Tag: open source

Red Hat doing well

Red Hat Agent CarterOpen saucy Red Hat’s third quarter results were rather good.

Its third quarter total revenue of $615 million, up 18 per cent year-over-year. Its third quarter total subscription revenue was $543 million, up 19 per cent year-over-year or 18 per cent in constant currency.

Jim Whitehurst, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat said that enterprise and service provider customers were adopting a hybrid cloud strategy for developing, deploying and managing the life-cycle of their critical applications.

“Red Hat is uniquely positioned to address this need. In aggregate, customers utilizing our cloud-enabling technologies either on-premise or in the public cloud are spending more with Red Hat than customers that have not yet embraced our cloud-enabling technologies.

Total revenue for the quarter was $615 million, up 18 per cent in U.S. dollars year-over-year, or 17 per cent measured in constant currency.

GAAP operating income for the quarter was $81 million, up 17 per cent year-over-year. After adjusting for non-cash share-based compensation expense, amortisation of intangible assets, and transaction costs related to business combinations, non-GAAP operating income for the third quarter was $143 million, up 16 per cent year-over-year. For the third quarter, GAAP operating margin was 13.1 per cent and non-GAAP operating margin was 23.3 per cent.

GAAP net income for the quarter was $68 million compared with $47 million in the same quarter last year.
The outfit is predicting that will make $2.397 billion to $2.405 billion in US dollars and its GAAP operating margin is expected to be approximately 13.5 per cent and non-

GAAP operating margin is expected to be approximately 23 per cent.
For the fourth quarter revenue is expected to be $614 million to $622 million.

Apple’s cultish behaviour lost its entire networking team in a week

apple-cultFruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple lost its entire networking team in a day after it refused to join the Open Compute Project. (OPC)

Apple’s networking team was apparently told by management to make its network 100 percent reliable – a virtual impossibility given the fact that it used Apple hardware.  To reach the target the networking team asked to join the OPC.

The OPC is the open source for hardware which provides designs for free so that anyone can modify them.  The Apple team wanted to solve their networking problem by contributing to the project and receiving help. However, when they asked Apple, the managers had a fit. It would mean breaking Jobs’ first law, which states that everything must be done in secret and if any two people share the secret one of them must be shot.

However, when the Apple team were told “no” by their boss they suddenly realised that they were working for a bunch of idiots who were setting impossible targets using an out-of-date technology approach and all quit.

Suddenly when it found it had to hire a complete network team, Apple sheepishly joined the OPC project.  Oddly the Tame Apple Press is citing this story as a “cultish” behaviour on the part of OPC rather than idiotic cultish behaviour on the part of Apple.


Princeton boffins come up with open source super-chip

mad scientistPrinceton University researchers have emerged from their smoke filled labs with a new open source computer chip that promises to boost the performance of data centres.

Dubbed “Piton” after the metal spikes driven by rock climbers into mountainsides to aid in their ascent the chip was shown off at the Hot Chips conference.

The Princeton researchers designed their chip specifically for massive computing systems. Piton could substantially increase processing speed while slashing energy usage. The chip architecture is scalable — designs can be built that go from a dozen to several thousand cores.

The architecture enables thousands of chips to be connected into a single system containing millions of cores.

David Wentzlaff, a Princeton assistant professor of electrical engineering and associated faculty in the Department of Computer Science said that Piton was based on a new thinking about computer architecture.  It was built specifically for data centers and the cloud.

“The chip we’ve made is among the largest chips ever built in academia and it shows how servers could run far more efficiently and cheaply.”

The current version of the Piton chip measures six millimetres by six millimetres and has 460 million transistors, each of which are as small as 32 nanometres.

The bulk of these transistors are contained in 25 cores. Most personal computer chips have four or eight cores.

In recent years companies and academic institutions have produced chips with many dozens of cores — but the readily scalable architecture of Piton can enable thousands of cores on a single chip with half a billion cores in the data centre, Wentzlaff said.

“What we have with Piton is really a prototype for future commercial server systems that could take advantage of a tremendous number of cores to speed up processing,” Wentzlaff said.

At a data centre, multiple users often run programs that rely on similar operations at the processor level. The Piton chip’s cores can recognise these instances and execute identical instructions consecutively, so that they flow one after another. Doing so can increase energy efficiency by about 20 percent compared to a standard core, the researchers said.

Piton chip parcels out when competing programs access computer memory that exists off of the chip so they do not clog the system. This approach can yield an 18 percent increase in performance compared to conventional means of allocation.

The Piton chip also gains efficiency by its cache memory management. In most designs, cache memory is shared across all of the chip’s cores. But when multiple cores access and modify the cache memory it is less efficient. Piton assigns areas of the cache and specific cores to dedicated applications. The researchers say the system can increase efficiency by 29 percent per chip.

Wentzlaff said. “We’re also happy to give out our design to the world as open source, which has long been commonplace for software, but is almost never done for hardware.”

