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07.17.15

Rackspace Joins Hands With NSA’s PRISM Pioneer, Cannot be Trusted for Security Anymore

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Servers at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not the Rackspace we once knew…

Rackspace

Summary: Rackspace adds proprietary spyware to its premises, hence reducing confidence in its ability to secure whatever is on the racks (security or perceived security severely compromised)

OVER the past few months I have confronted Rackspace on numerous occasions because they were promoting (even by mass-mailing without consent) proprietary software. This was done repeatedly, even after I had asked them to stop and they said they took action. That’s really quite a shame because Rackspace’s patent policy is commendable and their support team is quite technically-competent. The PATRIOT Act was always quite a problem (they’re subjected to secret warrants and cannot notify customers), but nevertheless, they had a good track record. They throw it all away now.

According to this article, Rackspace, which was traditionally about GNU/Linux, has climbed up Microsoft’s bed. Rackspace says: “We’re pleased to expand our relationship with Microsoft and the options we provide for our customers by offering Fanatical Support for Azure”. The company is based in 1 Fanatical Place, which probably explains the name. Reading further down the article we learn about “Rackspace’s Private Cloud that will be powered by Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure.” They must be out of their minds!

Rackspace makes a laughing stock of itself. What a dumb move.

Rackspace ought to know better, for no deployment on Windows in its datacentre can ever do any good. It is a threat to other guests and hyper-visors, even down to hardware. UEFI, promoted by the NSA’s leading partner, is targeted by Hacking Team and Microsoft Windows too is a target. To make matters worse, Microsoft is now leaving almost 200 million useds [sic] exposed. As The Register has just put it, “Windows XP holdouts are even more danger than ever after Microsoft abandoned anti-malware support for the ancient platform.

“Redmond overnight stopped providing XP support for new and existing installs of its Security Essentials package.”

“Rackspace’s business has back doors in it.”NSA surveillance of Windows is ever more trivial, not just because Microsoft constantly tells the NSA how to crack Windows (before patching flaws). The threat of Windows is contagious because it can spread to other platforms that share the same datacentre, network, and hardware. The weakest links are being targeted ti gain entry. Recall Pedro Hernandez with his Azure marketing (trying to convince GNU/Linux users to host with Microsoft) — shameless marketing which was soon followed by other sites (promoted by Microsoft-centric sites, some of which receive money from Microsoft, but alas, this was also noted by pro-Linux writers at Softpedia News). Any datacentre which gets ‘contaminated’ with Windows is no longer trustworthy; it should be deemed insecure because Microsoft deliberately adds flaws (back doors) to Windows. There are numerous technical reasons for this and we have covered them before. UKFast, for example, a large UK-based host, once told me (I spoke to the CTO) that they use Hyper-V (proprietary and Windows) to host GNU/Linux. This right there is a back door and I have confronted them over this. They never came up with a response that inspired any confidence.

Microsoft is now trying to make Apache software Windows- and Azure-tied, as British media now serves to remind us, and there is new additional bait to attract gullible people.

Don’t ever think that Windows can be contained or compartmentalised ‘away’ from Free software. Once a company starts to mix proprietary software with GNU/Linux (e.g. Hyper-V or VMware, which is connected to RSA) security is evidently lost. Security audits are impossible. Novell made some initial steps in this direction back in 2006 and now we have Rackspace. The company cannot be trusted anymore. Rackspace’s business has back doors in it.

04.12.15

GNU/Linux is Crushing Windows, So Microsoft Leaps Ahead to X+2 Vapourware (Two Versions Ahead Into the Future)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: Microsoft continues to pile up bogus claims and empty promises in an effort to stall migrations to GNU/Linux

THE unethical strategy of today’s Microsoft revolves around distortion of truth, targeting in particular the selling points of alternatives, such as GNU/Linux. Microsoft lies about Windows being “free” (gratis), being “Open Source” (libre), and being ‘like’ Linux or lightweight.

