Enterprise Unix Roundup: Sun Gobbles Open Source Page 2

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Dec 1, 2005

Main     In Other News     Elsewhere in the Corral     Tips of the Trade

In Other News

» If you think Sun is being too mean to IBM, note that IBM this week launched a free Migration Kit for enterprises looking to move from Solaris to Linux. The offering is designed simplify the move on multiple platforms.

The new Migration Kit for Solaris to Linux supports any IBM eServer or System, including Linux on Power, Linux on Intel- and AMD- servers, and blades and Linux on the mainframe. It will be made available to IBM partners, ISVs, and customers to help assist the assessment and migration of Solaris C/C++ applications from Solaris SPARC to Linux on IBM Systems.

The toolkit is available for immediate download from IBM's Web site.

» As usual, IDC went public with its third-quarter server stats as we were packing up to hit the road and consume copious amounts of turkey and pumpkin pie. No big surprises here: Low-cost, dual-core 64-bit machines are having their day and accounted for 25 percent of units shipped. Linux servers continue to sell strong, with year-over-year revenue growth of 34.3 percent and unit shipments up 20.5 percent. Sales of Unix machines continued to decline, falling .4 percent year-over-year to $3.9 billion, while unit shipments declined 13.7 percent from third-quarter 2004.

» As we noted several weeks ago, the GPL is getting a refresh. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) released a process definition document this week, outlining the course it will be taking to craft GPL v3. The plan is to publish the first discussion draft of the new license at the International Public Conference next month at MIT.

Participation in the license update is open to everyone from big-name companies and government agencies to free software projects and individual developers, officials said. Committees representing each constituency will be established during the MIT conference.

For those who can't make it to Cambridge, an online comment site has also been established. The FSF and SFLC plan to hold meetings throughout the world to gather more international input.

Two goals of the new version of the license are internationalization and compatibility with other free software licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative.

» Lockheed Martin Space Systems will use Concurrent's real-time RedHawk Linux operating system for the U.S. Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program, a strategic missile defense subsystem simulation testing program. The RedHawk Linux solution includes the standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation CDs, and support is being handled via Concurrent.

» Recent customer wins of interest: Arkansas-based Suttle Equipment remotely installed a new iSeries system at the core of its IT network. The company has no IT staff but relied on CRTI, an IBM partner, to oversee the migration. The company did so without ever walking through the door. We're still perplexed as to whether this is a bragging point, but we do suspect it's a trend worth watching.

eBay picked up and deployed hundreds of dual-core Sun Fire x64 Galaxy servers and StorEdge systems just in time for the newly christened "Cyber Monday."

Elsewhere in the Corral

Recent relevant articles about enterprise Unix

  • If you've always wondered what exactly LAMP is and what it does, check out ServerWatch's look at the LAMP stack, which takes both a componentized and a holistic perspective.

  • Although the command-line interface appears to be on the decline, it has advantages and there are situations where it is preferable to a GUI. In an interview with LinuxPlanet, Mark Sobell, author of A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, contrasts the original Bourne Shell with GNU's Bourne Again Shell and talks about the usefulness of the gawk and tr utilities.

  • Enterprise Networking Planet has an in-the-trenches series that looks at one admin's journey from a Window's-centric galaxy to a Linux one. In "Ziggy Admin and the OS from Mars," sys admin Deann Corum describes her background and her experiences with Windows, as well as her thoughts on working in a Linux environment.

Tips of the Trade

"A picture is worth a thousand words." When you need to display complex information in a graph, Graphviz might be just the ticket. Graphviz is a visualization program that takes almost any kind of structured information — such as traceroutes, TCP states, code structure, kernel state, relationships between database tables — and creates a graph. Graphs can be displayed in a number of different formats, such as PDF, SVG, and JPG.

Graphviz lets you build static diagrams from a file, or automatically generate diagrams from data sources that change. Graphs can be just as colorful and elaborate as desired.

Graphviz is different from other graphing and diagramming tools. It is scripted, so you're not wrestling with a mouse to make everything look right. It incorporates a number of tools:

dot language

This is used to create graphs from a static file. Here is a very simple example. First create a text file named helloworld.dot containing this simple Hello World example:

graph hello
       Node1 [label="Hello, World!"]

Then run this command to generate an image of the graph:

$ dot helloworld.dot -T png > helloworld.jpg 


This is used for generating graphs from data that changes, such as network states.


twopi makes circular graphs.

tcldot and dotty

Two nice graphical interfaces to Graphviz for X Windows.

Graphviz has a bit of a learning curve, but the dot language is pretty straightforward and simple. It's scriptable and endlessly adaptable. Visit Graphviz for downloads and documentation, and be sure to visit the mail list for additional help, and creative tips and tricks. Carla Schroder writes the Tips of the Trade section of Enterprise Unix Roundup. She also appears on Enterprise Networking Planet and Linux Planet, covering Linux from the desktop to the server room. She is the author of the Linux Cookbook and the upcoming "Linux Networking Cookbook."

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