Bulgaria goes Open Source

Rila Monastery, BulgariaThe Bulgarian government has issued an edict demanding that all its software should be open sauce.

On the face of it, it is a brave move, not because of the technology involved, but because it cuts politicians from a lucrative source of income – bribes from software companies.

Under the amendments to the Electronic Governance Act, all software written for the government will have to be open-source and to be developed as such in a public repository.

Sadly, this does not mean that the whole country is moving to Linux and LibreOffice, neither does it mean the government will force Microsoft and Oracle to give the source code to their products. Existing contracts will still stand. What it means that whatever custom software the government procures will be visible and accessible to everyone.

A new government agency will enforce the law and will set up the public repository. Bozhidar Bozhanov who helped get law accepted said that the battle is not over.

“The fact that something is in the law doesn’t mean it’s a fact, though. The programming community should insist on it being enforced. At the same time some companies will surely try to circumvent it,” he wrote.

However he said that it was a good step for better government software and less abandonware.

Microsoft Azure doing rather well on Linux

microsoft-open-sourceSoftware king of the world Microsoft has made a killing by enabling its Azure virtual machines to run Linux.

When Vole started the service 25 percent of its Virtual Machines were running Linux and now it is nearly one in three.

During his keynote at DockerCon 2016 in Seattle, Azure Chief Technology Officer Mark Russinovich said that Microsoft was adding more container support to its cloud and server products.

Russinovich showed off Windows Server support coming soon to the company’s Azure Container Service (ACS) while everyone yawned.

Microsoft made Azure Container Service generally available in April 2016, but for Linux containers only. Last year, company execs said Microsoft also would bring Windows Server support to ACS.

ACS allows developers to orchestrate applications using Apache Mesos or Docker Swarm. Users can migrate container workloads to and from Azure without code changes.

Russinovich showed a preview of SQL Server on Linux running on a Docker container. SQL Server for Linux is currently in private preview and is due to be available by mid-2017.

Russinovich announced that Docker Datacenter is available in the Azure Marketplace. In addition, Docker Datacenter can manage a hybrid container-based application running across Azure — and for the first time — Azure Stack on premises.

The way that Microsoft is integrating Linux into its cloudy world is amazing, given that it is not that long ago that its CEO called Linux a cancer and was doing its best to kill it off.

Microsoft creates its own FreeBSD image

microsoft-open-sourceSoftware giant Microsoft has made its own version FreeBSD 10.3 image so that the Open Saucy OS is available and supported in Azure.

Jason Anderson, principal PM manager at Microsoft’s Open Source Technology Centre says Redmond “took on the work of building, testing, releasing and maintaining the image” so it could “ensure our customers have an enterprise SLA for their FreeBSD VMs running in Azure”.

Vole said that it did it to remove that burden from the FreeBSD Foundation, which relies on community contributions.

Microsoft said that its work on FreeBSD will be shared.

“The majority of the investments we make at the kernel level to enable network and storage performance were up-streamed into the FreeBSD 10.3 release, so anyone who downloads a FreeBSD 10.3 image from the FreeBSD Foundation will get those investments from Microsoft built in to the OS,” he said.

Anderson added that Vole would stay current and make the latest releases available shortly after the FreeBSD Release Engineering team releases them.

“We are continuing to make investments to further tune performance on storage, as well as adding new Hyper-V features.”

It will also support its distribution when it is run in Azure.

Apparently, Microsoft has worked out that software vendors use FreeBSD as the OS for software appliances. This was Microsoft’s 2012 decision to ensure FreeBSD could run as a guest OS under Hyper-V.  However, Vole thought it was better to have something more predictable for Azure.

This is not the same Microsoft from the 1980s and things have improved greatly. Unless you don’t want to download Windows 10 of course. Then it really is evil as it ever was.



Google has killed open source claims Oracle

screaming babyOracle has had huge sulk over losing its Java court battle to Google and is saying some surprisingly strange things in the tech press about it.

Probably the daftest is a comment by Annette Hurst is an attorney at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe who represented Oracle in the recent Oracle v. Google trial. In an op-ed she claimed that Oracle’s loss means that Open Source is dead in the water.

For those who came in late, Google successfully argued that its use of Java APIs, about 11,500 lines of code in all, was protected by “fair use.”

Hurst said that rather than developers celebrating that they will not be sued by copyright trolls for using bits of code, they should be worried that the free software movement itself now faces substantial jeopardy.

She said that Google argued that Java APIs have been open, any use of them was justified and all licensing restrictions should be disregarded. In other words, if you offer your software on an open and free basis, any use is fair use.

However if that narrative becomes the law of the land, the GPL is toast.

“No business trying to commercialise software with any element of open software can afford to ignore this verdict. Dual licensing models are very common and have long depended upon a delicate balance between free use and commercial use. Royalties from licensed commercial exploitation fuel continued development and innovation of an open and free option. The balance depends upon adherence to the license restrictions in the open and free option. This jury’s verdict suggests that such restrictions are now meaningless, since disregarding them is simply a matter of claiming “fair use,” Hurst said.

