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June 2009 (#163):

News Bytes

By Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff

News Bytes


Selected and Edited by Deividson Okopnik

Please submit your News Bytes items in plain text; other formats may be rejected without reading. [You have been warned!] A one- or two-paragraph summary plus a URL has a much higher chance of being published than an entire press release. Submit items to bytes@linuxgazette.net.

News in General

lightning boltOracle Buys Virtual Iron, Adds Virtualization Management to O-VM

Oracle will acquire Virtual Iron Software, a provider of server virtualization management. The combination of Virtual Iron's technology and Oracle VM scalable is expected to provide dynamic resource management across the full software stack. Customers are expected to benefit from better capacity utilization, streamlined virtual server configuration, and improved visibility and control of their enterprise software.

Orace has provided the following web links on the acquisition: FAQ: http://www.oracle.com/virtualiron/virtualiron-faq.pdf
General Presentation: http://www.oracle.com/virtualiron/virtualiron-general-presentation.pdf

The transaction is expected to close this summer. Until the deal closes, each company will continue to operate independently. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

lightning boltWolfram|Alpha Launches Computational Knowledge Engine

In May, Wolfram Research released Wolfram|Alpha, the world's first computational knowledge engine, which free on the web. Alpha, while not exactly a search engine, is considered a new paradigm that could challenge Google and other leading search engines.

Wolfram|Alpha draws on scientist Stephen Wolfram's groundbreaking work on Mathematica, the world's leading technical computing software platform, and on the discoveries he published in his book, "A New Kind of Science."

The long-term goal of Wolfram|Alpha is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. Wolfram|Alpha draws on multiple terabytes of curated data and synthesizes it into entirely new combinations and presentations. The service answers questions, solves equations, cross-references data types, projects future behaviors, and more. Wolfram|Alpha's example pages and gallery show a few of the many uses of this new technology.

Finding Wolfram|Alpha Easter eggs has become a popular topic on Mashable, the social media news guide and Facebook users have been helping each other suggest and correct inputs.

"Fifty years ago," said Stephen Wolfram, the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, "when computers were young, people assumed that they'd be able to ask a computer any factual question, and have it compute the answer. I'm happy to say that we've successfully built a system that delivers knowledge from a simple input field, giving access to a huge system, with trillions of pieces of curated data and millions of lines of algorithms. Wolfram|Alpha signals a new paradigm for using computers and the web."

Four Pillars of Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha is made up of four main "pillars" or components:

* Curated Data: Wolfram|Alpha contains terabytes of factual data covering a wide range of fields. Teams of subject-matter experts and researchers collect and curate data, transforming it into computable forms that can be understood and operated on by computer algorithms;

* Dynamic Computation: When Wolfram|Alpha receives a user query, it extracts the relevant facts from its stored computable data and then applies a collection of tens of thousands of algorithms, creating and synthesizing new relevant knowledge;

* Intuitive Language Understanding: To allow Wolfram|Alpha to understand inputs entered in everyday language, its developers examine the ways people express ideas within fields and subject matters and continually refine algorithms that automatically recognize these patterns;

* Computational Aesthetics: Wolfram|Alpha also represents a new approach to user-interface design. The service takes user inputs and builds a customized page of clearly and usefully presented computed knowledge.

Wolfram|Alpha has been entirely developed and deployed using Wolfram Research Inc's Mathematica technology. Wolfram|Alpha contains nearly six million lines of Mathematica code, authored and maintained in Wolfram Workbench. In its launch configuration, Wolfram|Alpha is running Mathematica on about 10,000 processor cores distributed among five colocation facilities, using gridMathematica-based parallelism. And every query that comes into the system is served with webMathematica.

The Wolfram|Alpha launch process has been broadcast live on Justin.tv and documented on the Wolfram|Alpha blog and on its Twitter and Facebook accounts. During the testing period leading up to the launch, Wolfram|Alpha processed 13.7 million queries.