Microsoft’s longtime friend and propaganda site Neowin now proceeds to version X+1+1 (or X+2) vapourware marketing. It happened or at least started almost a week ago. Microsoft has a seemingly clever plan. There is even a logo and an image. Not a product. A plan. Logo. Image. Vapourware basically. We expected the media to debate it in the coming days and use it to badmouth GNU/Linux. We stated this publicly at the time and we were soon proven correct. This post will present a comprehensive summary of some of this latest Microsoft propaganda.

Is Microsoft freezing the market? Well, it wants us to wait several more years for a version of Windows that is not even developed yet.

Cade Metz, who was behind the “open source Windows” publicity stunt (as noted earlier this morning), has seemingly been appointed Condé Nast’s Microsoft propagandist (unofficial role). Another stunt right now is titled “Microsoft Is Making a Stripped-Down Windows to Rival Linux”. It was widely spread (very quickly in fact), not only by Microsoft boosters.

In the war against GNU/Linux, Microsoft’s PR network (Microsoft has a vast peripheral army of PR companies that it summons to fool the world and derail the competition) wants us to believe that Windows is free, cheap, open source, etc. All are lies of course, but here again we see the lie about Windows becoming light. In the future. Maybe. That’s what Microsoft promises. As it did before. They even call it “Nano Server” (article by Timothy Prickett Morgan) and misuse the word “containers”, probably making Docker (with Red Hat roots) blink a couple of times.

Ben Kepes, Joab Jackson and a whole large group of Microsoft boosters and Microsoft-connected sites disseminated this nonsense. Mary Jo Foley did her best, joined by Microsoft boosting Web sites and boosters whose only agenda has always been to promote Microsoft. This was not, however, contained (pun intended) within the Microsoft propaganda network and we found it spilling elsewhere [, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], contributing to that awkward perception that Windows is “light”, much like GNU/Linux servers. Don’t believe the nonsense. Remember all the promises Microsoft previously made in respect to future versions of Windows.

“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…

“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft

02.11.15

Microsoft Back Door in Windows (All Versions) Intentionally Left Open For Over a Year, Existed for 15 Years

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Servers at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: It has become more obvious that Windows back doors are there by design (or knowingly left there by intention) even after Snowden’s NSA leaks

THERE ARE SOME corporate media reports about Microsoft patches, but few realise the significance of it. Microsoft tells the NSA about unpatched holes in Windows and other Microsoft software, which is the equivalent of giving the NSA back door access.

As we noted some weeks ago, evidence shows that Microsoft doesn't care about security and it is evidently the same with Apple. They both sat on known flaws that were critical for longer than 3 months, refusing to patch them. Both proprietary software companies, which together command the lion’s share of laptop and desktop operating systems, simply refused to close back doors and only decided to do something at the very belated end because the public finally knew about them (Google let is be known).

“Both proprietary software companies, which together command the lion’s share of laptop and desktop operating systems, simply refused to close back doors and only decided to do something at the very belated end because the public finally knew about them (Google let is be known).”Dan Goodin, who typically spends his ‘journalism’ career bashing Free software over security, has finally decided to shift some focus and write about a massive Windows flaw. It’s a major one, no doubt; But no name, no “branding”…

In Goodin’s own words:

Microsoft just patched a 15-year-old bug that in some cases allows attackers to take complete control of PCs running all supported versions of Windows. The critical vulnerability will remain unpatched in Windows Server 2003, leaving that version wide open for the remaining five months Microsoft pledged to continue supporting it.

The flaw, which took Microsoft more than 12 months to fix, affects all users who connect to business, corporate, or government networks using the Active Directory service. The database is built into Windows and acts as a combination traffic cop and security guard, granting specific privileges to authorized users and mapping where on a local network various resources are available. The bug—which Microsoft classifies as MS15-011 and the researcher who first reported it calls Jasbug—allows attackers who are in a position to monitor traffic passing between the user and the Active Directory network to launch a man-in-the-middle exploit that executes malicious code on vulnerable machines.

The significant part is in the second paragraph above (“took Microsoft more than 12 months to fix”). We can interpret that as saying that the hole, which NSA used for over a year for back door access (because Mirosoft told the NSA about it), is finally being acknowledged to the public. Therein lies the ‘magic’ of proprietary software. Is the NSA now ‘done’ cracking all the world’s networks that have Windows in them? Is it now ‘safe’ to finally close this back door?

