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Server: Data Centres, Google, SDN, Amazon, and Microsoft

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Server
  • Data Center Networking Performance: New Apps Bring New Requirements

    Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Baidu, and Tencent have reinvented the way in which IT services can be delivered, with capabilities that go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. That’s put traditional carriers on notice: John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president at AT&T technology and operations, for instance, said last year that AT&T wants to be the “most aggressive IT company in the world.” He noted that in a world where over-the-top (OTT) offerings have become commonplace, application and services development can no longer be defined by legacy processes.

  • Google Reveals a Powerful New AI Chip and Supercomputer

    The announcement reflects how rapidly artificial intelligence is transforming Google itself, and it is the surest sign yet that the company plans to lead the development of every relevant aspect of software and hardware.

    Perhaps most importantly, for those working in machine learning at least, the new processor not only executes at blistering speed, it can also be trained incredibly efficiently. Called the Cloud Tensor Processing Unit, the chip is named after Google’s open-source TensorFlow machine-learning framework.

  • Google's AlphaGo AI is about to face off against the world's best Go player

    This week, the matter will be settled once and for all. Ke Jie and AlphaGo will face off in a three-game match in Wuzhen, China, as part of the Future of Go Summit being held by Google.

  • Keynote: Cloud Native Networking- Amin Vahdat, Fellow & Technical Lead For Networking, Google
  • Google's Networking Lead Talks SDN Challenges for the Next Decade
  • Peace, love and SDN

    Virtualization has been a blessing for data centers – thanks to the humble hypervisor, we can create, move and rearrange computers on a whim, without thinking about the physical infrastructure.

    The simplicity and efficiency of VMs has prompted network engineers to envision a programmable, flexible network based on open protocols and REST APIs that could be managed from a single interface, without worrying about each router and switch.

  • Bryan Cantrill on Integrity

    Amazon has 14 leadership principles and integrity is not on it.

  • Bankrupt school ITT pleads 'don't let Microsoft wipe our cloud data!'

    The estate of bankrupt US trade school ITT Technical Institutes is today asking a court to stop Microsoft from erasing its cloud data.

    In a filing [PDF] to the US District Bankruptcy Court of Southern Indiana, the caretakers of the defunct for-profit university seek an order to bar the Redmond giant from wiping the contents of ITT's Office 365 and webmail accounts for students, faculty, and administrators.

​HPE hasn't abandoned OpenStack, releases Helion OpenStack 5.0

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OSS

If you thought HPE was getting out of the cloud business, I couldn't blame you. In late 2015, HPE gave up on its public OpenStack-based Helion cloud. Then, early this year, all of HPE's OpenStack developers moved over to SUSE. So, was HPE bidding the cloud, and OpenStack in particular, goodbye? Nope.

In Boston this week at OpenStack Summit, HPE released HPE Helion OpenStack 5.0. This release Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based cloud is built on the OpenStack Newton codebase and adheres tightly to application programming interface (API) standards and services. Since OpenStack's open APIs are an important part of why it's popular with so many companies, that's no small matter.

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OpenStack Summit

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OSS
  • Why Edward Snowden loves open source

    Infamous government hacker Edward Snowden believes open source is a fundamentally better way to use technology compared to proprietary technology that he believes disempowers users.

    Snowden was interviewed at the open source cloud computing project OpenStack Summit in Boston via video from a non-descript location and spoke about his personal use of open source technology. In 2013 Snowden, then a government contractor, leaked classified information about government surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, which brought him worldwide fame.

  • Snowden Advocates the Need for Open Source and OpenStack

    Using public cloud and proprietary software represents a "silent vulnerability" to millions of users around the world, according to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    Snowden appeared remotely via a video link at the OpenStack Summit here May 9 in a question-and-answer keynote with OpenStack Foundation Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier. Snowden said the average user is unaware of how the internet works.

    "For most people, the internet is magic," he said.

    According to Snowden, it's not good enough to let people mindlessly build internet and cloud services, which is where OpenStack plays an important role. He noted that while there are for-profit alternatives in the cloud space like Amazon that do a decent job, they are fundamentally disempowering.

  • OpenStack Summit Highlights Cloud Use Cases

    OpenStack started off as a cloud technology project and has evolved steadily over the last few years. In a marathon two and a half hour set of keynotes on the first day of the OpenStack Summit here, the OpenStack Foundation and the vendors and companies that use it talked about how they are using the cloud.

  • How the U.S. Army Is Using OpenStack to Train Cyber-Warriors

    The open-source OpenStack cloud platform is now being used to help train the next generation of cyber-warriors. At the OpenStack Summit here May 8, officers from the U.S. Army Cyber School explained how they are using OpenStack to train soldiers to fight in the cyber-domain.

