoop.

Cloudera has shrewdly focused on certification programs and security, knowing that enteprises will demand hardened solutions surrounding Hadoop. Last Spring, Cloudera kicked off a partner product certification program, announcing at the time that it had already certified more than 100 products on its platform. Today that number is over 200, according to the company. Cloudera also reports that over 70 partner product certifications on Cloudera Enterprise 5 with security have been completed.

"We are extremely excited about the depth and breadth of our partner ecosystem," said Tim Stevens, vice president, Business and Corporate Development, Cloudera. "We're working with 13 of the 14 Leaders, Challengers and Visionaries in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics Platforms for 2014, 12 of whom are certified on Impala. Our partners play a key role in the direction of our business and they serve as the voice of the customer in many respects. We invest heavily in our partners - and we will continue to do so going forward."

 In addition to its momentum with partners, we reported last year that the company secured a staggering $900 million round of financing with participation by top tier institutional and strategic investors, including Google Ventures.

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Red Hat Takes Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to the Next Level

Tuesday 17th of February 2015 03:51:18 PM

Red Hat remains very focused on advancing its OpenStack-focused cloud business initiatives. The company has now released an update of its OpenStack distribution, marrying its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL) platform with the latest OpenStack release: Juno. "Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform sets a new standard for OpenStack deployments, with customers in production in every region, spanning industry verticals and enterprises of various sizes in education, financial services, government, healthcare, retail, and telecommunications," claims the company's announcement.

Of course, survey results from The OpenStack Foundation have shown that many OpenStack deployments are taking place on top of Ubuntu, but Red Hat has steadily remained focused on pairing its Linux platform with OpenStack. The company also pointed to succes with the effort on its most recent earnings call.

According to today's announcement, the new release has a number of new features, with some aimed directly at telcos:

"Building on its innovative co-engineered design, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 strengthens Red Hat’s production-ready cloud platform through advancements in both the Linux and OpenStack components. Interoperability and ease of use continue to be at the forefront, starting with updates to Red Hat’s intuitive graphical installer and management tools that create greater efficiency and reduce the complexities of a cloud deployment."

"Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 is based on the OpenStack Juno release and includes several new features aimed at easing enterprise deployments of OpenStack technology within existing datacenters and capabilities specific to telecommunications providers to enable Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) deployments among carriers, including:

- IPv6 support, for both provider and tenant networks, enabling customers to assign IPv6 addresses across physical networks and OpenStack Networking (Neutron) virtual routers in stateless and stateful modes.

- Neutron High Availability offers an upgraded OpenStack experience with Neutron agents in “active-active” mode for high availability configuration. This availability improves redundancy for networking, providing service uptime and improving stability for larger-scale production clouds.

- Single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) networking, supported by a new driver, enables users to execute network switching directly on their hardware, bypassing the hypervisor and virtual switch levels.

- Support for Multi-LDAP backends and domains, all within a single Identity service node, easing the installation and configuration processes for the platform, as well as long-term daily operations."

Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of OpenStack at Red Hat, said:

“Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 delivers enterprise-grade and telco-ready features, fueled by deep engagements with hundreds of customers and partners across the globe, to enable an open cloud infrastructure. Backed by our robust partner ecosystem, this release can enable a wider variety of enterprises and cloud service providers to quickly transition to an OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure.”

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New Project Points to Danger of Boutique Distros

Tuesday 17th of February 2015 04:58:45 AM

On February 6 the CrunchBang project called it quits and certain community members spoke of resurrecting the once popular Linux distribution. Well, over the weekend a new project sprang forth from the ruins to form CrunchBang++. Elsewhere, Charles Schulz says the more distros change the more some stay the same and Matt Hartley warns of the dangers of smaller "boutique" distributions.

The CrunchBang project called it quits on February 6 leaving some loyal users feeling jilted. Some even spoke of keeping the distribution alive. Well, a new project Website appeared on the Internet yesterday declaring "We are continuing the legacy with #!++. Same sleek crunch - new Jessie packages." Little information is available at this time but a net installation Beta is available for download with the usual caveats. The Website is registered to Ben Young, who also posted the announcement on Blogspot.com saying, "A couple of developers, Ben Young and Jimmer Overland, launched a new distro based on #! Crunchbang the #!++ Crunchbangplusplus." Young added that ++ will be the same as original CrunchBang but with a "few tweaks for the UI, and include the new Jessie repos." There are other projects being discussed and some forum members aren't happy with Young's efforts, but there ya' go. CrunchBang might not be cold and buried just yet.

Ah, but Matt Hartley warns today of relying upon what he calls smaller "boutique distros." While folks are drawn to the smaller more intimate community that comes with the boutique distros, users risk the sudden discontinuation that all too often happens. Hartley says those smaller projects have contributed in countless ways to the overall landscape and definitely fill a need. So, while users may risk future heartache, Linux wouldn't be the same without them. It may, or may not, be worth the risk.