For more information on the launch of Wolfram|Alpha, see the blog at: http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2009/05/15/live-from-champaign/#more-445

Conferences and Events

JavaOne / CommunityOne
June 1 - 5, San Francisco, CA
ODTUG Kaleidoscope
June 21 - 25, Monterey, CA
Semantic Technology Conference
June 14 - 18, Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, Ca
USENIX Annual Technical Conference / HotCloud '09
June 14 - 19, San Diego, CA
HP Tech Forum 2009
June 15 - 18, Las Vegas, NV
Mobile 2.0 Europe 2009
June 18 - 19, Barcelona, Spain
Velocity Conference 2009
June 22 - 24, San Jose, CA
SharePoint TechCon Boston
June 22 - 24, Cambridge, MA
Gartner IT Security Summit 2009
June 28 - July 1, Washington, DC
Cisco Live/Networkers 2009
June 28 - July 2, San Francisco, CA
OSCON 2009
July 20 - 24, San Jose, CA
July 21 - 23, Hilton, Chicago, IL
Open Source Cloud Computing Forum
July 22, online
Black Hat USA 2009
July 25 - 30, Las Vegas, NV
OpenSource World [formerly LinuxWorld]
August 10 - 13, San Francisco, CA
VMworld 2009
August 31 - September 3, San Francisco, CA

Distro News

lightning boltMontaVista Linux 6 Based on the Moblin Project

MontaVista Software has announced MontaVista Linux 6, a new approach to embedded Linux development which delivers Market Specific Distributions (MSDs) based on the Moblin project and designed specifically for the Intel Atom processor.

MontaVista Linux 6 addresses development challenges by providing a complete embedded Linux development environment comprised of Market Specific Distributions, development tools, and the support and maintenance required by developers to fully leverage the semiconductor Linux technology and resources from the open source community.

MontaVista Linux 6 is comprised of:
* Market Specific Distributions;
* MontaVista Integration Platform;
* MontaVista Zone Content Server;
* MontaVista DevRocket 6.

Market Specific Distributions (MSD) are new Linux distributions, built on a common framework, and optimized for the Intel Atom processor and its target market segment. An MSD is designed to support the full breadth of functionality provided by the Intel Atom processor, be feature compatible with the Moblin Open source project technology, and provide the value-add features and quality MontaVista is known for. Fully supported by MontaVista, the MSD for the Intel Atom processor may be customized and optimized for target applications such as Vehicle Infotainment, Print Imaging, IP Media Phones, etc.

The MontaVista Integration Platform is built on open source technology and allows developers to easily extend and customize their software stack. With the Integration Platform, developers can fetch and integrate code from team members, vendors, or the open source community.

The MontaVista Zone Content Server delivers source code and other content dynamically to the Integration Platform, freeing developers from the constant task of searching for new source code and updates. Developers can identify changes, updates, and dependencies in his code via the Integration Platform with the option of incorporating these changes to the build environment.

MontaVista DevRocket 6 is the new release of the MontaVista Eclipse-based IDE for application development. DevRocket supports the MontaVista Integration Platform, and MemTraq memory analysis, along with industry-standard tools for debugging, development, and system profiling.

MontaVista Linux 6 is in use by beta customers now and will be generally available in July 2009. For more information please visit http://www.mvista.com/mvl6.

lightning boltNexentaCore Platform 2.0 out.

Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 [NCP2] is a minimalist operating system combining the OpenSolaris kernel with Debian utilities and Ubuntu software packages. The 2.0 RC2 release was available in early May and the final release came out at the end of May.

Release Highlights:
* OpenSolaris build 104+ with critical patches;
* Over 13000 packages in the repository, including xorg, xfce4 and gnome-core;
* Smooth upgrade path from NCP1;
* Based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) repository;
* Includes latest dpkg/apt, gcc, binutils, coreutils, perl, python, ruby, Qt libs, GTK libs, etc;
* SMF support added for server applications like apache, mysql, postgresql, exim4, etc;
* 100% native Debian environment;
* Includes apt-clone which brings ZFS power to apt-get.

In related news, NexentaStor 1.1.7, a distribution based on NCP1.0 stable, has been released. See: http://www.nexenta.com.

Also, StormOS, an XFCE based derivative of NCP2, is in the works. For those looking for a desktop variation of NCP2, keep a lookout on the StormOS website, http://www.stormos.org. The beta release of StormOS Hail is in preparation.

lightning boltCentOS-5.3 i386 Live CD is released

The CentOS 5.3 i386 Live CD was released in May. This Live CD is based on the Fedora livecd-tools project. [see http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraLiveCD]

CentOS 5.3 i386 Live can be used as a Workstation, with the following software:
* openoffice.org 2.3.0;
* firefox 3.0.6;
* thunderbird;
* pidgin 2.5.5;
* xchat 2.6.6;
* gimp 2.2.13.