    Major Julianna Rodriguez, director, and Chris Apsey, deputy director of the Cyber Technical College at the U.S. Army Cyber School, detailed their activities in a keynote as well as a late-day deep-dive technical session titled "Saving Millions and Achieving Education Freedom Through OpenStack. "

MariaDB raises $27.3 Million

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  • MariaDB raises $27.3 mln

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced a EUR 25m funding of MariaDB, the company behind the fastest growing Open Source database, to support the company’s next stage of growth and database innovation. This EIB operation is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a key element of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, aiming at reviving investment in strategic projects around Europe.

  • MariaDB Raises €25m in Funding

    MariaDB, a Menlo Park, California-based provider of the MariaDB open source database, raised €25m in funding.

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided the funding, which is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

  • EIB backs open source database MariaDB with €25m

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) has given €25 million in funding to open source database provider, MariaDB.

    This investment has been offered in order for MariaDB to increase its global client base as part of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a long term plan drafted by the European Commission.

  • Open Source database developer MariaDB picks up $27M from the EIB

    As open source database architecture continues to grow in popularity, one of the bigger developers in the area has picked up some funding to target the opportunity.

  • Open source database MariaDB secures €25m EIB funding

    The European Investment Bank likes what it sees in MariaDB, putting €25m into the open source database for expected growth in the coming years.

    The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) activities throughout the EU have proved quite interesting in recent years.

What is Docker and why is it so darn popular?

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If you're in data center or cloud IT circles, you've been hearing about containers in general and Docker in particular non-stop for a few years now. With the release of Docker 1.0 in June 2014, the buzz became a roar.

All the noise is happening because companies are adopting Docker at a remarkable rate. At OSCon in July 2014, I ran into numerous businesses that were already moving their server applications from virtual machines (VM) to containers. Indeed, James Turnbull, Docker's VP of services and support, told me at the conference that three of the largest banks that had been using Docker in beta were moving it into production. That's a heck of a confident move for any 1.0 technology, but it's almost unheard of in the safety-first financial world.

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Why the Largest Companies in the World Count on Linux Servers

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Linux
Server

Linux started its life in the data center as a cheaper alternative to UNIX. At the time, UNIX operating systems ruled the industry and for good reason. They were performant, fault tolerant and extremely stable. They also were very expensive and ran on very proprietary hardware. A lot of the familiar utilities and applications developed for those UNIX platforms eventually were ported over to Linux. So, once Linux ran services like Apache, it came as no surprise that Linux would usurp and replace the very same technologies that once inspired its creation. The very best part was that Linux ran on commodity x86 hardware. At the end of the day, anyone could deploy a Linux server at a fraction of the cost to deploy something from Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics (SGI) or from any other UNIX distributor.

Fast-forward to the present, and Linux continues to maintain a strong competitive lead over other server offerings, including the very popular Microsoft Windows. But why is that the case? In order to answer that question, one first must understand what Linux is.

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Linux/OSS on Servers, Networks

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  • Docker 17.05.0 Adds Multi-Stage Build and Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Support

    Docker 17.05.0 was released today as part of the new Moby project, a collaborative effort to assemble container-based systems for the container ecosystem, a release that brings a great number of improvements and new features.

  • Heptio’s Joe Beda: Before embracing cloud computing, make sure your culture is ready
  • China hits milestone in developing quantum computer ‘to eclipse all others’

    A team of scientists from eastern China has built the first form of quantum computer that they say is faster than one of the early generation of conventional computers developed in the 1940s.

    The researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China at Hefei in Anhui province built the machine as part of efforts to develop and highlight the future use of quantum computers.

    The devices make use of the way particles interact at a subatomic level to make calculations rather than conventional computers which use electronic gates, switches and binary code.

  • Tracking NFV Performance in the Data Center

    Network function virtualization (NFV) is clearly on the rise, with an increasing number of production deployments across carriers worldwide. Operators are looking to create nimble, software-led topologies that can deliver services on-demand and reduce operational costs. From a data center performance standpoint, there’s a problem: Traditional IT virtualization approaches that have worked for cloud and enterprise data centers can’t cost-effectively support the I/O-centric and latency-sensitive workloads that carriers require.

Mark Collier and Dell on OpenStack

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  • The evolution of OpenStack

    Mark Collier has been involved with OpenStack since the beginning, first at Rackspace where the project emerged as a joint partnership with NASA, and soon after as a co-founder and now Chief Operating Officer of the OpenStack Foundation.

    I had the opportunity to speak with Mark a few weeks ago to hear more about what we can expect as OpenStack continues to evolve: from how it is developed, to what it can do, to how it is used. Here's what he shared with me.