Charles Schulz, famous mostly for his work on OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, and OpenMandriva, said this weekend that some distros never change. He said his recent Fedora 21 installation would crash when opening software and became too annoying to use. He added, "That is the same kind of oddities I was having in Fedora Core 6; and Fedora Core 8; and Fedora Core 9." In response Schulz installed Arch and observed, "In comparison, the set-up of Arch Linux was a breeze and extremely fast." He added this tip for Linux users:

But the next time you think about switching to another distribution, remember you’re not just switching to another “system” but to a distinct and at times subtle experience that makes Linux all the more interesting and kept it so for many years.

In other news:

* Reviews: MakuluLinux 2.0 Cinnamon

* Elementary OS: A good looking cheap Apple lookalike

* Rawhide: Beloved and vital member of the Fedora family

* The Community Really Wants To See Linux 4.0

* Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) released

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New Project Points to Danger of Boutique Distro

Tuesday 17th of February 2015 04:58:45 AM

On February 6 the CrunchBang project called it quits and certain community members spoke of resurrecting the once popular Linux distribution. Well, over the weekend a new project sprang forth from the ruins to form CrunchBang++. Elsewhere, Charles Schulz says the more distros change the more some stay the same and Matt Hartley warns of the dangers of smaller "boutique" distributions.

The CrunchBang project called it quits on February 6 leaving some loyal users feeling jilted. Some even spoke of keeping the distribution alive. Well, a new project Website appeared on the Internet yesterday declaring "We are continuing the legacy with #!++. Same sleek crunch - new Jessie packages." Little information is available at this time but a net installation Beta is available for download with the usual caveats. The Website is registered to Ben Young, who also posted the announcement on Blogspot.com saying, "A couple of developers, Ben Young and Jimmer Overland, launched a new distro based on #! Crunchbang the #!++ Crunchbangplusplus." Young added that ++ will be the same as original CrunchBang but with a "few tweaks for the UI, and include the new Jessie repos." There are other projects being discussed and some forum members aren't happy with Young's efforts, but there ya' go. CrunchBang might not be cold and buried just yet.

Ah, but Matt Hartley warns today of relying upon what he calls smaller "boutique distros." While folks are drawn to the smaller more intimate community that comes with the boutique distros, users risk the sudden discontinuation that all too often happens. Hartley says those smaller projects have contributed in countless ways to the overall landscape and definitely fill a need. So, while users may risk future heartache, Linux wouldn't be the same without them. It may, or may not, worth the risk to users.

Charles Schulz, famous mostly for his work on OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, and OpenMandriva, said this weekend that some distros never change. He said his recent Fedora 21 installation would crash when opening software and became too annoying to use. He added, "That is the same kind of oddities I was having in Fedora Core 6; and Fedora Core 8; and Fedora Core 9." In response Schulz installed Arch and observed, "In comparison, the set-up of Arch Linux was a breeze and extremely fast." He added this tip for Linux users:

But the next time you think about switching to another distribution, remember you’re not just switching to another “system” but to a distinct and at times subtle experience that makes Linux all the more interesting and kept it so for many years.

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Valentine's Comes to Linux

Saturday 14th of February 2015 03:53:26 AM

Tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day and a lot of Open Source is feeling mushy. The Free Software Foundation began a campaign to show all the hard-working developers, managers, and support staff appreciation and has dubbed February 14 I love Free Software Day. openSUSE and the Document Foundation are in the act as well. Elsewhere, the Mageia project has announced their Valentine's gift - Mageia 5 Beta 3.

The Free Software Foundation of Europe has started a campaign to show appreciation "to the people behind Free Software because they enable us to use, study, share and improve the software which enables us to work in freedom." They suggest taking a picture, sending a postcard, participating in the hashtag, or making a donation to show your appreciation and support. openSUSE and the Document Foundation are showing their love as well.

The Mageia project today announced the release of Mageia 5 Beta 3 calling it either "Bad luck or Valentine gift." Itt was either released on Friday the 13th or Valentine's Day - depending on your timezone. Anne Nicolas said after a long release meeting, they found enough bugs were fixed to warrant a new beta. This release brings UEFI support on all 64-bit ISOs. Some desktop choices were removed from the installer, so you may have to install your favorite from repositories afterwards. Some of the new artwork is making its way into the system and automatic upgrading from Mageia 4 is available. This release ships with Linux 3.19.0, KDE 4.14.3, GNOME 3.14.3, RPM 4.12.0.1, and Libreoffice 4.4.0.3. Downloads are at mageia.org and don't forget to check the errata.

Linus Torvalds yesterday posted on his Google+ page that he was thinking of jumping the version number of the current kernel from 3.xx to 4.xx to avoid "the numbers [becoming] big enough that you can't really distinguish them. But let's see what people think." So far, 56% of respondents say move onto 4.0 and 44% say stay in the 3.2x range for now. An interesting discussion arose from the question as well, so go vote and discuss.