It can also be used as a rescue CD with the following tools:
* memtest86+-1.65;
* Full set of LVM and RAID command line tools;
* Nmap and NMapFE;
* traceroute;
* samba-3.0.33 with cifs kernel support to connect to Windows file shares;
* System Log Viewer;
* GUI Hardware Device Manager.

The CentOS Live CD project home page is here: https://projects.centos.org/trac/livecd/.

Live CD build scripts, screenshots, booting from a USB key, custom Live CD Creation and other information is available there.

lightning boltMandriva Linux 2009 Spring is out

The Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring release is now available with a choice of KDE, GNOME or LXDE and also in more than 70 languages.

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring offers a complete, easy to install system including all the necessary drivers; the latest versions of leading Open Source applications: KDE 4.2.2, GNOME 2.26, Firefox 3, Xorg Server 1.6, etc; and an ensemble of complementary applications updated in the Powerpack version: audio and video codecs, virtualisation with VMware, Google applications, etc.

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring is available in three editions: Powerpack (the commercial edition, including exclusive commercial software, support, and services), One (a live CD which can also be installed to the system permanently) and Free (an edition which contains only free / open source software).

* Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring Powerpack boxed versions are available for 69 euros or US$89;
* Mandriva Linux Powerpack 2009 Spring, slim pack version is available for 59 euros or US$69.

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring downloads are available here: http://www2.mandriva.com/downloads/

lightning boltOpenSolaris 2009.06 Released

On June 1, Sun will announce the availability of the OpenSolaris 2009.06 operating system, which should deliver significant performance enhancements and developer productivity updates. OpenSolaris 2009.06 includes several innovations from Sun and the OpenSolaris community.

Project Crossbow is the most significant networking technology development in Solaris currently. Project Crossbow is a complete re-architecture of the network stack.

Additionally, building on the advances in networking storage virtualization, the OpenSolaris platform delivers key server virtualization technologies in the form of Solaris Containers, Logical Domains (LDoms) for Sun CMT systems and the Xen-based hypervisor to give users a complete virtualization platform built directly into the OpenSolaris OS.

OpenSolaris 2009.06 provides dozens of enhancements to its ZFS technology and offers a complete architecture of connectivity and protocol support. New, fully integrated flash storage support in ZFS helps to optimize large scale pools of very high performance storage by designating flash devices as write accelerators and read accelerators. These pools are automatically managed by ZFS to achieve very high levels of performance across many workloads, making the need for small caches on RAID controllers obsolete.

The announcement will occur at the CommunityOne conference, which proceeds the annual JavaOne event. OpenSolaris 2009.06 should be ready for dowload after June 1st at: http://opensolaris.org/os/downloads/.

lightning boltLinpus to showcase its Moblin V2-based Linux Lite at Computex

At Computex in Taiwan, Linpus, a provider of Linux solutions for netbooks. will release the Moblin Version 2 of its popular Linpus Linux Lite product, which is optimized for netbooks and improves boot time by 26%.

The Moblin Project, an open source community started in 2007, supports the creation and distribution of Linux-based operating system products for Intel Atom processor-based platforms, including netbooks, and mobile Internet devices (MIDs). Moblin v2 brings several advancements to the platform including longer battery life and fast boot performance.

Other Moblin v2 benefits Linpus will now be able deliver to customers of Linpus Linux Lite include New user interface, UX, based on clutter api framework and 3D physical effects and translucent windows. The UI supports cloud services with the ability to easily add OEM applications, 3rd party apps, and app stores.

Linpus has worked closely with the Moblin community and with Intel and is able to bring one of the first products based on Moblin V2 to market. Linpus has also engineered very stable suspend and sleep modes and integrated its LiveUpdate function.

"One of the things that really stand out in Moblin V2 is the new user interface. The Moblin community went back to the drawing board to think about the mobile Internet experience and designed something that is a genuine breakthrough in UI design," said Stephen Lim, CEO of Linpus.

lightning boltLinux Mint 7 (Gloria) is here!

Linux Mint, the most known Ubuntu derived distro was released in the end of may, and comes full of updates, including all the updated software applications.

Some of those updates include a brand new theme, with darker window borders and panels, plus a new default wallpaper, enhancements to the mint menu, like a suggestions bar, that tries to correct typos when searching.

