The Mixed Platform is the Platform

Some notes on the first OSMB keynote by Barry Crist, CEO of Likewise Software. His company has this nifty business and goal, “Making Linux first class citizens in Windows networks”, i.e. integration with MS authentification etc.

Theme of his presentation is “Open Source in the Enterprise: The Perfect Storm in 2008”, I will see if there are slides available after the conference and update this entry.

Barry starts off with his professional experiences with mixed environments, telling a story from the past, when he was rigging up Apple machines for internal Apple office use, nice pictures of an Apple II (and the thingy the Apple employees had to live with then, the SE).

Among the important drivers of the move to mixed environments:
– upswing of LAMP, this really started off with corporate IT budget restrictions, these systems were cheaper than the UNIX machines. Today, we’re seeing high performance clusters based on LAMP.
– systems went from “good enough” to 99,9999% availability (and high quality).
– the browser is the platform (and I would add a diverse set of open standards)
– virtualization, bevcause it provides a platform that allows rapid infrastructure changes (as needed by the business)
– and also the real-world pains of Windows-to-Windows migration (from XP to Vista, from Server 2003 to 2007, etc.)

All of this opens up opportunities for open source, still Barry noted that interoperability is essential, if open source can do this and accomodate the other systems already in place, the drive to Open Source will strengthen. Yes, the mixed platform is a reality, and open source is making inroads.

Barry on what’s coming: we’ll see Open Source move rapidly into more domains in the enterprise, not only servers but also
– Linux on the Desktop
– business operations
– supporting knowledge workers

Two great questions from the audience (via SMS):

1. security issues in a mixed environment
2. manpower to administrate the mixed environment, an issue for SME.

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