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by jcannon on July 07, 2006 07:43pm
Our first podcast... This week, Sam talks with Fernando Cima from Microsoft Brazil's Security Center of Excellence about the challenges and progress being made in securing and maintaining today's mixed network environments. More specifically, the focus in this discussion is on Server and Domain Isolution. Before Microsoft, Fernando worked for the Brazilian government, as well as with Linux and FreeBSD security projects.
- Download the MP3 Directly - Learn more about Server and Domain Isolation.
Podcast Related Links: - Subscribe to the Port 25 Podcast Feed - Subscribe to Port 25 Podcasts in iTunes
by jcannon on July 07, 2006 02:41pm
It’s only been three months to the day since Port 25 launched. Exactly 73 interviews, posts and tips later we are only just getting started on delivering on our promise of technical and interoperability insight from the lab. The HPC clustering analysis project is well under way and I expect to have an overview post for that project in the next week. I’d like to see much more technical content on the site, but it is taking time to get our lab projects ready for public consumption.
For now, I'm excited to announce some site enhancements to how Port 25 allows you to interact, discuss & debate ideas, as well as - yes - consuming content via podcasting.
I’m interested in your feedback on how much you value the comments features – I’ve heard limited feedback in the last month but it varies from keeping things the same, removing the need for registration, to eliminating comments entirely. What do you think?
We're looking forward to continuing to grow our community with a set of content & usability enhancements over the coming months. For now, I hope these small changes are a good surprise. Have a great weekend.
by jcannon on July 06, 2006 05:42pm
Linux Format reported on Port 25 recently with the tagline “Reports of snowballs seen in hell as Microsoft offers to work with Linux developers,” which I thought was funny. It’s apparently getting even colder down there as we’ve now announced an open source project that adds support for ODF to Microsoft Word 2007 ("Microsoft Expands Document Interoperability").
A few months ago I started working with Jean Paoli, whose leadership on Interoperability at Microsoft is steadily moving product teams toward the goal of consistently delivering high-quality interop. Brian Jones notes this in his blog but doesn’t call out Jean by name. You can be sure that you’ll see more of Jean’s handiwork in the coming months and years.
During the time I’ve worked with him I’ve been greatly encouraged by his commitment to openness in documentation and in implementation. The Open XML Translator project is a great example of this – it’s an open source project hosted on Sourceforge.
I couldn’t help but hop over to Slashdot and check out the reactions to the news – and as usual there was a mixture of the rational and irrational, hope and fear, insight and suspicion of conspiracy. It’s worth making one point over and over.
The Open XML Translator is an Open Source project. The Open XML Translator is an Open Source project. The Open XML Translator is an Open Source project.
By definition it can’t conceal its implementation, is open to experimentation, modification, and commercialization (it uses a BSD license), and is owned by the community.
If you think it needs improvement, then improve it. If you think it doesn’t matter, ignore it. But above all, really think about it and what it means that we’ve taken this step before reacting reflexively.
This is actually something new and different.
by jcannon on July 06, 2006 03:06pm
Another guest blog this week from Identity Management Program Manager, Shamit Patel: ---------------------------------------------
Hi, Last week, we released two new utilities to help customers achieve UNIX / Windows Interop. The first is a set of utilities and the SDK for the Subsystem for UNIX Architecture (SUA) in Vista Beta 2 & Longhorn. For those unaware, SUA is a native subsystem residing on top of the Windows kernel, just like the Win32 subsystem. It provides the basic infrastructure to run UNIX-based applications and scripts on Windows Vista (Ultimate and Enterprise) and Longhorn Server.
We've also released the UNIX-side components for Identity Management with UNIX. This essentially provides the utilities which enable password sync between Windows and UNIX environments. These are the UNIX-based utilities to enable successful synchronization.
I realize many of you may not be testing Vista or Longhorn, but for those who are, or have corporate testing, we would love to hear your feedback on the product, scripts and documentation.
Thanks all, Shamit
by jcannon on July 05, 2006 03:17pm
Free open source management projects have existed for years, as illustrated by nagios and webmin, and exist as BYOC (bring your own console) free alternatives to commercial management systems from HP, BMC, CA, IBM and Microsoft. In the last few years, we've seen a rise in commercial software companies moving to support Linux and heterogeneous environments - including but not limited to Centrify, Vintela (Quest) and Centeris, three vendors with whom we've worked in the lab.
