Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / server

  • Aug 28 / 2014
  • 3

Popularity (or lack of it) Of That Other OS on Servers

According to Netcraft, it’s been many years since M$’s OS was so unpopular on servers, like early on in the Age of the Web…

You have to wonder how a company with lots of salesmen, lock-in with OEMs, retailers/channels, $billions in off-shore banks and elsewhere, many thousands of programmers and advertising could be so unpopular. Yes, it’s the same company that was once 95% of OEM desktops and was prosecuted for illegal activity all over the globe. All other things being equal (?) the difference is choice. Someone with the technical savvy to put up a website or to run a webserver, has choice, knows he has choice and makes that choice for convenience, efficiency, reliability, performance or whatever. The consumers usually don’t know they have choice and OEMs and retailers are not helping them find that out. But consumers have choice. They can take a bug-ridden OS from M$ and visit or and fix the problem once and for all. Consumers can also buy a PC with GNU/Linux already installed or find a PC with no OS on which they can in stall GNU/Linux. It’s pretty easy and takes just 15 minutes to an hour or so depending on how slow your PC is. If any problem arises, one can find a solution in seconds using Google or visiting the website of the supplier. You can find many different kinds of GNU/Linux at where all the features are displayed. You can install GNU/Linux so it’s very similar to how XP used to work. BTW, that Android smartphone you love has Linux there underneath. You know that’s smooth and reliable. So is GNU/Linux on the desktop.

Advantages? Exactly the same as those folks with all the millions of servers running GNU/Linux and Apache web server:

  • lower licensing fees ($0, it doesn’t get any lower…),
  • reliability (less bloat/fluff, more substance),
  • software designed by techies for techies, not salesmen,
  • oh, and one last thing, permission to run any way you like on as many machines as you like, and you can examine, modify and distribute the software (Software Freedom).

Yes, Victoria, you can enjoy all that your PC can be just like the geeks on the web with their powerful servers.

  • Aug 25 / 2014
  • 6

Start Talking About the GNU/Linux Desktop

Linus just mentioned that he thinks GNU/Linux could succeed on the desktop and folks come out of the woodwork dumping on the idea…“The briefest glance at market share data suggests that I’m not alone, either. While hundreds of millions of people want Linux powering their smartphones, and millions of businesses are content to let Linux run their servers, virtually no one wants Linux running their laptops and desktops.” The quotation to the right is from an article wherein the authour in a circular fashion argues that GNU/Linux on the business-desktop won’t succeed because of consumers’ needs… That’s laughable. Business is all about work, after all.

Further, business has no need of “consumery” things to use GNU/Linux for servers. Neither do Google, Munich, Largo, India, Spain,… You get the picture. These folks are assuming nothing is happening with GNU/Linux desktops despite things happening. That puts their entire thesis in the garbage.

If you look at global web-stats for GNU/Linux desktops, you see steady growth in a declining or stagnant market for legacy PCs. That means GNU/Linux is becoming accepted on the desktop by many more than just we geeks. Dell and Canonical have actual salesmen delivering it in China and India. OLPC is delivering it to schools in emerging markets around the world. Governments in Europe are adopting it at a great rate. And yes, even businesses are seeing that GNU/Linux works for them on desktop as well as server.

Shortly, I will be going to a meeting where one participant has asked me for help with GNU/Linux on a notebook. She doesn’t like what M$ does for her there. I’ve made up a bootable USB-drive with the Debian installer and a repository of stuff the typical desktop user will need, including Synaptic and gksu so she can customize her notebook when she gets home. I will start her off with a basic installation of Debian GNU/Linux and add the XFCE4 desktop environment with a selection of a few typical applications: FireFox browser, VLC media player, GIMP image editor, and Ristretto image viewer. XFCE4 is similar to what she liked from M$: XP. If M$ won’t give her what she wants, I and the FLOSS community will. When random people you meet are interested in desktop GNU/Linux, this is no time to abandon this thriving technology. It works for ordinary people.

Nope. If you haven’t already started talking about GNU/Linux on desktops, get going.

See (Or Not) Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?.

  • Aug 18 / 2014
  • 1

M$ Craps On Their Own Servers. Why Trust Them With Your Computers?

It sickens me to hear the tripe spouted here all too often that, “You get what you pay for…”, “Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC, we are experiencing an interruption to Azure Services, may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile Services, StorSimple and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions.” “FLOSS can’t work…”, and “developers with stock options in M$ do better…”.

How can that be when M$ is constantly patching mistakes they made years ago designing their systems according to the whims of salesmen and despite $billions in vested, can’t keep their networks going anywhere close to what a couple of good servers can do with GNU/Linux? Then there are the constant stream of re-re-reboots, malware, bugs, slowing down and endless friction due to the restrictive EULA. It’s all so sad that people keep paying this monster straight out of a “B” horror-movie. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux. It’s the right way to do IT.

See Microsoft Azure suffers Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP).

