Open Source Alliance Cyberjaya

The Linux and Open Source Special Interest Group in Cyberjaya, Malaysia

Archive for January 2007

Two Linux groups will merge

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The two biggest supporters of Linux software are coming together.A San Francisco non-profit, the Free Standards Group, will merge with Open Source Development Labs of Beaverton, Ore., to form The Linux Foundation, the organizations said today in a joint statement.The Linux operating system competes with Microsoft Windows and Unix as the computer platform for other software programs to run on. It is open-source software, which means the code is publicly available and can be changed by anyone.

The Linux foundation’s members include major technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle, as well as the two largest Linux makers, Novell and Red Hat. It will be led by Jim Zemlin, former executive director of the Free Standards Group.

The new group will defend Linux vendors and customers against intellectual property lawsuits. It also plans to help increase usage of Linux by aiding development of the software and helping the operating system work with open-source and proprietary software.

“Linux offers freedom of choice, customization and flexibility without forcing customers into vendor lock-in,” Zemlin said in a statement. “The Linux Foundation helps in the next stage of Linux growth by organizing the diverse companies and constituencies of the Linux ecosystem to promote, protect and standardize Linux.”

The Free Standards Group and Open Source Development Labs were both founded six years ago. OSDL, which employs Linux creator Linus Torvalds, cut nine employees in a major reorganization last month.

Source: Mercury News

Written by syazli7

Tue, 23 Jan 2007 at 05:37:13 +0800

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Taking the plunge into open source

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More software companies are finding that the best way to make money with software is to give it away, cherry-picking open-source software practices for commercial gain.

On Monday, a small software company called Aras will release the code of its design application–written entirely with Microsoft technologies–and shift to an open-source business model.

For a small company faced with tepid growth, letting anyone download its application for free was a risk worth taking.

“We’ve been growing but growing at a slow and steady rate. It was our observation, and the board agreed, that enterprise software is on the verge of a big shift,” said Peter Schroer, president of Aras. “In open source, what’s left is the application layer, and we wanted to be the first to offer it, not the last.”

Aras’ decision to go open-source mirrors moves by hundreds of software companies adjusting to the popularity of open source, where a product’s underlying code is freely available.

With an open-source business model, companies often charge for services, such as support and product updates, to paying customers while allowing unsupported customers to use the product for free–or the companies offer a free edition in addition to a higher-end, paid version.

The effect of open source has swept through different corners of the software business, most profoundly with the Linux operating system and products that cater to software developers such as development tools and infrastructure software used to run Web sites and business applications. Nearly all of the largest infrastructure software companies–including IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Novell–have adopted some aspects of open source.

A handful of other companies are trying the open-source model in packaged applications, including SugarCRM, which sells customer relationship management software, as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) application companies Compiere and OpenMFG.

By going open-source, Aras is trying to grow revenue in a product segment called product lifecycle management (PLM), programs for coordinating the design and service of manufactured products. The software is typically expensive, and the market is dominated by a few large providers, including Parametric Technology, Dassault Systemes and UGS.

With open source, Aras hopes to make its software cheaper than entrenched vendors and easier to roll out to many employees within a company.

The plan is to forgo the license revenue it would have made from licenses and make it up, over time, with two-year support contracts, Schroer said. “It’s a very disruptive way to bring a product.

Source: CNET News

Written by syazli7

Fri, 19 Jan 2007 at 16:42:24 +0800

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Audi’s new luxury cars engineered on Linux

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For several years, German automobile manufacturer Audi AG, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, has been steadily migrating its engineering systems over to Linux. The company hopes to finish the job in 2007 and have the bulk of its servers and workstations running 64-bit Linux by the end of the year.

Recently Audi, whose longstanding motto is “Vorsprung durch Technik” (“Progress through technology”), has been upgrading to 64-bit Linux in deploying its automotive CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) servers, where simulation software is used in the design of casts, frames, and components, as well as for crash-test simulations and other 3-D visualization problems, as part of the greater migration to Linux.

“2003 and 2004 saw an explosion in the use of x86 systems using Linux,” says Audi spokesman Florian Kienast. “These systems are now being replaced by x86_64-based systems.”

Kienast says that most CAE applications that the company uses perform well on the x86_64 architecture. “The systems have enough memory and I/O bandwidth to cope with the requirements of the applications,” he says. “The notable exceptions are MSC Nastran and ABAQUS — these products are extremely power-hungry. Here, the large cache available on the Itanium 2 has proved to be extremely valuable.”

The move to Linux is occurring not only on the server side; the company is using Linux for workstations, too.

“On [both] the server and workstation sides, we are moving steadily towards a 100% 64-bit Linux environment,” says Kienast. “The number of CPUs available for CAE purposes will continue to increase as the hardware costs sink.”

Audi is not a Linux newbie; this migration is part of a much longer move to Linux that the company has been making over the past several years, beginning with the deployment of Linux clusters for simulations. “Audi deployed the first Linux cluster of servers in April 2001,” says Kienast.

These were for EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) simulations, which solve automotive engineering problems concerning the testing of the various electrical and electronic components to ensure that there is no interference or system disturbances. This cluster, says Kienast, was the real start of Linux at Audi. Then in the following year, he says, the first Linux-powered workstations were put into action — after which Linux became the company’s preferred choice for both CAE servers and workstations.

Source: Linux.com

Written by syazli7

Wed, 3 Jan 2007 at 15:52:13 +0800

Posted in News