It makes good economic sense to make money managing a free product - after all, Microeconomics 101 will tell you that commoditizing your complements maximizes revenue. Sell a database? Then make the operating system and application server free. IBM's move into open source can be seen in this perspective (free operating systems on for-profit hardware and services) as can HP's (with management software revenues thrown into the mix). The same logic should apply to management, especially given the relative lack of enterprise-class open source management software. While nagios is impressive, the fact that it has been used to manage 5,000 node systems alone does not make it enterprise-class.
Recently the Open Management Consortium was founded to unite free/libre open source management projects around a common vision for what management systems should be capable of, and under a common philosophy of open source software. Founders include Qlusters, EmuSoftware, Zenoss, and Ayamon. They also have a list of OSS management projects. Notably, they don't mention OpenSSI as a cluster management technology.
Open Source can be taken to apply to management in several ways:
Each of these layers is open to displacement by open source software, some more easily than others. Agents and adapters seem to me to be the best fit for the typical open source development model - where it's easier to serve the long tail of different endpoints than under standard commercial rules. Consoles and monitors, while at the most basic levels of logging, parsing, alerting, and displaying are well-understood, are areas of deep research and increasingly rarified technology. The developments in the area of event aggregation and scalable management UIs require significant directed investment (and Matt Asay has disagreed with me on this before) in which commercial software companies have an advantage.
A few Port 25 readers have contacted me about building open source integrations between Microsoft products and OSS management technology - as well as OSS projects and Microsoft management technology. For both of these categories, it makes good sense to me and I'd like to see them developed at www.codeplex.com, where we've built an infrastructure for the community to build open source projects.
In the management arena, where we spend significant time in the lab testing different approaches, I'd be happy to spend money and time helping to test or develop projects on Codeplex. Drop me a note if you have something cooking and would like some help or direction.
by jcannon on July 03, 2006 02:30pm
I see my last couple posts were about ambiguity, so I thought today I’d blog about something, IMO, that is not ambiguous at all—and the topic would be a fitting hat tip to Sara and Korby and all the folks involved with CodePlex. Brief background: We had to buy our own combination padlocks on our lockers in my high school. I used to forget the combination all the time (—I still have nightmares about that). I finally solved this by writing my combination in hex on the back of the lock. (I figured there was only one other kid in my class who would know what 0F was in base-10, so if anything was ever missing, I’d know where to look. ) I tell this little anecdote because it made me think about the lack of a community of folks with similar interests in my little world back then. The only reason I knew hex* went back years earlier to a similar lack of community: I couldn’t get a game I was writing on my Commodore 64 to do some things fast enough in BASIC, so I asked my Dad what else I could do and he explained what Assembly language was, and from then on there were lots of nights when I was supposed to be asleep, sitting there in my pajamas, banging away in 6502 Assembly land—by myself. This was long before the concept of a home modem would have ever occurred to us, never mind the modern Internet’s enablement of community and collaborative development--but I can’t help but wonder what a difference it might have made to me (never mind the quality of that game!) if there had been a more readily accessible community of folks interesting in collaborating and mentoring at that time. What does this have to do with praising open source developers? This week, inspired by CodePlex, I was looking back at two of the most important studies of the motivations of open source developers. In the two studies (Ghosh in 2002 and Lakhani (PDF) in 2004—both are available online), although slightly different sets of questions were asked, by a notable margin the leading responses were “Learn and develop new skills” and “Share knowledge and skills” (Ghosh) and “Code for project is intellectually stimulating to write” and ‘Improve programming skills” (Lakhani). What’s even more striking about this is comparing these types of motivations—about learning and sharing—with more “confrontational” motivations. Developers could choose multiple answers in both studies, and, for example, in the Lakhani study four times as many volunteer developers chose “Improve programming skills” as a reason for joining an open source community than “Dislike proprietary software and want to defeat them.” To be clear, anybody’s reason is valid to them--but I am a person who would rather learn than win. That’s true when I write code, it’s true when I play soccer; I think that is a good way to view the world—and from all the research I’ve seen, the evidence is compelling that folks who voluntarily participate in open source development communities place very high value on learning and sharing their knowledge with others. I don’t have comparable data at hand, but I’m willing to believe it is well higher than the average person in the population at large. And for that—kudos. I think that means there are far more opportunities for kids like I once was not just because of technological advances, but because of people—maybe people like you reading this post. *I actually can’t remember if I stumbled across hex first in Traveller, where, as I recall the descriptive strings for character attributes and planets where in hex—come on, don’t snicker, you know you played it too…