the fragmentation of Linux
Linux go the Unix way and become fragmented? There are
various versions of Unix offered by Sun, IBM, HP and
others. Multiple flavors of an operating system makes
porting applications or offering support a complicated
initiatives like the Linux Standard Base (LSB) can avert
the fragmentation of Linux. Already, three Linux distributions
have received LSB certification for compliance with
Red Hat Linux 7.3, SuSE 8.0 Professional, and Mandrake
ProSuite 8.2, three versions of Linux have become the
first products certified to comply with the guidelines
of the LSB. Red Hat, which plays a significant role
in LSB, has built software alliances with major software
companies including database seller Oracle, storage
software maker Veritas and e-commerce software seller
Red Hat will LSB-certify its Advanced Server version,
with an update to the existing version 2.1 and 3.0,
in the second quarter of 2003.
For Linux to be successful, it is important to avoid
its fragmentation, which depends on the support of software
companies such as Oracle, whose programs make Linux
computers useful. Software companies will not use Linux
if they are to select from several incompatible versions
With LSB compliance, software companies will sign partnerships
with Linux sellers to deal with issues such as quality
of support, speed with which the bugs are fixed or the
ability to build in new features such as asynchronous
LSB is administered by the Free Standards Group, a nonprofit
organization of software developers and information
technology industry members. It standardizes many of
the elements of Linux while enabling companies to add
in their own features.
The Unix operating system has various flavors, thereby
complicating the process of porting applications to
this platform. For instance it can take months for a
software company like Veritas to translate and test
its software for Unix support. Unix uses several underlying
microprocessors which widens the gulf between the different
versionsunlike Linux, which generally runs on
Intel chips such as Pentium.
But LSB certification is not enough for standardization
as it does not prevent Linux from fragmenting into incompatible
versions that can't run the same software. Some software
needing particularly high-performance features bypasses
the domain of LSB, reaching directly to the kernel,
of Linux, an area LSB has not standardized.
isn't the only unification initiative, several Linux
sellers are using the Linux software through the UnitedLinux
alliance, while the Embedded Linux Consortium has created
a first-draft proposal for standardizing Linux in computing
devices such as network routers or factory robots.
Hat, Microsoft to support AMD's 64-bit chip
and Red Hat are slated to announce an agreement where
Red Hat will support AMD's 64-bit Opteron processor.
Red Hat is to provide 64-bit support for processors
based on AMD's x86-64 technology, while providing support
for existing 32-bit Linux-based applications. The offerings
will include Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, and future
enterprise Linux offerings from Red Hat.
Microsoft too, has offered public support for the Opteron's
advanced features in its next generation operating system.
AMD said that an AMD-compatible 64-bit version of Microsoft's
Windows software would be released after the 64-bit
Windows .Net server is released to manufacturing.
According to AMD's roadmaps, a desktop version of the
Opteron will be released during the fourth quarter of
this year, with a similar processor for servers produced
early in 2003.
In another deal, AMD will provide its Athlon XP chips
in one PC model, the D315, aimed specifically at business
users. Though HP has used AMD chips in consumer-based
PCs, it is the first time that HP would be using the
chips for the critical business segment.
Other than for desktop PCs, HP and other vendors could
also consider AMD chipsspecifically those slated
for the third quarterfor use in low-priced server
computers running Linux or Windows.
helping hand to banks
Mumbai chapter of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and
Control Association), a global organization dedicated
to IT governance, control, and audit, in association
with Reserve Bank of India held a conference in Mumbai
this July. The theme of the conference was 'A Bank's
survival in the Digital Era' and it was mostly attended
by financial and systems audit personnel of various
public and private sector banks. The seminar focussed
on aspects like choosing the correct outsourcing partner,
what to look for in an outsourcing partner, various
network security technologies, and how to choose the
correct security technology for your organization.
The welcome address was delivered by the president of
the organization, M.S.V. Rao. He is also the Director,
Department of Information Technology, Air-India. Vepa
Kamesam, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, inaugurated
the seminar and said that it has become impossible to
separate technology from the business of banks, and
banks are increasingly dependant on the Internet. He
then spoke about Information Systems security and felt
it was a "burning issue" among banks today.
He mentioned that Information Systems Audit is a very
specialized job and will have to be carried out by suitably
qualified and skilled personnel, preferably initially
by external agencies only, in association with suitable
Anjay Agarwal, Treasurer, ISACA said that the danger
of not having proper security in place or failure to
undertake an Information Systems Audit as recommended
by the RBI could well lead to huge number of frauds
among banks. ISACA plans to organize other seminars
and conferences in the city in future. For more information
write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is really for end-to-end automation'
good is software if it provides automation in pockets?"
asks Sanjay Govil, CEO, Infinite Computer Solutions
USA. "Software automation is only good when you
have end-to-end automation." Infinite wants to
create this mindset here, before it enters the Indian
Govil feels software has always been perceived as something
tangible, like a physical product. "We have to
get over that mindset and see it more as a tool that
improves efficiency. That brings in a lot of checks
and balances. It should be seen as intellectual property."
Govil informs Infinite is now in awareness and exploratory
mode here in India. It is working with bodies like Nasscom
and talking to decision makers and policy makers in
Infinite Computer Solutions India is a USD 41.5 mn company
with wholly owned subsidiaries in the US and Singapore.
It has offices in Delhi and Bangalore. The Bangalore
center undertakes offshore development.
Infinite offers IT solutions to service providers that
provide basic telephony. It also works with the cellular
phone service providers. "We focus on the front-endcustomer
relationship (call center applications), billing, etc.
We also offer products for provisioning and maintenance.
Managing a call, end-to-end," says Govil.
The company has also been active in the areas of consulting
services, e-commerce, B2B markets, transformation services
and support services.
Communications has organized a four city road show titled
'Integrated Connectivity' starting on September 23,
2002. The show has been conceptualized to provide an
update on information and knowledge in the connectivity
field for the fast growing enterprise market across
The seminar will focus on topics like integrated connectivity,
latest developments in CAT 6 standard-based technologies
and fiber products, network supervision, trends and
developments in wireless technologies, Wireless LAN
and Free Space optics.
The seminar is scheduled for September 23, 24, 26 and
27 at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai respectively.