Microsoft Windows is an utter joke when it comes to security, as Microsoft’s own actions serve to show. Back doors surely look like the goal, not an error. Windows was recently used to crack Sony years after the NSA had cracked North Korea’s network. Those who knowingly used an operating system with back doors can’t blame anyone other than themselves and perhaps Microsoft/NSA. Misplaced blame these days typically names China, Russia, or North Korea.

Remember that Microsoft leaves security holes open/in fact anyway, no matter if versions of Windows are supported or not (upgrades are neither simple nor free). As Goodin’s former employer puts it:

What happens six months from now, on 14 July? That’s the date Microsoft issues its last security fix ever for Window Server 2003 – the end of extended support from the server operating system’s maker.

The article states that many servers will basically be left with permanent back doors. Many of them contain customers’ (or patients’) data.

As Robert Pogson put it, “Server 2003, which is due to go without support this summer won’t be fixed for a recent Patch Tuesday revelation of a vulnerability built-in by design a decade ago and impossible to fix without breaking everything…”

He concludes correctly: “Maybe it’s time people switched to GNU/Linux, an operating system not designed by salesmen. It’s not perfect but at least the bugs are fixable.”

Yes, even bugs with special names, logos, and “branding” — those that the corporate media loves to hype up.

12.11.14

Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security, Servers, Ubuntu at 12:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring

IN the spirit of tackling FUD we thought it would be worthwhile to tackle spin regarding the news of Ubuntu Core (news that already appears in our daily links).

Microsoft boosters such as Microsoft Gavin try to frame it as Microsoft news, saying: “A smartphone-inspired version of Ubuntu Server for Docker minimalists has been revealed with initial backing from Microsoft.” The headline is even worse. It’s deceiving for the sake of drama.

The news is not about Microsoft. This is what is called bias by omission or selection — similar to this lousy piece from Lance Whitney, former staff of Microsoft media whose latest propaganda is now omitting an old disclosure saying that he is Microsoft’s ‘former’ staff and uses US-only spin to make Android look bad (the US is not the whole world and economic advantage favours overpriced phones).

Several readers have told us that the article “Canonical restructures Ubuntu in mobile mode; Microsoft is first partner” had been removed (we searched the site to verify this) before it was reinstated. How odd. No explanation was given and while it was gone we made a copy from the Google cache of the article, very shortly after it had been deleted, then created permanent archive of the removed version. We wrote publicly at around noon yesterday about how this article vanished after it had been posted (just shortly before we made copies from Google cache and also used archive.is). We later compared the version we had archived with what was reinstated and found no obvious differences in the text. Well, maybe the problem was purely technical, but the content of the article from Paul Gillin was curious, not just the angle. A reader of ours explained: “Below is the text of an article which just disappeared. It was online for only a few hours but contains some very incriminating statements. More might show up later, but for now this is all I have. It sure explains why the Ubuntu forums moderators/staff have been slamming RMS and censoring critique of Microsoft and His Billness – in any context.”

“The situation is bad,” explained our reader. “The previous article was not a mistake” because there is other coverage although it does not provide the Microsoft spin, including phrases such as those highlighted in Diaspora. The factual part is this:

Ubuntu Core is now available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

This, however, is not the main news. A lot of effort was put into injecting some pro-Microsoft angle. Here is where promotional spin got injected (apart from the headline):

“Ubuntu Core is the smallest, leanest Ubuntu ever, perfect for ultra-dense computing in cloud container farms,” the company said in a press release. In a twist that’s sure to prompt a double-take from many industry veterans, Canonical chose the Azure cloud from longtime Linux foe Microsoft as its first deployment platform. “Microsoft loves Linux,” said Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, in a prepared statement.

“Microsoft has been a terrific steward of Ubuntu,” said Dustin Kirkland, product manager for Ubuntu Core, in an interview. “We have a very tight relationship.” The deal with Microsoft is exclusive for ”a couple of weeks,” after which Ubuntu Core is expected to be available on all public clouds that currently support the operating system.

So ‘“Microsoft loves Linux,” said Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, in a prepared statement.’