See also, The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

  • Aug 02 / 2014
  • 64

That Other OS On Servers Is A Pain In The Butt

While GNU/Linux is great on desktops, it’s amazing on servers. Faced with the burdens of that other OS and its needless complexity lock-in “Users attempting to migrate from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 are experiencing a rather difficult obstacle in their migration attempts. Microsoft has acknowledged a bug in which Kerberos authentication stops functioning in situations where Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers are serving the same domain, leaving administrators unable to log in.” businesses should consider the demise of “2003″ as another opportunity to migrate to FLOSS, particularly GNU/Linux.

With GNU/Linux, you can run, examine, modify and distribute the software so you are never locked in the way M$ does. Often, migration to the next release is just a command away thanks to intelligent package management. You see, GNU/Linux operating systems are the sum of their parts. You can change one part or all at your convenience and it all keeps working. Breakage like users of that other OS experience every release just doesn’t happen because the OS is not out to get you but to provide you service.

In schools where I worked, most often we used XP alone or with “2003″. “2003″ was no help at all. It made inexplicable pauses during authentication. It crashed when I logged in remotely. Sometimes I had to go to the server room just to reboot it. It had negative value compared to GNU/Linux. One place that used it for printing had the most unreliable printing I have ever seen. Compare that to my experience with GNU/Linux where I would install the stuff and it just kept humming forever. The logic of “we must run XP because that’s what everyone else runs”–>”we must run “2003″ because XP won’t run well without it” escapes me. You don’t need M$ on desktop nor server.

See Clock ticking on Windows Server 2003 extended support timeline.

  • Aug 01 / 2014
  • 5

Yes, Businesses Can Use GNU/Linux And Have Better IT For Less

The death of XP has prompted a lot of searching for solutions in businesses.“In the first phase of the project, Bukwang Pharmaceuticals switched around 400 PCs to Ubuntu. Even before the planned migration of all remaining machines, savings on annual licensing alone totalled $300,000. And the benefits didn’t stop there.
In a country where Microsoft was so well entrenched, Bukwang’s migration to Ubuntu and Open Source proved to be of enormous interest in the business community. It generated a raft of free publicity in the media, including interviews with the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.”
One solution that is obvious to me but often escapes businesses not wanting to risk freedom is GNU/Linux, the OS that is a cooperative product of the world and works for users rather than monopolists. Bukwang Pharmaceuticals checked it out and made the switch rather painlessly in just a few months. Instead of buying hundreds of licences for that other OS, they invested wisely in GNU/Linux.

I’ve said it many times but it bears repeating that the price/performance of GNU/Linux that is widely accepted on servers can be had on desktops too. The licence says so. You can run, examine, modify and distribute the code, all those things that cost extra with that other OS and are a constant drain on resources.

See Bukwang Pharmaceuticals cut IT costs and created business value with Ubuntu.

  • Aug 01 / 2014
  • 0

Netcraft’s Understatement Of The Month

Netcraft dug a little deeper this month to explain why M$’s IIS gets so many hostnames. It’s not anything to do with price/performance, but Chinese use of that other OS…“The IIS market share growth in hostnames has not been reflected in our other metrics…In just over a year IIS has gained over 236 million hostnames (+172%) while only gaining 503k active sites (+2%). The number of web-facing computers running IIS websites has increased by just over 30k (+2%), compared to Apache’s 171k growth (+8%), and nginx’s 159k growth (+53%), resulting in a 2.4 percentage point loss in market share for IIS by this metric. “ Well, easy come easy go. The Chinese will eventually police their licences and switch to GNU/Linux for price/performance. That should set things straight. M$ runs only 12% of active sites, like mine. Apache gets 51%, Nginx 15% and Google 8%.

See Web Server Survey.

  • Aug 01 / 2014
  • 4

Russia Demands Opening The Source Code

One component of the rules for FLOSS, examining the source code, is essential today because governments and others like to spy on everyone. The government of Russia gets that.““It is obvious that those companies that disclose the source code of their programs, not hiding anything, but those who did not intend to cooperate with Russia on this issue may have undeclared capabilities in their products.”
There’s also a veiled threat that vendors who don’t submit for testing may find “the use of such software and hardware in public companies or budget projects remains uncertain, because they themselves state customers will abandon the untested product in favour of trusted solutions.””
There’s a better way to ensure source code is not out to get you. Use FLOSS. Put it on all your computers, from the firmware for chipsets to the operating system and all your applications. Use GNU/Linux as a start.

See Russia to SAP, Apple: Hand over source code to prove you're not spies.

  • Jul 31 / 2014
  • 2

I Care About M$ v Free Software

One of dozens of means of “winning” an argument is to claim the opponent’s arguments don’t matter.“There really is no one-size-fits-all computer operating system, so fighting about which one is better ends up being a huge waste of time.” In the OS Wars, OS does matter because not all operating systems are benign servants of the user. M$, after all, is “out to get us”.