The distro's package installer also got re-vamped, and is released with a new GUI layout and an "Featured Applications" window, that shows some of the most popular applications that are not yet installed on the system.

For more information, check out http://www.linuxmint.com/.

lightning boltRed Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 Now Available

The eighth update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux [RHEL] 4 has been released. RHEL 4, first shipped in February 2005, is now in the Production 2 lifecycle phase.

Key features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 include:
* Improved virtualization performance and scale with new, optimized devices drivers for virtual guests deployed on the KVM hypervisor;
* Virtual guest support is increased up to 256 disk devices ( from 16);
* Improved Windows interoperability and file system support including a Samba update that does not requirie Windows Client Access Licenses (CALs);
* Updated fast networking support with enhancements to the Open Fabric Distribution Networking (OFED) software stack;
* Filesystem enhancements with better device mapper reporting to help storage administrators;
* Enhanced developer support with the updated GNU Compiler Collection allows customers to compile applications on RHEL 4 with compatibility for RHEL 5.

Customers with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription are able to access the 4.8 update automatically through Red Hat Network.

Software and Product News

Red Hat has announced the availability of JBoss Enterprise Business Rules Management System (BRMS), an open source business rules solution that enables easier business policy and rules development, access, and management and allows customers to update applications and processes with business rules and policies. Automating business decisions with JBoss Enterprise BRMS can enable business process stakeholders to rapidly implement change.

Business rules are parameters that describe how an organization performs work. Best practices require business rules to be maintained separately from the software applications and services they govern in order to maximize agility. If business rules are duplicated or scattered across many applications, updates are costly, error prone, and take weeks or months to implement. With JBoss Enterprise BRMS, enterprises can update their business rules to reflect the day-to-day business and regulatory environment as quickly as in a few hours. Additionally, a BRMS enables non-technical staff to manage business processes without programming.

"The combination of tight budgets, the increasing maturity of the BRMS, and the continual improvement of open source technologies creates a nearly perfect disruptive storm in the BRMS market," said Stephen D. Hendrick, Group Vice President for Application Development and Deployment Research at IDC. "Open source BRMS products that get rule authoring, processing, and management right combined with a significantly lower TCO will receive a strong positive reception in the market."

JBoss Enterprise BRMS is an enterprise-ready open source business rules management system which can be deployed with other JBoss Middleware such as JBoss Enterprise SOA and Portal.

Key JBoss Enterprise BRMS features include: a Business Rules Engine which can be updated through a range of tools, from editors and spreadsheets to Eclipse; Web 2.0 Rules Authoring and Management Tools with a Rich Internet Application (RIA) user interface; and a BRMS Repository which enables version control of business rules artifacts, including fact models, enumerations, functions, domain specific languages (DSL) definitions, rules and tests.

JBoss Enterprise BRMS adds to Red Hat's overall portfolio of middleware products that help application development, deployment and integration.

Additional information on the JBoss Enterprise BRMS is available online at http://www.jboss.com.

lightning boltrBuilder Becomes a Free Public Download

At the end of April, rPath released its free version of rBuilder, a solution for automating the packaging and management of applications. rBuilder creates a self-contained package that includes an application and all the components necessary for it to run in any bare metal, hypervisor or cloud environment.

rBuilder captures all the configuration information and dependencies between the components within the packaged system. The entire system definition, including components and dependencies, are managed within a version-controlled repository, which enables automated delivery of updates and patches to the running system. The move gives companies a way to reduce the cost and complexity of deploying and maintaining enterprise applications. rBuilder is available for public download at www.rpath.com/corp/free-rbuilder.

This new free, public download is a complete version of rBuilder that users can install and run behind their enterprise firewalls and integrate with existing development and systems management tools. Unlike the commercial version, this free public download is limited to 20 running system instances in production. Once users reach this threshold, they're obligated to establish a commercial relationship with rPath. Additionally, support for this version is through the community only. rBuilder Online is a community site for creating public and private virtual appliance projects.

rBuilder features a dynamic user interface and wizard-driven processes that guide users through the creation of a complete, self-contained and ready-to-run system. rBuilder features include:

* Automated dependency discovery. rBuilder introspects the application to identify and resolve the full breadth of dependencies the application requires to run;
* Automated update. Deep dependency tracking and version control allow users to automatically and safely deliver updates and patches to running systems;
* Multiple platform options. Users can select between any of a number of Linux options as the foundation for their appliance and can package and include their own components;
* Multiple formats. Users can specify output of multiple system formats for bare metal; hypervisors, including VMware ESX, Citrix Xen and Microsoft Hyper-V; and clouds, including Amazon EC2, BlueLock, and Globus;
* Management console. Users can launch, start up, and shut down images across target environments. APIs enable integration with existing management and provisioning tools;
* Integration and Automation. rBuilder's services are programmatically accessible via command line and REST-based APIs so rPath to be integrated with existing tools.