This is part of the new lie which we wrote about in articles such as:

The problem with articles like the above is the pursuit for talking points to lull the victim into passivity, pretending that Microsoft is now like a “best friend” of GNU/Linux. All that Microsoft does with Ubuntu Core is put it under surveillance and back door control. That’s what Azure is about, as NSA leaks serve to demonstrate.

We could of course tackle some other propaganda if we had more time for writing (I am working full time myself). Consider this new UBM spin which pretends TrueCrypt is FOSS (it’s definitely not) and cites one bug (in OpenSSL) to pretend FOSS as a whole is less secure than proprietary software blobs. There is another ugly story making the rounds about a so-called attack on GNU/Linux machines (attributing it to a government, possibly Russia’s); all the stories we have found (over a dozen so far) neglect to say that the victim must install the rogue code himself or herself, it cannot really propagate except by the user’s stupidity or recklessness. Finally, there is another batch of stories about DCOS, which is backed by a Microsoft thug who boasted about “tilting into a death spiral” competitors of Microsoft and bankrolled Microsoft proxies. DCOS — like Azure — is attempting to control GNU/Linux guests at a higher level. IDG called it a “data center OS” that “allows single-source command for Linux servers”, potentially providing a back door. I have personally seen companies that manage hundreds of GNU/Linux servers from VSphere (proprietary from EMC, which is connected to RSA and hence NSA back doors) on top of Microsoft Windows (also back doors). Can EMC be trusted to not allow intrusion? Can Microsoft? These are rhetorical questions.

Anyone who is reckless enough to put a Ubuntu machine under Microsoft hosting sure has not been keeping up with news. Canonical too would be reckless to recommend such a thing, but perhaps it has short-term thinking, pursuing Microsoft dollars at the expense of customers’ security.

06.14.14

The Register Spreads Microsoft’s IIS Propaganda Using Gamed Figures

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Servers at 4:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pinocchio

Summary: The Register misleads readers into thinking that Microsoft is gaining market share on the Web

Simon Sharwood from The Register released a propaganda piece we are unable to ignore. It’s a familiar talking point. We covered this numerous times before. Sharwood’s propaganda is titled “Microsoft poised to take Web server crown from Apache” (implying growth) although the very opposite is true.

Microsoft is actually losing share (as it has been losing for years) and in servers that really count it has less than ten percent market share.

Fortunately, some readers of The Register are not dumb enough. They reply in the comments section. One insightful comment says: “Apparently MS has been throwing money or other arm-twisting tricks to persuade large hosters of parked pages to switch to IIS. AFAICS the only benefit of this is incomplete articles in the press about how IIS is set to become (/will become) the most popular web server, which is a useless metric. As mentioned, the picture for Active sites is very different, and the Top Million even more so .. which somehow does not get mentioned in the news reports.”

Sadly, very few people read comments, so the vast majority will be left with the impression that Microsoft is doing well on the Web. That’s some very powerful propaganda. All Microsoft had to do was bribe some people to game numbers, then find gullible or corruptible journalists (“useful idiots” or liars) to drop out there some misleading claims at Microsoft’s behest.

Ever since Microsoft paid The Register the publication has not been the same. Microsoft likes not only to bribe hosts (selectively) but also governments and media companies. It helps distort public perceptions. The Register is definitely part of the problem now. This example of one of many.

03.27.14

Hosting GNU/Linux Under Windows or Hyper-V is Hosting With Back Doors

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Azure

Summary: Why having Windows in the datacentre (at any level other than a guest machine) is a serious security issue, not to mention hosting in datacentres like Microsoft’s and Amazon’s (in Washington, United States)

WE HAVE been speaking to some leaders or contributors (commercial) of Apache projects that relate to news about Hyper-V support in CloudStack 4.3 [1,2]. Apache, as we have shown before, got a little too friendly towards Microsoft after Microsoft had paid Apache, but that’s not the point worth making. The point to be made here is that Apache neglects to take into account what Hyper-V actually is. Hyper-V is proprietary software which runs on a platform with NSA back doors (hence, via the host/master, it can provide back door access to FOSS and GNU/Linux guests/VMs also). To allow Microsoft to lure FOSS users into Hyper-V is very much misguided, even irresponsible. Hosting a “secure” GNU/Linux server under Microsoft Hyper-V is like mounting a tank on a hovercraft at sea. The Windows back doors were confirmed by Edward Snowden's leaks last year. It must be stressed that access to Windows implies access to Hyper-V (no matter if the drivers/shims/hooks are Free software). The Apache community should know better, but it helps facilitate Microsoft power (domination) over FOSS in this case. Remember what OpenStack did to Hyper-V [1, 2].