M$ deliberately expanded its monopoly to stifle competition. That hurt us. The world paid many $billions more for software than necessary because of that. Just check M$’s SEC filings and compare them with RedHat’s to see what I mean. RedHat actually worked for a living for years before it had its first $billion in revenue. So did M$, but RedHat didn’t go around locking people in with shifting file-formats, making “Independent” Software Vendors dependent and totally neglecting security for a decade or more.

M$ deliberately made crapware sell because it could and the world re-re-rebooted for decades. That hurt us.

FLOSS and GNU/Linux don’t hurt us because the software can be run any way we want, examined until the cows come home, modified if we wish, and copied endlessly under the same terms. FLOSS is out to help us, not to hurt us.

So there are dozens of reasons to use GNU/Linux and few to use that other OS. That’s not what the war is about. It’s about being free to get the best out of IT and the hardware we own. M$ deliberately limits what our hardware can do by the terms of its cursed licences. We have to pay extra for the privilege of being enslaved. That’s not for me. No one chooses to be enslaved when they see they have a choice. Put GNU/Linux on retail shelves and watch what happens. ASUS sold out. Dell is selling it like hotcakes in China and India. Many governments, businesses organizations and individuals are enjoying Freedom. You should too.

See Who cares about Windows versus Linux?.

  • Jul 22 / 2014
  • 0

France, Spain And Greece Loosen Their Shackles

You have to admire the bold moves many European governments have made towards using FLOSS to do their IT. More organizations should follow their examples.

France A parliamentary report recommends securing the Internet from attacks by various players and using more FLOSS.
Valencia, Spain Valencia has saved $millions over the years and it’s not about to stop using FLOSS.
Greece Universities have organized a summer course for civil servants and others who need to learn more about FLOSS and how to use it.

The French report pulls no punches:(translation from French)
On FLOSS, among many other advantages, It helps reduce the dependence, strategic and economic, of France vis-a-vis foreign suppliers: “In these lean times we would find many advantages to using open programs like LibreOffice, OpenOffice or FireFox instead of paying a fortune to Microsoft” emphasized Mr. Francesco Ragazzi

My favourite recommendation?
“promote a progressive migration of their IT infrastructure to FLOSS. This can happen, in particular, by a preference for open source software in tendering procedures for public procurement and the imposition of open standards.”

I couldn’t have written it any better than that.

See also, France parliamentary committee: ‘encourage European open source software market’

  • Jul 14 / 2014
  • 11

Ho Hum. Yet Another Organization Saves With FLOSS

For years the sycophants of M$ and “partners” have told the world, at least anyone that would listen, that FLOSS costs more in the long run…“Open source gives the university more features, more flexibility and lower costs. Next year the costs will already be 30 per cent lower and after five or six years, the difference with the proprietary system will be 70 to 75 per cent.

We are being approached by many public administrations from large central government institutions and municipalities. They do the math and they see the enormous financial gains that are possible.”
Meanwhile, in the real world, folks can do the maths and save a huge chunk of the cost of IT, not just licences, but maintenance, flexibility, performance, … Everything is better with FLOSS. In my own experience with desktop and server systems, schools where I worked broke even on costs of migration almost instantly as the licensing was a huge fraction of the capital cost and we used that saving to get almost twice as much IT for the same money. Maintenance dropped by a huge factor because the distributions managed most of our updating/upgrading for hardly any cost besides deciding to upgrade.

Use FLOSS and GNU/Linux. That’s the right way to do IT.

See Coimbra University to save plenty with open source ERP.

  • Jun 19 / 2014
  • 0


All the best plans of mice and men go awry…“At this point we took action to take control back of our panel by changing passwords, however the intruder had prepared for this and had already created a number of backup logins to the panel and upon seeing us make the attempted recovery of the account he proceeded to randomly delete artifacts from the panel. We finally managed to get our panel access back but not before he had removed all EBS snapshots, S3 buckets, all AMI’s, some EBS instances and several machine instances.” One storage service made the mistake of trying to fight an intrusion rather than stopping the service immediately. The intruder then carried out his/her backup-plan to destroy the service by deletion. Now they have to turn out the lights anyway, but permanently.

Just like terrorists in the real world, the cyber-terrorist finds it easier to destroy rather than to create. Sometimes terrorism succeeds merely because it gets the desired effect because of the response of the good guys. What will you do when or before the $$$$ hits the fan?

See AWS console breach leads to demise of service with “proven” backup plan.

  • Jun 05 / 2014
  • 0

Calxeda May Yet Rise From The Ashes Like The Phoenix

The Phoenix was a mythical bird, possibly the first zombie, which burned but flew again.“the Thunder X SoC is a 28 nm device with up to 48 custom 64 bit ARMv8 cores at 2.5 GHz, running the whole show at between 20 and 95 W.” So might huge multi-cored ARMed chips for servers. With these specs one could do just about anything. My Beast is shivering, using the same power-consumption to run just 4 cores at that clock-rate.

ARM is too good an idea to have died with Calxeda. At 64-bits and 48 cores and designed for servery, I think this thing will fly.

See Calxeda co-founder unleashes 48-core ARM SoC.