There is a paradigm shift going on in technology generally. It's not just in the brave new world of elastic computing and cloud but more in how applications are developed using ever increasing agile toolkits and development frameworks. Open Source methodologies are at the forefront of this but the industry standard behemoths that may carry a licence fee, a site licence or EULA also have a reliance at their core on the release cycles of Open Source licences.
So lets take Solaris. There is a wide plethora of uses Solaris still finds a home as the server of choice. It's still a powerful example of a UNIX platform that is a workhorse alternative to Wintel environments or alternative AIX or HPUX mainframes. It is, however, a brave CIO that can afford to ignore the cost savings and associated pro's of migrating to a Linux variant, especially a supported certified enterprise variant such as Red Hat.
With Solaris you could actually draw a mental picture of an OS that now has so many daemons under the bonnet that draw direct code from Open Source / BSD binaries that would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that when looking to draw the argument to migrate you could actually say you started without realising it ?
When we look at security aspects of design, high availability and the manageability of platforms all UNIX variants are blessed with rich context controls. The only difference being the speed of release and feature sets that move with greater inertia, born in the community and matured by organisations and developers in the Open Source world. Nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM and as a firm IBM has been a great stalwart and ally of Linux since day one, in fact as a organisation they've helped push Open Source and structured methodologies around better hypervisor alternatives such as KVM. They are the last bastion of industrialised mainframe support with the evergreen AIX but are also extremely clued up to the gains made by porting to Linux on X,P and Z platforms working with Red Hat.
So that takes us back to Solaris. There are plenty of opportunities ahead where utilising virtualised Linux instances can quickly, and securely, demonstrate major gains in performance and capability over Solaris. Some of these incumbent SOA workloads may actually become part of a blended or hybrid offering for your company or for enterprises. For those companies who are savvy and who realise that the planning for cloud stage starts with a blended approach of technology and process alignment it's even more of an opportunity.
The mindset of the IT professional tasked with staged migration to Cloud, and marshalling development resources for application development then has to look at his or her governance controls. This then allows you to quickly form a raft of keystages and goals. And guess what ? Quickly it becomes quite obvious that in a world of ever decreasing IT budgets and ever increasing needs from end users and customers alike that funding goes further when you work more openly.
From development environments suddenly realising .Net is as dated as its starting to look, that a lot of "development" in the Wintel environment using dated tools isn't coding in it's truest sense it's actually modification of reusable libraries and objects. Try pushing your Visual Studio or MS SQL code in three clicks to the Cloud I dare you.
We released Fedora 17 this week. If you are sat reading this on your Windows workstation and you work in IT and have a calling to extend your capabilities and your available tools then maybe its time to investigate. How many other free downloads also come with the promise of your own local hosted Cloud, a JBoss server instance and a few million new technological savvy friends who are always up 24/7 to hold your hand ?
Understanding the capabilities of what you want to achieve is enhanced by the nature of the technologies you have access to. If we make this freely available is there any excuse not to react and take advantage ?
If we can give you something today that can form the baby steps required to move to a supported Linux environment to replace something that you can't afford to have as an IT asset then that's got to be a good thing ?
In 1999 I used to be an ubergeek at VA Linux in San Francisco. I used to wear a shirt that carried the moniker "The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Window 2000 - Come On We Grew Up !!". It was never more true that if you are serious about understanding Cloud, defining the intelligent and Open strategies you need to reduce your costs and increase your adaptability as an organisation you need to work with us and there is never a better time to do it than now.
From those initial steps you'd be amazed that the walls of your internal IT processes, especially the ones guarding those expensive to own Solaris hosts become ever so crumbly. It's hard to argue with being open and we really genuinely, as a community to a man (and a woman) want to proffer the hand of friendship to help you achieve change. First steps to any change or addiction rely on the individual being able to ask for help. This isnt AA - they admirably deal with addiction problems. Linux will become a new addiction, a healthy one. Think of me as your pusher .. The first taste is free 🙂
We're nice folk, heads might be 9-5 in the clouds but with feet firmly planted on the ground. From North Carolina to our amazing support and dev guys in Brno, CZ, from Madrid to The Arctic Circle - Red Hat folk are everywhere to support and provide the inertia you need to succeed.
Feels nicer being Open. Come fly the friendly skies an overpaid marketing exec once mantra'd about a well known airline. We don't want to sell you a ticket we want to just give you the key to a new better world order.
That can't be a bad thing right ?
- Addendum from a network savvy Welsh type at Red Hat UK - Tom Llewelyn (our Gluster Bus Dev God in EMEA) - Good post, but to my mind AIX on p and HP-UX in Integrity and Superdome are viewed more as mid-range than mainframe. zOS is the last bastion of the mainframe OS market.
Tom I apologise for lumping AIX and HP UX into one labelled vehicle and stand corrected 🙂