“The Apache community should know better, but it helps facilitate Microsoft power (domination) over FOSS in this case.”It is worth adding that if/when hosting on a third party, then the host matters too (the company doing the hosting, not the hosting software). Hosting in Azure, for example, guarantees no privacy and security at all [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], even if one uses a robust GNU/Linux distribution. Microsoft does not respect clients’ privacy and it even intrudes clients' private data for business reasons, nothing at all to do with security. According to Netcraft’s recent report, “Microsoft [is] neck and neck with Amazon in Windows hosting” and it is worth repeating the fact that nobody should use Amazon for GNU/Linux hosting (for similar reasons, not just because Amazon is an exceedingly malicious company but also because it’s a top CIA partner and a surveillance/censorship platform, as revealed by the likes of Wikileaks). At work, where I’m forced to work with some systems on AWS, I habitually receive marketing SPAM from Amazon (even earlier today) and I never assume any privacy at all.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Open-Source Apache CloudStack 4.3 Supports Microsoft Hyper-V
  2. Apache CloudStack 4.3 Supports Microsoft’s Hyper-V Virtualization

03.07.14

Red Hat Joins the Joke Which is Amazon’s ‘Secure’ Federal ‘Cloud’

Posted in Red Hat, Servers at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Another Red Hat move which puts citizens’ data in the hands of unaccountable spies and their corporate partners/accomplices

Amazon, which is a very special partner of the CIA* (we gave dozens of references before in order to highlight this), has already earned Ubuntu some tough words and a snub from the EFF, FSF, as well as many others (nongroups). For Red Hat to play buddies with Amazon makes little or no sense. Amazon not only does many disgusting things (to customers, staff, externalities) but it also pays Microsoft for GNU/Linux, including RHEL. Like with Azure (as we explained repeatedly before), putting any computational resource on Amazon ‘clouds’ is like handing it all over to the NSA (for surveillance, interception, interference, censorship, modification leading to framing, and so on). Red Hat is said to have joined some nonsense programme that involves AWS [1-4], marketed as “secure” and “federal”. Who is this secure from? The Federal government of the United States? Surely not, unless of course you happen to be the government itself. The whole thing sounds so dodgy and it won’t give Red Hat much credibility now that Red Hat’s relationship with the NSA [1, 2, 3] is debated in some circles (it was last mentioned in an article from Sam Varghese earlier this week).

Making things even worse, Red Hat makes an approach [5] towards something which resembles Mono and promotes Microsoft APIs. This is not a wise move, for reasons that we are going to deal with in the next post.

Red Hat’s CEO speaking of himself as a “great leader” (without saying so directly) in Red Hat’s self-serving Web site that’s now treated as a news site by Google News [6]. Some say that Red Hat is a one-of-a-kind [7], but if Red Hat leans towards the NSA, puts customers’ data on Microsoft-taxed and NSA-eavesdropped ‘clouds’, hires executive staff from Microsoft and even promotes/spreads .NET and Hyper-V (which provides an NSA back door into GNU/Linux guests through Windows hosts**), then maybe it’s better to promote alternatives to Red Hat as a flag bearer and GNU/Linux leader. Red Hat recently found itself in somewhat of a scandal involving OpenStack [8-10] while it also formed OpenStack partnerships [11-15]. Red Hat really can do and should do more to embrace and disseminate freedom, not cages like AWS. Red Hat’s middleware business is a good example of this [16,17] as business (as in revenue/sales [18], like IBM's) becomes the top priority, even when Red Hat makes public appearances [19,20].

