Archive for the ‘News’ Category

2009 Milestones for Debian GNU/Linux

Monday, January 4th, 2010

By CJ Fearnley

In February 2009 Debian released version 5.0, “Lenny” with more than 25 000 packages including many security enhancements such as PHP’s Suhosin system. LinuxForce has compiled a list of 49 news articles documenting milestones of the Debian GNU/Linux project in 2009:
http://www.linuxforce.net/debian.milestones.html#2009.

Forthcoming Design Science Symposium and Systems Administration

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

By CJ Fearnley

Ever since I started doing systems administration, I’ve been interested in applying Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller’s comprehensive anticipatory design science to the task. Bucky extolled the virtues of a comprehensive approach. Put bluntly, the comprehensive perspective says “since what you don’t attend to will get ya, you had better consider everything. Or said positively: only by considering all elements in a system and all its interrelationships with other (relevant) systems can you ensure reliable on-going operation. In addition, the proactive or anticipatory approach is essential to prevent system complexities from impacting operations. I think of design as human initiative-taking to provide a service or artifact and science as experience-based learning. Evidently, design science is implicit in the work of systems administrators. I think the discipline of comprehensive anticipatory design science can be positively applied to the practice of systems administration.

So I am excited that on November 14 & 15, I will be attending the Synergetics Collaborative’s two-day Symposium on “Design Science” at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Together with the organizing committee, we (I serve as volunteer Executive Director of the Synergetics Collaborative) have put together a program that will develop a deeper understanding of design science. So even though computer systems administration is not on the agenda, I think anyone with a problem-solving focus in their work (including systems administrators) would benefit by attending.

To find out more about this exciting event visit the Design Science: Nature’s Problem Solving Method Symposium home page here.

Slides Available From Our Managing FOSS Seminar

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

By CJ Fearnley

Last Thursday LinuxForce hosted a seminar on Managing Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for Business Results. The Seminar home page now has links to the slides from the event. Specifically, there are four sets of slides available:

Please let us know if you have any questions about the content in the slides or from the seminar itself.

Contributing to FOSS: A Business Perspective

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

By Elizabeth Krumbach

Last weekend I had the pleasure of presenting at the Central Pennsylvania Open Source Conference on the topic of Contributing to FOSS (slides available here).

In the talk I explored the many ways individuals can get involved in FOSS (Free and Open Source Software), briefly covering everything from programming to artwork to documentation. As diverse as these contributions are, the common thread is close collaboration with the project itself. In particular, following the procedures in place for contributing to the project is essential. The talk also reviewed some of the benefits of contributing to FOSS, which include career advancement and the ability to expand your professional network.

Although my presentation focused on individual contributions, these lessons also apply to how businesses benefit by contributing to FOSS. When a business approaches a project they should attempt to build a symbiotic relationship with the community. Such a relationship involves following the established community procedures so that your contributions can be easily adopted by the project. Useful scripts and code developments made within the company that can be useful to the greater public should be contributed back and packaging of popular software within the company can be submitted for inclusion and use by the greater community. Testing and bug reporting based on experience using FOSS on their production (or development) systems can provide important information for FOSS developers about the health and status of their projects.

Benefits for businesses that we at LinuxForce have seen first hand are referrals for projects based on documentation work completed on popular community websites (such as Debian-Administration.org) and feedback on our approach leading to improved best practices and building a reputation as experts. By sharing code with projects, others can build upon it to produce more functionality than your team could muster on its own, creating better software for everyone. Additionally, our involvement has allowed us to foster development of Debian packages for software that is used by our clients by, for instance, improving automatic database configuration support and making sure up to date packages are included in releases.

In conclusion, when a business contributes to FOSS they can help drum up business by building a reputation and doing real work within the community, and they help their customers by being on the forefront of development direction and discussions for software that is vital for their own organizations. Contributing to FOSS is good for business, good for your customers, good for the community, and good for the FOSS ecosystem in general.

Congratulations Elizabeth on your election to the Ubuntu Community Council

Monday, October 12th, 2009

By CJ Fearnley

I was thrilled when I saw that Mark Shuttleworth announced the election of Elizabeth Krumbach to the Ubuntu Community Council. Here is my “open memo” of congratulations to Elizabeth:

Elizabeth, you earned this honor to serve through your competent and tireless efforts to positively contribute to FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) communities like Ubuntu and its upstream, Debian. Collectively, it is the work done in the FOSS communities that has built a “game changing” software infrastructure which already delivers business results to illions of organizations around the world … day in and day out. Thank you for all that you do by contributing to these vitally important communities!

The Ubuntu Community Council plays an important role in the management and development of the communities which not only build the Ubuntu operating system but also contribute to the FOSS communities that intersect with Ubuntu in so many ways. Your good judgement and broad experience on the workings (both socially and technically) of FOSS communities will help Ubuntu continue producing software to meet the needs of more and more individuals and organizations and thereby grow the whole FOSS ecosystem.

From working with you the past few years, I know you are ready to lead Ubuntu in support of reaching toward the lofty ideal of eternally regenerative software (ERS). ERS is an emergent property of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system (which Ubuntu has inherited) wherein all the component software is integrated to facilitate easy upgrades (re-generation) through each and every (eternally) major new release of the operating system. I eagerly look forward to seeing how your contributions to the Council will foster efforts to improve the integration and eternal regenerativity of free and open source software in support of providing business results to all the organizations that have so wisely chosen to use FOSS.

Introducing RemoteResponder.Net

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

By CJ Fearnley

If you know the history of LinuxForce, you know that we’ve been doing remote systems administration using FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) since our founding in 1995. And we’ve called our remote systems administration service Remote Responder for a long time too. But the website RemoteResponder.Net is new.

The new site is part of our educational initiative to explain the issues involved in administering FOSS-based IT infrastructures to achieve the promise of greater reliability and ever-improving functionality while keeping costs low and meeting an organizations’ ever-evolving business needs. Check out our new website RemoteResponder.Net and let us know what you think.

Welcome to The Managing FOSS for Business Results Blog

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

By CJ Fearnley

Welcome to our new blog.

This blog is part of a new educational initiative to foster a deeper understanding of the capabilities and issues involved with administering FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) to deliver concrete business benefits. Although our subject will sometimes become technical, we will strive to address the business benefits at the beginning of each and every post. Therefore, we are confident that this blog will prove interesting and understandable to a broad variety of leaders, managers, and technicians.

We look forward to an engaging discussion in this blog as we explore the new possibilities available to organizations to manage their IT (Information Technology) architecture with FOSS! We hope you check in regularly or subscribe to our RSS feeds.