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With Joyent's Blessings, and New Members, The Node.js Foundation Takes Shape

Friday 13th of February 2015 04:07:29 PM

A foundation can do a lot for an open source project. Just look at The OpenStack Foundation or The Linux Foundation. This week, Node.js, the very popular server-side JavaScript framework that is used for building and running websites and online applications, got its own foundation. Among other things, that means that Joyent will no longer solely govern Node.js. The foundation should help the project gain more contributions and develop more quickly.

 According to a post:

"One week ago Scott Hammond, CEO of Joyent, invited the io.js TC (Technical Committee) to a private meeting where he expressed his intention to start a node.js Foundation and his desire to bring io.js back to the node.js project."

 As Wired notes:

"The announcement follows a schism in the community late last year, when several core Node developers, frustrated with the slow pace of development under Joyent, decided to “fork” the project, creating a version of the tool outside the company’s control. The new foundation may be the first step in bringing the two versions of Node back under one roof. That could mean better versions of Node and, therefore, better online applications for the rest of the internet."

 Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, and can be run within the Node.js runtime on OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and elsewhere. Microsoft, IBM, and the Linux Foundation are all on board with The Node.js Foundation. 

Joyent has delivered a post announcing the foundation:

"Node.js has seen massive growth over the past few years. What was once an innovative developer tool is now the framework of choice for millions of individuals and businesses around the world. They rely on Node.js and will continue to for years to come."

"So far, IBM, Microsoft, PayPal, Fidelity and SAP have joined us as founding members, and we'll continue to add others over the coming months. We want the project to represent the diverse interests and perspectives of the community at large and are committed to including organizations of all sizes and individuals. In our efforts to open the Foundation to everyone, we will provide scaled sponsorship levels to make participation possible at any budget."

"We have selected the Linux Foundation to advise us on the best way to structure and run the Foundation to ensure it is effective at growing, developing, and supporting the Node.js community via a neutral foundation. Given their track record with Linux and many other projects, we feel their expertise will be a real asset to the community."

 

 

 

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Docker, and the Whole Container Space, Remain Red Hot

Friday 13th of February 2015 03:50:57 PM

There has been a lot of action on the container front recently. Version 1.5 of Docker rolled out with new features and upgrades. Survey results from StackEngine also arrived, shown in a detailed infographic, that describe some of the major trends going on in the container space, including Docker trends. And Rocket, a competitor to Docker that we've covered, reached new milestones.

Docker version 1.5 has "smashed many long-standing, annoying bugs and merged a few awesome features that both the community and maintainers are excited about," touted a blog post.  The post added:

"You can now allocate an ipv6 address to each container with the new ‘–ipv6’ flag. You can resolve ipv6 addresses from within a container. You can even use this feature to have containers communicate across multiple hosts. For more information on setting up ipv6 and how it works, check out the docs."

Meanwhile, StackEngine delivered the results of its first “State of Containers” survey, polling 745 respondents in the enterprise virtualization and cloud computing space. The survey found that 70% of respondents’ organizations are either evaluating or using Docker--a very high number.

And, the folks behind CoreOS announced Rocket 0.2.0. According to a post on it:

"v0.2.0 marks the arrival of automatic signature validation...Notably, this release introduces several important new subcommands."

 According to another post from the Core OS folks on Rocket:

“When Docker was first introduced to us in early 2013, the idea of a “standard container” was striking and immediately attractive: a simple component, a composable unit, that could be used in a variety of systems. The Docker repository included a manifesto of what a standard container should be. This was a rally cry to the industry, and we quickly followed. We thought Docker would become a simple unit that we can all agree on.”

“Unfortunately, a simple re-usable component is not how things are playing out. Docker now is building tools for launching cloud servers, systems for clustering, and a wide range of functions: building images, running images, uploading, downloading, and eventually even overlay networking, all compiled into one monolithic binary running primarily as root on your server. The standard container manifesto was removed. We should stop talking about Docker containers, and start talking about the Docker Platform.”

“We still believe in the original premise of containers that Docker introduced, so we are doing something about it. Rocket is a command line tool, rkt, for running App Containers. An ‘App Container’ is the specification of an image format, container runtime, and a discovery mechanism.”

 That said, in a conversation with Matt Asay posted online, CoreOS founder Alex Polvi says that Rocket isn't really meant to replace Docker, but can help to standardize basic container technology. Polvi says in the interview:

"Docker started out as a component for building platforms with. A building block. Something you could layer into your existing systems to take advantage of containers. Examples of this in action are Kubernetes or the EC2 Container service. These things use containers as part of a larger system...Now Docker is a platform itself, not the building block. Is this bad? No, it is just no longer the ideal component for building systems...We think there is still a need for the component to exist for other systems to integrate with."

 

 

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