  • Dell EMC targets telecom market with OpenStack solutions for scaling applications

    Dell’s acquisition of EMC may have jump-started the hardware titan’s enterprise cloud efforts, but it was open source development platforms that helped pave Dell’s path to customers in new markets, including telecommunications. Many of Dell’s customers were vocal about wanting some sort of open-source cloud platform on which to build those enterprise solutions, said Armughan Ahmad (pictured), senior vice president and general manager of solutions and alliances at Dell EMC.

Linux on Servers

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  • The Case for Containerizing Middleware

    It’s one thing to accept the existence of middleware in a situation where applications are being moved from a “legacy,” client/server, n-tier scheme into a fully distributed systems environment. For a great many applications whose authors have long ago moved on to well-paying jobs, containerizing the middleware upon which they depend may be the only way for them to co-exist with modern applications in a hybrid data center.

    It’s why it’s a big deal that Red Hat is extending its JBoss Fuse middleware service for OpenShift. It’s also why Cloud Foundry’s move last December to make its Open Service Broker API an open standard can be viewed as a necessary event for container platforms.

  • Cloud Computing Continues to Influence HPC

    Cloud technologies are influencing HPC just as it is the rest of enterprise IT. The main drivers of this transformation are the reduction of cost and the increase in accessibility and availability to users within an organization.

  • Red Hat Delivers Cloud Control and Insight With Ansible Integration

    Red Hat announced new IT automation capabilities on May 3, including CloudForms 4.5 and an update for Red Hat Insights. The new releases debuted on the second day of the Red Hat Summit event in Boston.

    While the first day of Red Hat Summit was largely about containers, the second day's focus is on automation. For Red Hat, automation comes in many forms, though in recent years the open-source Ansible IT automation platform has been the foundation. Red Hat acquired Ansible in October 2015 and has been working to integrate Ansible across its product portfolio ever since.

  • EnterpriseDB Integration With Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform Provides New DevOps Efficiencies for Flexible Database Deployments

Former Concur CEO to Lead Docker Containers Forward

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Just over a week ago, Ben Golub was on stage at the DockerCon 17 conference explaining how well his company Docker Inc. was doing and why container use is the future of technology. While Golub was optimistic about the future of Docker Inc., apparently his future as CEO of the company was to be short-lived. Today Docker Inc. announced that Steve Singh will be the company's new CEO.

What is surprising about the move is that there was no indication, at DockerCon 17 or elsewhere, that a CEO search or replacement exercise was under way. As it turns out, discussions about a new CEO have been ongoing for weeks, though there was no formal executive search under way.

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Also: Red Hat and Amazon integrate AWS, RHEL, and OpenShift

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GNOME News: Black Lab Drops GNOME and Further GNOME Experiments in Meson

  • Ubuntu-Based Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 Drops GNOME 3 for MATE Desktop
    Coming about two weeks after the release of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11, which is based on the Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system using the HWE (hardware enablement) kernel from Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 appears to be an unexpected maintenance update addressing a few important issues reported by users lately.
  • 3.26 Developments
    My approach to development can often differ from my peers. I prefer to spend the early phase of a cycle doing lots of prototypes of various features we plan to implement. That allows me to have the confidence necessary to know early in the cycle what I can finish and where to ask for help.
  • Further experiments in Meson
    Meson is definitely getting more traction in GNOME (and other projects), with many components adding support for it in parallel to autotools, or outright switching to it. There are still bugs, here and there, and we definitely need to improve build environments — like Continuous — to support Meson out of the box, but all in all I’m really happy about not having to deal with autotools any more, as well as being able to build the G* stack much more quickly when doing continuous integration.

Fedora and Red Hat

Debian and Derivatives

  • Reproducible Builds: week 108 in Stretch cycle
  • Debuerreotype
    The project is named “Debuerreotype” as an homage to the photography roots of the word “snapshot” and the daguerreotype process which was an early method of taking photographs. The essential goal is to create “photographs” of a minimal Debian rootfs, so the name seemed appropriate (even if it’s a bit on the “mouthful” side).
  • The end of Parsix GNU/Linux
    The Debian-based Parsix distribution has announced that it will be shutting down six months after the Debian "Stretch" release.
  • Privacy-focused Debian 9 'Stretch' Linux-based operating system Tails 3.0 reaches RC status
    If you want to keep the government and other people out of your business when surfing the web, Tails is an excellent choice. The Linux-based operating system exists solely for privacy purposes. It is designed to run from read-only media such as a DVD, so that there are limited possibilities of leaving a trail. Of course, even though it isn't ideal, you can run it from a USB flash drive too, as optical drives have largely fallen out of favor with consumers. Today, Tails achieves an important milestone. Version 3.0 reaches RC status -- meaning the first release candidate (RC1). In other words, it may soon be ready for a stable release -- if testing confirms as much. If you want to test it and provide feedback, you can download the ISO now.