Complete system requirements and installation/basic usage instructions can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/rPathQuickStart.

For more information on rPath, please visit http://www.rpath.com.
For additional perspectives, please visit and subscribe to rPath RSS blog feeds at http://blogs.rpath.com/wpmu/.

lightning boltIxia Provides Testing Solution for Virtualized Data Centers

Ixia a provider of IP performance test systems, has announced the IxVM product suite that enables data center managers to assess virtual infrastructure performance and capacity. IxVM builds on Ixia's industry-leading library of layer 2-7 performance test tools.

Ixia's new suite of IxVM products can test layer 2/3 virtual network resources and layer 4-7 virtual applications. IxChariot VM, a component of IxVM, uses software endpoints - small software components that run on each virtual machine - that send and receive test traffic, while measuring performance. This makes it possible to source traffic from virtual servers in the same manner as the supported applications. IxExplorer VM uses software endpoints to generate layer 2/3 traffic to test features such as VLAN and QoS.

"In our rush to cash in on the benefits of virtualization, we seem to have overlooked the problems associated with assessing the end to end performance of virtualized networks," said Zeus Keravala, Senior Analyst at Yankee Group. "IxVM provides the vantage points for emulating and measuring system performance down to the virtual component. Ixia has demonstrated strong leadership and claimed first mover advantage by filling this gap with their virtualization test initiative."

IxVM allows:
* performance testing of thousands of VMs simultaneously with real world application traffic;
* independent measurement and convergence testing of VM migration;
* tuning of virtual resources such as servers and NICs;
* measurement of key performance indicators like delay, jitter or packet loss through virtual switches;
* testing of network performance variances when running applications over different operating system.

IxVM presents an aggregated performance view. Integrating with VMware, IxVM automatically discovers the components of the virtualized architecture. Pre-deployment testing can compare and contrast performance from alternative configurations or evaluate performance when applications are moved between virtual machines and could uncover dynamic bottlenecks that may be unanticipated.

View a video on IxVM at: http://downloads.ixiacom.com/multimedia/PRODUCTS/IXVM/.

lightning boltWSO2 Data Services 2.0 Offers Componentized SOA Framework

WSO2, an open source SOA company, has launched WSO2 Data Services 2.0. The completely re-architected open source WSO2 Data Services product is now based on WSO2 Carbon, a componentized service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework.

The modular WSO2 Data Services 2.0 product enables database administrators (DBAs) and database programmers to create and manage WS-* style Web services and REST-style Web resources using enterprise data. It is based on the WSO2 Carbon framework, in which all major features of WSO2 SOA middleware products have been developed as pluggable Carbon components. Users no longer need to deploy WSO2 Data Services 2.0 and the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) 2.0 as separate products. Instead, users can simply add the WSO2 mediation component to WSO2 Data Services.

"WSO2 Data Services addresses the demand among enterprises to quickly and easily take data from a wide variety of sources and expose it as Web services within their SOAs,"said Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, founder and CEO of WSO2.

Customization can range from simply reformatting the Data Services logs into a preferred format to writing a bridge application that allows the Data Services server to be remotely managed--and even restarted--via a mobile phone.

Other new features in WSO2 Data Services 2.0 include:
* Enhanced administration user interface;
* WS-Policy Editor to configure services using the W3C standard;
* Support for event-driven architectures (EDA);
* One front-end server to be used to administer several back-end servers simultaneously.

WSO2 Data Services supports access to data stored in relational databases such as Oracle, MySQL and IBM DB2 (virtually any database accessible via JDBC), as well as the comma-separated values (CSV) file format, and Excel spreadsheets. Services can be authenticated, encrypted and/or signed using the WS-Security and HTTP security standards, and support for WS-ReliableMessaging provides enterprise-level reliability.

