LinuxWorld: OS in the Spotlight

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.

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