LinuxWorld: Showcasing the OS in data centers, mobile devices, e-voting

Demos, products, training are on the agenda for the four-day show

The 10th annual LinuxWorld Conference & Expo and its partner Next Generation Data Center Conference kick off today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where the open-source operating system will be the center of attention for enterprise users, vendors and IT enthusiasts.

Running through Thursday, the show will include several new events this year:

  • A Mobile Linux conference where attendees can gain technical training, insight and hands-on experience in Linux and open-source opportunities projects in the expanding mobile and embedded marketplaces.
  • An Open Source Voting Demonstration, co-sponsored by The Open Voting Consortium, to demonstrate open-source voting systems to users through a mock election. Attendees will try out an open-source voting system to cast a mock ballot for the 2008 presidential election, as well as vote for a People's Choice Award for the best new product at LinuxWorld. They will also see how the votes are tallied and made available for a recount using the system.
  • An InstallFest for Schools event, where several groups will gather volunteers to recycle and refurbish older computers and load them with Ubuntu Linux so the machines can be donated to people and groups that need them. The project is being done by the Alameda County Computer Resource Center and Untangle Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based open-source vendor. Conference attendees are invited to join the project on the show floor.

Also scheduled are keynote speeches from corporate leaders whose companies are heavy users of Linux within their IT systems, including Jeffrey Birnbaum, managing director and chief technology architect at financial house Merrill Lynch & Co.; Randall Spratt, a vice president and CIO at health care services vendor McKesson Corp.; and Kevin Clark, director of IT operations at Lucasfilm Ltd.

At the same time, many IT vendors will be making product and service announcements at the show.

Hewlett-Packard Co. will unveil expanded support for its HP Serviceguard for Linux product, which will include support for high-availability clustering and disaster tolerance features under Novell SUSE Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux using Xen virtualization. This will allow users to receive data protection for their Xen virtual machines and their physical machines, according to the vendor.

"Customers asked us to migrate Linux and open-source further into the data center," said Doug Small, worldwide director of open-source and Linux marketing at HP.

HP will also announce that it will support OpenLDAP, the open-source mission-critical directory, under its HP Strategy Workshop and Migration Assessment Services division. The company already supports LDAP and will now support the open-source version, Small said.

Alfresco Software Inc., an open-source enterprise content management vendor, will announce that it is partnering with Canonical Ltd., the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu Linux, to add Alfresco Labs 3 within a prebuilt software download when installing Ubuntu.

Using a single click upon installation of the operating system, users will be able to immediately access and install a full installation of Alfresco Labs 3, with all drivers and dependencies prepackaged. The product will be downloadable from Ubuntu's partner repository, which is accessed online.

In other areas:

  • Unison Technologies Inc. will highlight its Linux-based beta, Unison unified communications software based on Linux, which includes e-mail, telephone, instant messaging, contacts and calendaring.
  • Texas Instruments Inc. and Digi-Key Corp. will unveil their upcoming $149 Beagle Board, an embedded Linux development board based on TI's OMAP35x applications processor, for use in small portable devices. The board will allow the development of small devices with advanced intuitive user interfaces, 3-D graphics, instant Web browsing capabilities and connectivity options, according to the companies. The board is fan-less and smaller than a dollar bill.
  • Open-source Web infrastructure management vendor Hyperic Inc. will debut its new Hyperic HQ for XenServer, its first enterprise-class management and monitoring software for Citrix XenServer virtualization software. The new product will allow Xen administrators to quickly assess IT conditions within their Xen environments and give them a holistic view of their Web infrastructure, both inside and outside of the Xen Hypervisor, according to the company.
  • Literacy Bridge will unveil its low-cost digital audio player/recorder called the Talking Book Device, which could be used to promote knowledge-sharing and literacy in the world's poorest societies. Seattle-based Literacy Bridge, a nonprofit group that aims to help advance education and literacy around the world, is working to develop devices that will cost $5 and help in the effort, beginning with a pilot program in Ghana this September.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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