WSO2 Data Services 2.0 is now part of the WSO2 Carbon SOA framework, based on the OSGi specification, that provides all WSO2 Carbon SOA components with enterprise-class management, security, clustering, logging, statistics, tracing, and a "Try-It" wizard that makes it simple to instantly test data services. Additionally, WSO2 Data Services uses the graphical unified management console, which supports all Carbon components and provides enhanced administration. Any components added to WSO2 Data Services 2.0 are automatically recognized by the core Carbon platform and unified management console

WSO2 delivered its online course "Introduction to Data Services"for free in May. As a special promotion, the usual $199 course fee was waived. Check http://wso2.com/training/ to see if the course is free again in June or July.

As a fully open source solution released under the Apache License 2.0, WSO2 Data Services does not carry any software licensing or subscription fees.

lightning boltOracle Announces Enhanced Oracle Beehive

Oracle announced enhancements to its Oracle Beehive suite of collaboration tools in May. Oracle Beehive includes email, calendar, team workspaces, conferencing, and instant messaging on a single, standards-based platform. With the enhancements, organizations using Oracle Beehive can enable easier collaboration and improve individual and team productivity.

Updates to the latest release of Oracle Beehive include:

* Web-based Team Collaboration - builds on an enterprise-specific security and compliance framework offers a user-friendly environment for teams to manage activities and information; Beehive includes wikis, team calendaring, RSS support, contextual search, and advanced file sharing and can be centrally provisioned or set up by the team with no portal requirement;
* Enhanced Web and Voice Conferencing - enables organizations to apply security and content management policies to conferencing; includes on-demand conference recording and retrieval;
* Expanded Integration with Desktop Productivity Tools - reduces training costs and user adoption challenges by allowing users to take advantage of familiar software.

Oracle Beehive can be deployed on premise or through Oracle On Demand.

lightning boltCitrix Synergy Product News

Enhanced Citrix Cloud Center

At Citrix Synergy in May, Citrix Systems announced a variety of new offerings for its Citrix Cloud Center (Citrix C3) product family to further equip service providers with the infrastructure and product licensing needed to deliver successful clouds services to their customers.

The updates to the Citrix C3 product family enable service providers to create secure multi-tenant cloud infrastructure environments in a cost effective manner. New capabilities include:

* Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop - The addition of these two products into Citrix C3 enable service providers to take their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings to a new level and even deliver Windows Desktops as a Service (DaaS);
* The CSP program - The CSP program is designed for service providers who provide hosted software services to end-user customers who are not the licensee. The CSP program extends to service providers the "right to use" Citrix products as a monthly "active subscriber". Service providers only pay for actual end-user usage;
* Citrix NetScaler VPX - A virtual appliance version of Citrix NetScaler, the new Citrix NetScaler VPX will be added to Citrix C3, enabling service providers to run multiple NetScaler instances simultaneously and provide cost-effective multi-tenancy web application delivery. In addition, service providers can use "cloud balancing," which allows load balancing across multiple cloud infrastructures;
* Citrix XenServer - XenServer will soon be enhanced with a new distributed virtual switch add-on to enable secure, multi-tenant public clouds. The switch will partition network traffic on a per-application basis, with resource and security guarantees, and offer full visibility into and control over inter-VM traffic within a server and virtual network overlay.

Citrix is now providing Citrix C3 Lab Blueprints, giving IT professionals a set of common scenarios to test, architectural overviews, deployment guides, tips and tricks and discussion forums.

Citrix C3, with XenApp and XenDesktop, and a technological preview of NetScaler VPX are available for free download from Citrix.com. A technological preview of XenServer virtual switch for XenServer 5.5 will be available for free download from Citrix.com on June 1, 2009. Access to the Citrix C3 Lab and Citrix C3 Lab Blueprints is available now at: http://community.citrix.com/display/cdn/Citrix+C3+Lab.

Citrix Announces C3 Lab Built on Amazon Web Services

Citrix Systems announced a new cloud solution called Citrix C3 Lab that allows companies to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of their technology infrastructure. This announcement comes in response to the growing demand by organizations to use virtualization technologies to deploy, maintain and access business applications and desktops in more flexible and efficient ways through the Internet.

Based on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Citrix Cloud Center (Citrix C3) technologies, this new cloud-based lab environment allows IT professionals to prototype future cloud projects today.