Perhaps what we need now is more strength for community projects like Arch and Debian. They, unlike Red Hat, don’t share a bed with malicious companies that violate users’ rights.
____
* The CIA was, just earlier this week, found to be illegally spying on government officials that act as watchdogs.

** Proprietary virtualisation software is the issue here. VMware is not much better because it’s run by former Microsoft executives (Microsoft is the top NSA partner) and is owned by EMC, which also runs RSA, the NSA’s notorious back doors partner.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. AWS launches Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux in AWS GovCloud (US)
  2. Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux now on Amazon’s GovCloud
  3. Red Hat Courts Government Customers with GNU/Linux for AWS GovCloud
  4. Red Hat GNU/Linux now available on Amazon’s secure federal cloud

    If you’re a government worker and have been wanting to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux securely on your Amazon cloud, it’s your lucky day. The popular open-source operating system is finally available on Amazon Web Services.

  5. Red Hat brings Microsoft .NET Apps to its OpenShift cloud

    Uhuru was founded just over two years ago by veteran ex-Microsoft executives: former vice president Jawad Khaki and former general manager Jawaid Ekram. They are self-proclaimed experts in bringing Windows to Open Source PaaS.

  6. Great leaders are comfortable with who they are

    Over the last 25 years of my career—from serving as a partner at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), to my time at Delta Air Lines, to my current role as president and CEO of Red Hat—I’ve been exposed to my fair share of leaders. I’ve learned that leaders and leadership styles can vary greatly depending on the company culture, industry and size, but there’s one commonality I’ve noticed among all of them: to be effective, leaders must be respected.

  7. A Formula for Launching the RedHats of the Future

    The bottom line, therefore, is that in order for the model promoted by Levine to succeed, it’s predicated on the existence of underlying projects that achieve the balance of benefits that I alluded to above. Without the right scope of opportunity, sufficient success in recruitment, and abundant skill in execution, there will be no more RedHats emerging from this new model than the last. But where this methodology is understood and followed, not only will such opportunities emerge, but they will do so with far greater predictability than in the past.

  8. Piston OpenStack 3.0 Arrives, Focused on Private Clouds
  9. GNU/Linux Ebb & Flow, Red Hat Oops, and Chakra Reviewed

    There’s rarely a dull moment when looking through Linux newsfeeds. Today we find Jesse Smith has reviewed Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.02. LinuxInsider.com looks at why distributions gain popularity then disappear. And finally, The Register covers a bit of convention confusion between Red Hat and cloud newcomer Piston.

  10. The importance of a community-focused mindset

    Piston, an Openstack-in-a-box vendor[1] are a sponsor of the Red Hat[2] Summit this year. Last week they briefly ceased to be for no publicly stated reason, although it’s been sugggested that this was in response to Piston winning a contract that Red Hat was also bidding on. This situation didn’t last for long – Red Hat’s CTO tweeted that this was an error and that Red Hat would pay Piston’s sponsorship fee for them.

  11. Red Hat Increases its Focus on OpenStack Partnerships

    Red Hat originally made a name for itself as the only U.S.-based public company exclusively focused on open source, as it has proved that its Linux-focused strategy could be very profitable. But the company’s future is increasingly being tied to cloud computing and OpenStack in particular. This week, Red Hat marks two years of collaborating with contributors and developers on key OpenStack.org projects “to bring OpenStack from a project to a product.”

  12. Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack Platform Leveraged by Alcatel-Lucent, CloudBand ™ as Part of Its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Platform
  13. Alcatel-Lucent to deploy Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack Platform
  14. Alcatel-Lucent deploys Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux platform

    Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions announced that Alcatel-Lucent deployed Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack platform based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), as the common platform for its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solution, CloudBand.

    “Alcatel-Lucent specifically chose Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack Platform for use in managing CloudBand Nodes, the turn-key, all-in-one compute, storage and network node system that interfaces with the CloudBand Management System, along with any other OpenStack-enabled nodes,” the company said.

