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Linux in the Enterprise. COSST Symposium October 18, 2003. Bill Hilf. IBM Sr. Consulting I/T Architect Global Linux Technical Lead, SMB Community develops, debugs, maintains Generally high quality, high performance software

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Linux in the enterprise

Linux in the Enterprise

COSST Symposium

October 18, 2003

Bill Hilf


Sr. Consulting I/T Architect

Global Linux Technical Lead, SMB

What is open source

Community develops, debugs, maintains

Generally high quality, high performance software

Superior security - on par with UNIX, superior to Windows

Peer code reviews are Darwinian -- structured/disciplined

More information:

Examples of Open Source Software:

Apache web server

Eclipse app development

Gnome desktop environment

Mozilla (Netscape) browser

Open Office (Star Office) productivity suite

Perl programming language

Samba file/print

SendMail mail server

Tomcat application server

What is Open Source?

What is linux

UNIX-like operating system

Kernel 2.4 available

Kernel 2.6 in beta; production 2H03

Developed / tested by the Open Source community

Packaged and shipped by distributors

Red Hat, SuSE, Turbolinux

Regional distributors:

Red Flag, Conectiva, Mandrake, etc...

UnitedLinux = open industry consortium providing a binary-compatible Linux distribution

What is Linux?

Linux in the enterprise

Linux Kernel Information

  • The Linux kernel version numbers consist of three numbers separated by decimals, such as 2.2.14. The first number is the major version number. The second number is the minor revision number. The third number is the patch level version

  • There are two stages of kernel releases: “stable” and “development”. Development kernels end in an odd number (2.3, 2.5, …), stable or production kernels end in an even number (2.4, 2.6, …).

  • Once a kernel is deemed stable, it will move from an odd to even second number for release (e.g., from 2.3.51 to 2.4.0).

  • You can get a good sense of what the future production state of Linux will be by looking at the development kernel.


Linux in the enterprise

Open Source Software Fundamentals

  • Open Source software is a critical component to understanding the overall Linux value proposition

  • The rationale is that a larger group of programmers not concerned with proprietary ownership or financial gain will produce a more useful and bug -free product

  • Quality

    • The Open Source development model relies on peer review to find and eliminate bugs, as well as to enhance or add feature/functionality

  • Speed

    • Programmers communicate and develop via the Internet (through newsgroups, online source code repositories, and email) which drives an expedient evolution of the product

Linux in the enterprise

Open Source Software Fundamentals

  • Leadership by merit

    • Technical merit (coding, design, support, leadership) drives the power positions

    • The kernel development, in particular, is very disciplined and structured

  • Driven by need

    • Open Source software is generally created by those who need to solve a particular problem

  • There are multiple types of Open Source licenses (

  • Standards driven by the Linux Standard Base ( which develops and promotes standards to increase compatibility across distributions and applications developed on or ported to Linux

  • Cross-vendor groups, such as the Open Source Development Lab, ( provide benchmarks, tools, and test suites --among many other things

Linux today
Linux Today

  • 28% CAGR by 2007 (3x any other OS)

    • Since 2000…

      • Servers up 50%

      • Middleware and applications revenue growth 100%+

      • Installed license base grew 4M copies to 15 million

Linux in the enterprise

Security – CC achievement

  • IBM and SuSE Linux have achieved Common Criteria Security Certification. The Common Criteria (CC) is an internationally recognized ISO standard (ISO 15408) used by the Federal government and other organizations to assess security and assurance of technology products.

  • Equivalent to ‘Good Housekeeing Seal of Approval’. Opens the door for internal use in banks, the Pentagon, etc.

“The Common Criteria certification of Linux will be a critical factor as Linux is applied to mission critical environments.”

-Fritz Schulz, Defense Information Systems Agency

Linux in the enterprise

Evans Data Developer Survey – July 2003

  • Recent Evans Data Survey Found:

    • Of more than 400 developers focused on Linux development more than 70% said that the SCO lawsuit will “probably not” or “absolutely not” impact their companies decision to use Linux

  • Linux users are finding it as easy to migrate their applications from Windows to Linux as from Unix to Linux. Within the first six months 45% of Unix application migrations to Linux have been completed and 47% of Windows application migrations have been completed.

  • The playing field for Linux is far from decided with 36% of developers preferring commercial versions of Linux and 15% choosing a non-commercial version. The majority of developers are undecided with 49% saying it doesn’t matter.

Linux in the enterprise

Linux Strides World Wide

Source USAToday/Gartner DataQuest March 2003

Linux in the enterprise

The Future of Linux and Open Source

“...the Linux philosophy is ‘laugh in the face of danger’. Oops. Wrong one. ‘Do it yourself’. That's it.”

-Linus Torvalds

“Linux, which is right next door, and which is not a business at all. It's a bunch of RVs, yurts, tepees, and geodesic domes set up in a field and organized by consensus.”

-Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning was the Command Line

Linux in the enterprise














Stable source tree

Development source tree


Linux Kernel Version Timeline



Key v 2 5 2 6 features

Block I/O subsystem rework/enhancements:

for better performance, scalability and device support

Scalability improvements

16-way SMP scalability on x86 (higher on other architectures)

O(1) scheduler, improved locking, synch primitives, IO scheduler improvements, interrupt processing, per-cup page lists, etc

CIFS VFS: Common Internet File System

LSM: Loadable Security Modules

infrastructure for configurable security policies and authentication


important for CGL and for eSDC networking requirements


testing and new test development, bug fixes, reliability stabilization, new functionality, interoperability improvements



TCP serviceability, stabilization and performance improvements

PCI Hot Plug DD’s


topology infrastructure, performance enhancements

Process affinity

Large Block I/O

Read-Copy-Update synchronization primitives

readv/writev raw I/O and O_Direct

Scalable SMP Aware Timers

Async I/O


CPU Hot Plug boot code

Driverfs SCSI Device Support

PowerPC64 architecture support


NGPT kernel prereqs

POSIX threading support for signals

Exploit of futex for shared mutex

NAPI (improves nw dd performance)

Removal of 2TB block device limit

Up to 16TB on 32-bit archs and up to 8EB on 64-bit archs

In kernel module loader

Large page support

FS enhancements

Ext3, JFS, XFS, Reiser, CIFS, smbfs, NTFS, AFS


Kernel pre-emption

NFS v4 (client and server), and NFS over TCP

New Kernel build system

X86-64 (AMD) architecture support

Key v 2.5/2.6 Features

Native posix thread library nptl
Native Posix Thread Library (NPTL)

V 2 7 2 8 candidate features
v 2.7/2.8 Candidate Features

  • Dynamic memory add/remove

  • SCSI Multi-Path I/O

  • Event Logging

  • Online diagnostics

  • User space get time of day

  • Infiniband


  • MobileIP

  • 32-SMP Scalability on x86 (and higher on other architectures)

  • Bug fixing, performance improvements, testing, …