Citrix C3 Lab is designed to provide an inexpensive, preconfigured environment for IT professionals to prototype solutions and includes technical components required to create a robust application delivery center in the cloud. Initially, lab users will have access to Citrix XenApp alongside key Citrix C3 technologies such as Citrix Access Gateway and Citrix Repeater in the AWS cloud environment. Citrix is also providing Citrix C3 Lab Blueprints.

Citrix C3 Lab is available immediately and there is no additional charge for running Citrix C3 Lab instances in Amazon EC2 - all a Citrix customer needs to do to get started is create an AWS account. Citrix C3 Lab will also be made available for public use as a set of Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) within Amazon EC2. Amazon EC2 is an on demand, utility-priced service, with charges based on the size and capacity of the virtual server.

Citrix Dazzle and Receiver Simplify Virtual Apps

Citrix Systems introduced an on-demand service for enterprise applications called Citrix Dazzle. For the enterprise customers already using Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop, Dazzle supports self-service IT by giving users simple access to apps and IT services in web model like the iTunes store.

Dazzle is fully integrated with Citrix Receiver, a new universal software client that makes it easy for users to access corporate apps and desktops from any device they choose. Dazzle also interfaces directly with Citrix Merchandising Server, a new head-end management system that allows for IT to actually "merchandise" apps to users, not just deliver them. With Merchandising Server, for example, administrators can set up a list of "recommended apps" in Dazzle that highlights applications they want to promote to employees - or even post "advertisements" for new or under-utilized IT applications.

Citrix Receiver allows IT organizations to deliver desktops and applications as an on-demand service to any device in any location. Following an initial download and installation, Receiver sits quietly in the background and "listens" for signals from the corporate "delivery center". This allows IT to deliver any app or desktop from Citrix Delivery Center head-end controllers like Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop, to any device with a Receiver installed. Should employees want to access their work environment from a home PC or Mac laptop, they simply go to a URL given to them by IT and download a Receiver for that device as well. As long as Citrix Receiver is installed on a device, IT has complete control over security, performance, and user experience, allowing them to deliver IT services on-demand.

Receiver is an enhanced display agent for applications hosted on backend servers.

Under the hood, Citrix Receiver is a lightweight universal software client with an extensible browser-like "plug-in" architecture. Receiver comes standard with a variety of plug-ins that communicate with head-end infrastructure in the Citrix Delivery Center product family such as XenApp, XenDesktop, Citrix Access Gateway and Branch Repeater. These plug-ins support functionality such as online and off-line app usage, virtual desktop delivery, secure access control, password management, app acceleration, multimedia acceleration, service-level monitoring and voice communications.

Citrix Receiver is free and is available immediately for PCs, laptops, netbooks and thin clients. Citrix Receiver for Apple's iPhone is also available immediately as a free download from the Apple App Store. Citrix told Linux Gazette that it is partnering with Open Kernel Labs to extend reciever to other smart phones and their first effort will be phones based on the Android mobile Linux operating system.

Citrix Merchandising Server is also available at no charge. Both Receiver and Merchandising Server require infrastructure products from the Citrix Delivery Center product family to complete their operations.

lightning boltXen 3.4 Hypervisor Now Available

The Xen.org open source community has a new Xen 3.4 hypervisor release with improved reliability and power management capabilities.

The new release offers significant enhancements in the following areas:

* Xen Client Initiative (XCI) Enhancements - Xen 3.4 contains the initial XCI code release providing a base client hypervisor, Dom0, and a management tool stack;
* Reliability - Availability - Serviceability (RAS) - Xen now delivers features designed to avoid and detect system failures, provide maximum uptime by isolating system faults, and provide system failure notices to administrators;
* Power Management - Xen 3.4 improves the power saving features with new algorithms to better manage the processor including schedulers and timers optimized for power savings, including a way to synchronize clock ticks to VMs.

The Yankee Group's Third Annual Virtualization Survey reports a significant increase in commercial Xen-based solutions to 17 percent of total market share. This includes a Citrix XenServer share of 11 percent, plus an additional six percent from other open source suppliers. More information on Xen 3.4 is available at Simon Crosby's blog post at http://community.citrix.com/blogs/citrite/simoncr/2009/05/18/Xen.Next+is+Here.

Xen 3.4 is currently available via free download at: http://www.xen.org/download.

lightning boltOpenOffice.org 3.1 is now available

In May, the OpenOffice.org Community announced the general availability of OpenOffice.org 3.1, the open-source office productivity suite.