She said that it was hard to see how the GPL can survive such a result. Software businesses will have to accelerate their move to the cloud where everything can be controlled as a service rather than software. Consumers can expect to find decreasing options to own anything for themselves, decreasing options to control their data, decreasing options to protect their privacy.

“Developers beware. You may think you got a win yesterday. But it’s time to think about more than your desires to copy freely when you sit down at a keyboard. Think about the larger and longer term implications. You should have been on Oracle’s side in this fight. Free stuff from Google does not mean free in the sense Richard Stallman ever intended it,” Hurst said.

True, but what difference would have made to developers who instead of being allowed to write code which included similar APLs?  The would risk being sued into a coma by Oracle or any other copyright troll who thought they saw a couple of lines of their code in a trillion word program.


Red Hat is first $2 billion open sourcer

Red Hat Agent CarterRed Hat has become the first $2 billion dollar open saucy company and doubled its value from four years ago.

What is unusual is that Red Hat made all its value by earning the money rather than fleecing venture capitalists.

Red Hat’s total revenue for its fourth quarter was $544 million – up 17 percent on last year.  Subscription revenue for the quarter was $480 million, up 18 percent and subscription revenue in the quarter was 88 percent of total revenue.

Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s president and CEO credits “Enterprises increasingly adopting hybrid cloud infrastructures and open source technologies” for driving the company’s strong results.

Whitehurst said that punters continued, “Customers are demanding technologies that modernize the development, deployment and life-cycle management of applications across hybrid cloud environments. Many are relying on Red Hat to provide both the infrastructure and the application development platforms to run their enterprise applications consistently and reliably across physical, virtual, private cloud and public cloud environments.”

For the full 2016 fiscal year, Red Hat’s total revenue was $2.05 billion, up 15 percent. Subscription revenue for the full fiscal year was $1.8 billion. Subscription revenue in the full fiscal year was 88 percent of total revenue.

Subscription revenue from infrastructure-related offerings for the quarter was $391 million, an increase of 15 percent. Subscription revenue from application development-related and other emerging technologies offerings for the quarter was $89 million, an increase of 38 percent.

Full fiscal year subscription revenue from infrastructure-related offerings was $1.48 billion, an increase of 12 percent in US dollars year-over-year and 18 percent measured in constant currency. Full fiscal year subscription revenue from application development-related and other emerging technologies offerings was $323 million, an increase of 37 percent in US dollars year-over-year and 46 percent measured in constant currency.

Red Hat expects to see between $2.380 billion to $2.420 billion in the coming year.

Corporations can’t be trusted to stand-up to government

snowden_2912545bNSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that open source was vital because big corporations can’t be trusted to stand up to the government.

Snowden told the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet 2016 conference that free software enabled him to disclose the US government’s far-reaching surveillance projects.

What happened in 2013 couldn’t have happened without free softwareparticularly citing projects like Tor, Tails (a highly secure Linux distribution) and Debian, he said.

Free software’s transparency and openness are cornerstones to preserving user privacy in the connected age. He said that not all commercial products are bad, nor that all corporations are evil just that citizens should not have to rely on them to uphold the right to privacy.

“I didn’t use Microsoft machines when I was in my operational phase, because I couldn’t trust them. Not because I knew that there was a particular back door or anything like that, but because I couldn’t be sure,” he said.

Snowden pointed out that many tech giants have already proven more than willing to hand over user data to a government they rely on for licensing and a favourable regulatory climate.

Service providers as being complicit in overreaching government surveillance and since users could not control telecom partners, they were very vulnerable to them.

Trouble at Github

beardieThere is trouble in weirdy beardy land as the $2 billion startup GitHub is suffering from a brain drain because its top beardies don’t like their king.

Business Insider has been attempting to get the inside trouser measurement of the drama. So far 10 executives have cleaned out their desks and taken their action figures and amine posters home.

The problem appears to be that the King Beardy Cofounder CEO Chris Wanstrath (pictured), with support from the board, is radically changing the company’s culture.

In the old days there was a flat structure based purely on meritocracy and now Wanstrath has bought in supervisors and middle managers. He has abandoned the remote-employee culture and forced senior managers to report to the office.

Some longer-term employees feel like there’s a “culture of fear” where people who don’t support all the changes are being ousted.

Kakul Srivastava, vice president of programme management said that Github was getting bigger and it needed to build a new kind of Enterprise Company where the playbooks of old won’t always work.

riVnhnsiSrivastava (left) is a former Yahoo and Flickr exec and is part of Wanstrath’s management team. She joined GitHub in July to revamp its products and she also does not even have a beard.

Wanstrath became CEO in 2014 after GitHub was embroiled in a sexual-harassment scandal by a female employee who quit. GitHub’s own internal investigation determined that no sexual harassment took place, but said there were other leadership issues going on.

Now he is trying to overhaul Github, with full support from the venture capitalists who backed the company.