  15. Alcatel-Lucent Embraces OpenStack, as Network Function Virtualization Efforts Expand

    A key part of the overall solution is Alcatel-Lucent’s Cloudband technology which is the company’s NFV platform that provides the server, storage and networking infrastructure with the Cloudband Node. Cloudband also includes management and orchestration functionality to deploy and manage network functions deployed on the infrastructure.

  16. Red Hat Launches a 3-fer for Enterprise BPM Users

    Red Hat’s new JBoss BPM Suite is in part the result of its 2012 acquisition of Polymita, noted 451 Research analyst Carl Lehmann. The addition of that technology and other new features brings Red Hat’s BPM offering on par with other BPM suites and “gives Red Hat some competitive differentiation in the market,” he said. “I think they did a pretty good job there.”

  17. Red Hat’s Polymita acquisition to spawn new products

    That’s according to a Red Hat spokesperson who gave me some additional insight into a press conference that the Raleigh-based open source software company will hold on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to announce new products in middleware.

  18. Red Hat Executives Named 2014 CRN Channel Chiefs
  19. Red Hat to Webcast Middleware Press Conference on March 4
  20. Videos From Red Hat’s DevConf.cz Conference Now Online

    Videos from the DevConf.cz conference that happened earlier this month in Brno, Czech Republic, are now available online from the Red Hat focused event.

IBM Not the Only ‘Sugar Daddy’ of GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Servers at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As IBM declines it is worth remembering that GNU/Linux no longer rests on the shoulders of few giants

LAST month we wrote about IBM's not-so-secret NSA relationships causing massive issues for IBM in China (mostly because the NSA’s secrets have leaked), resulting perhaps in some of the latest layoffs, which now include “up to 25 percent of ‘hardware’ division” [1]. IBM recently sold yet more of its hardware business to China (after it had sold some to Lenovo) and it remains one of the most dominant GNU/Linux players. Its commitment is very real [2] even if self-serving, e.g. for “Watson” PR [3,4] and use of Free/libre/gratis software to sell super-expensive hardware. We oughtn’t treat IBM as an enemy, even if it often lobbies for software patents and spreads proprietary software [5] while looking for volunteers [6]. Famed journalist Cringely, who wrote many damning posts about IBM around 2012 (a series which predicted much of what’s happening to IBM right now), has just published somewhat of a strong-worded criticism of IBM [7] in relation to GNU/Linux.

With or without IBM’s support, GNU/Linux is going to do just fine on servers. OpenStack is massive [8], DigitalOcean (GNU/Linux servers) has just bagged a lot of venture capital money [9], banks and stock markets around the world depend on GNU/Linux servers [10], and the Internet as a whole is predominantly GNU/Linux-based [11] (at all levels, including back-end computational servers [12]). The fiction that IBM is synonymous with Linux or that Linux depends on IBM is about 14 years old and it’s out of date. IDC claims that the servers business is in decline [13] (maybe just better use of virtualisation and GNU/Linux efficiency for automation and provisioning [14]) and the days of UNIX are quickly ebbing away [15], taking away the lustre from UNIX giants like IBM.

The mobile (phone/tablet) interaction with servers will continue to be a top trend — one that IBM failed to forecast or at least capitalise on. What remains of IBM may not be much a decade down the line (it looks somewhat grim), but that oughtn’t be much of a factor as far as GNU/Linux is concerned. Google and Android (with servers and phones) make much of IBM with its mainframes, laptops and office suites/collaboration tools obsolete. Google is far from the only player using GNU/Linux to that effect.

GNU/Linux is the tool of no single company. It’s the foundation of many platforms and the unifying system that becomes ubiquitous (universal).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. IBM laying off up to 25 percent of ‘hardware’ division

    Big Blue confirms it’s commencing workforce cuts, but declines to put a number on the job losses. A source tells CNET the layoffs entail up to 25 percent in the Systems and Technology group.