The most visible single change (in 500,000 lines of code) is the major revamp of OpenOffice.org graphics. This includes improved anti-aliasing for crisper graphics. The improved look extends to how images display when they are dragged and how text selections are highlighted.

OpenOffice.org also has a more capable file locking mechanism, enabling users to share files safely in a multi-user, multi-platform environment.

New core features include:

Writer (word processing):
* Further grammar checker integration;
* Outline levels within paragraphs for complex documents.

Calc (spreadsheet):
* Hot hints for formulae, with new and improved formulae available;
* Improved sorting;
* The zoom slider added to the status bar;
* Rename sheets with a double-click.

Chart (graphics engine):
* Flexible positioning of axes for scientific and educational users;
* Flexible handling of "missing" data points.

Impress (presentation):
* Font size buttons.

Base (database):
* SQL syntax highlighting;
* Easier deployment of macro applications.

Internationalization and Localization:
* Improved support for bidirectional scripts;
* New locale support.

A guide to new features is available here: http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/features/3.1/index.html

Download OpenOffice.org 3.1 here: http://download.openoffice.org/.

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang


Deividson was born in União da Vitória, PR, Brazil, on 14/04/1984. He became interested in computing when he was still a kid, and started to code when he was 12 years old. He is a graduate in Information Systems and is finishing his specialization in Networks and Web Development. He codes in several languages, including C/C++/C#, PHP, Visual Basic, Object Pascal and others.

Deividson works in Porto União's Town Hall as a Computer Technician, and specializes in Web and Desktop system development, and Database/Network Maintenance.

Bio picture

Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book collection and several pet rocks.

Howard maintains the Technology-Events blog at blogspot.com from which he contributes the Events listing for Linux Gazette. Visit the blog to preview some of the next month's NewsBytes Events.

Copyright © 2009, Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff. Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 163 of Linux Gazette, June 2009

The LG Backpage

By Ben Okopnik and Kat Tanaka Okopnik

Hi -

As you've noticed, the only thing published this month is NewsBytes.

LG is on hiatus this month. If you're pining for your usual fix, please do send a note to http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/lg-tag to let us know; we may be keeping quiet for the moment, but we're still listening.

Best regards,
Ben Okopnik

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang


Ben is the Editor-in-Chief for Linux Gazette and a member of The Answer Gang.

Ben was born in Moscow, Russia in 1962. He became interested in electricity at the tender age of six, promptly demonstrated it by sticking a fork into a socket and starting a fire, and has been falling down technological mineshafts ever since. He has been working with computers since the Elder Days, when they had to be built by soldering parts onto printed circuit boards and programs had to fit into 4k of memory (the recurring nightmares have almost faded, actually.)

His subsequent experiences include creating software in more than two dozen languages, network and database maintenance during the approach of a hurricane, writing articles for publications ranging from sailing magazines to technological journals, and teaching on a variety of topics ranging from Soviet weaponry and IBM hardware repair to Solaris and Linux administration, engineering, and programming. He also has the distinction of setting up the first Linux-based public access network in St. Georges, Bermuda as well as one of the first large-scale Linux-based mail servers in St. Thomas, USVI.

After a seven-year Atlantic/Caribbean cruise under sail and passages up and down the East coast of the US, he is currently anchored in northern Florida. His consulting business presents him with a variety of challenges such as teaching professional advancement courses for Sun Microsystems and providing Open Source solutions for local companies.

His current set of hobbies includes flying, yoga, martial arts, motorcycles, writing, Roman history, and mangling playing with his Ubuntu-based home network, in which he is ably assisted by his wife and son; his Palm Pilot is crammed full of alarms, many of which contain exclamation points.

He has been working with Linux since 1997, and credits it with his complete loss of interest in waging nuclear warfare on parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Bio picture

Kat likes to tell people she's one of the youngest people to have learned to program using punchcards on a mainframe (back in '83); but the truth is that since then, despite many hours in front of various computer screens, she's a computer user rather than a computer programmer.

Her transition away from other OSes started with the design of a massively multilingual wedding invitation.

When away from the keyboard, her hands have been found wielding of knitting needles, various pens, henna, red-hot welding tools, upholsterer's shears, and a pneumatic scaler. More often these days, she's occupied with managing her latest project.

Copyright © 2009, Ben Okopnik and Kat Tanaka Okopnik. Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 163 of Linux Gazette, June 2009