Linuxworld expo in brief

Improvements in Linux clustering, system management, and the future of open source as it relates to enterprise performance and 64-bit computing were hot topics at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo at the San Jose Convention Centre, last week.

Caldera Systems introduced network management software codenamed Cosmos. Cosmos will enable secure, remote management of multiple Linux or heterogeneous systems, enabling network administrators to manage vast networks through the use of applied network policies rather than having to individually manage each system. Cosmos can manage hardware and software inventories, software distribution, system-health monitoring, and even printer configuration.

IBM announced three new open-source projects at the trade show. The first was a print architecture and print drivers for Linux, which doubles the number of current print drivers available for Linux. The architecture and drivers will be issued under the Lesser General Public Licence. Second, IBM is making its Andrew File System network file system available to an open-source licensing scheme, which will be accessible under Big Blue's own public licence.

Additionally, IBM at the show announced the Dynamic Probe, tools for improving the serviceability of Linux.

IBM also offers its first prepackaged Linux cluster offering, a set of hardware and software that will be aimed at businesses running technical and scientific applications, as well as fast-growing dotcoms in need of a scalable Web server.

The IBM Solution Series for Linux Clusters is built around IBM's Netfinity servers and will support versions of Linux from Caldera Systems, Red Hat, SuSE Linux and Turbo Linux, IBM said. The package also includes software from IBM and other vendors, and a services component from IBM Global Services to help customers get up and running with the technology.

Hewlett-Packard plans to port Linux to its 64-bit PA-RISC platform with a developer's release soon, and production quality code will be available in Q4.

Moreover, HP is certifying and supporting its e-PCs for Linux, as well as bundling TurboLinux with its Kayak workstations, Vectra desktops, and the entire line of NetServers. On the software side, HP is porting its Web QoS (quality of service) and OpenMail products to Linux. The company says it's bringing compatibility between Linux and HP-UX.

Transvirtual, a California-based vendor, has a new Linux-based software platform aimed at the wireless PDA (personal digital assistant) market and that leverages Java and XML technologies. Called PocketLinux, the product consists of three layers. At the bottom of the stack is the Linux operating system. On top of that sits Kaffe, Transvirtual's Java Virtual Machine. The top layer is an XML presentation layer written in Java. Tim Wilkinson, CEO of Transvirtual, said PocketLinux enables not only PDAs but other devices such as IP telephones that allows Linux applications to be used in a more useful way, enabling users to listen to MP3 files, read e-mail, and read appointment calendars.

Dell has a prototype PowerEdge Server based on a 64-bit Itanium processor from Intel and running a version of Linux from Red Hat. Dell announced plans in June to sell PowerEdge servers pre-installed with Red Hat Linux, and to work with the open-source vendor to develop 64-bit Linux systems.

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