  2. IBM’s Mike Day: KVM More Visible Through Collaboration

    About a year ago IBM doubled down on its commitment to the open source cloud, announcing that all of its cloud offerings would be built on OpenStack and renewing its investments in KVM, the Linux-based kernel virtual machine. Since then, both projects have undergone major changes, including the move last fall of KVM and the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) to become a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

  3. IBM’s megabrain Watson to make mobe, slab apps smarter? Not so fast
  4. IBM courts mobile developers for Watson platform
  5. IBM Announces BlueMix – The IBM PaaS
  6. Free cloud access to IBM Power servers for Linux Developers

    Free IBM Cloud Platform for developers…yeah, that’s a big deal. That platform being based on the latest IBM POWER7 and POWER7+ processor-based servers running Linux, AIX and IBM i operating systems…very big deal indeed!

  7. pCell is only as good as the Linux it runs on

    Typically with new technologies like this the inventors haven’t thought much about security or they rely on a small installed base to keep the product or service under the radar of the bad guys. But pCell, for all it’s high tech loveliness, is a Software Defined Network proudly running in a data center on plain old Linux servers.

  8. Ubuntu is the most used OS for production OpenStack deployments

    According to an official OpenStack User Survey Ubuntu is the most used Operating System for production deployment of OpenStack. OpenStack is an Open Source project to build a framework for the creation of cloud platforms, predominately Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms. The survey found that Ubuntu accounts for 55% of the host Operating Systems used for OpenStack deployments, CentOS accounts for 24% and Red Hat for 10%. These results are not completely surprising as Canonical invests heavily in Ubuntu’s OpenStack development, it was one of the founding members of The OpenStack Foundation and is a Platinum Sponsor of the foundation.

  9. Linux cloud world’s best kept secret DigitalOcean just bagged $37m

    Cut-price virtual-server hosting biz DigitalOcean has banked a whopping $37.2m from Andreessen Horowitz and other valley investors.

    The mammoth series-A funding round was announced on Thursday and will give the 50-person company the funds it needs to aggressively hire talented developers and expand globally, while keeping its Linux cloud server prices as low as $5 a month.

  10. Three events that moved Linux forward

    Friday evening can be a very busy time in Citibank’s Changi Business Park office in Singapore. Hundreds of mission-critical applications hit the production servers, security patches are applied, hundreds of professionals including developers, systems engineers, Linux gurus, and management professionals spend the whole night on the conference calls ensuring the smooth functioning of servers at this financial giant. The applications that get life over the weekend have monetary value and therefore require robust servers to host them. These servers need to maximize the utilization of the applications and should have the stability to run for a longer period of time without a reboot. These servers should also have the capability to be scaled up as the infrastructure grows. The bottom line: these enterprise level boxes need to be tough.

  11. eWEEK at 30: The Lamp Stack Switches on Large-Scale Web Development

    Linux is the foundational bare-metal operating system on which the stack runs. The Apache web server first came on the scene in 1995 just as global Web use was starting to grow explosively, tracing its roots back to the very first NSCA HTTPd webserver. From April 1996 to the present day, the open-source Apache HTTP Server has held the enviable distinction of being the most widely deployed Web server on the planet.

  12. Big data, cloud boost Linux adoption

    The rise of big data, cloud computing, mobility and social media — what IDC dubs the ‘third platform’ — represents a big opportunity for Linux and open source more broadly, analyst Sally Parker this morning told the SUSE Open Forum in Sydney.

  13. 2013 Global Server Market Continues to Decline

    The server business had a mixed 2013. According to IDC’s fourth quarter 2013 Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, global revenue came in at $14.2 billion, which is a 4.4 percent year-over-year decline. In contrast, analyst firm Gartner reported that fourth quarter server revenues declined by 6.6 percent.

  14. Are your servers pets or cattle?

    Under the old-fashioned “enterprise computing” infrastructure model, servers were given cutesy names like “Cookie,” “Dakota,” “Reagan,” or “Aardvark.” Each server was procured individually and configured by hand (often by several different people). Because each server was configured manually, no two servers were exactly like. Each machine was like a special snowflake.

  15. Watch people explain UNIX in 1982

    If your knowledge of the UNIX operating system is basically the line from the 1993 movie “Jurassic Park” (where Lexie goes, “It’s a UNIX system! I know this!), you might want to brush up a bit more on the subject. Sure, there’s Wikipedia, but if you’re a video fan, you’ll want to check out this film, published today on YouTube by the folks from the AT&T Tech Channel.

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