eADT at LinuxWorld: Beyond the OS

The West Coast edition of the bi-annual LinuxWorld conference opens this week in San Francisco. More than 190 exhibitors are showcasing their wares this year -- 55 more than last year, according to Warwick Davies, group VP at show organizer IDG World Expo -- and attendance is expected to match last year's numbers of between 10,000 and 11,000.

'The event has always been a great watering hole for everyone from kernel developers to line-of-birth managers looking at bringing Linux into their companies,' Davies said.'

The main theme of this year's show, Davies told eADT, is 'Linux: Beyond the operating system.' Attendees can expect to see 'a whole host of applications that allow you to run your business on Linux,' he said.

Within the 'beyond the OS' theme, this year's show is putting a lot of emphasis on desktop Linux. Nine sessions are dedicated to Linux desktop strategies and technology development. There is a Desktop Linux Pavilion, where new open-source desktop technologies will be on display. And both Dell and HP are expected to unveil new products for deploying Linux as a Windows alternative.

Linux integration is another focus of the show, Davies said, so attendees should expect a range of announcements and exhibits around the issue of working with Linux in mixed environments.

A new security track has also been added to the lineup, which Davies sees as a sign that more enterprises are looking seriously at Linux. 'Security is a buy signal,' he said. 'When people start thinking about security, they're not wondering about whether they want the technology, but how they can make it work in their organization.'

The exhibit floor promises to be a study in contrasts, with heavyweight IT vendors (IBM, HP, Sun, Computer Associates, Dell and Intel, among others) rubbing elbows with open-source groups (the Linux Terminal Server Project and the Free Software Foundation, for example). A new feature on the expo floor is The .ORG Pavilion, which will showcase grassroots open-source projects from a range of exhibitors who will appear as guests of the event's organizers.

'The .ORG Pavilion exhibitors represent a lot of the dynamic and bleeding-edge development in Linux and open source,' Davies said. 'These are the grassroots developers, and we wanted to give them an opportunity to show what they've been doing.'

AMD, BEA Systems, EMC, Natasha, Novell, Pogo Linux, Red Hat, Syncsort, Toltec, Verities, Wyse Technology and Yosemite Technologies are also scheduled to have a major presence at the event.

Red Hat CEO Matthew Sulk, a LinuxWorld favorite, is scheduled to kick off the conference with the opening keynote presentation on Tuesday, August 3. The list of keynote speakers includes Martin Fink, vice president for Linux at HP; Michael Steven Rocha, executive vice president for Linux at Oracle; Nick Donora, IBM's senior vice president of technology and manufacturing; and Alfred Chuan, CEO at BEA Systems.

Several IT executives from a variety of corporations and institutions -- including DreamWorks, Indiana University, the University of Oregon, eBay, Sprint and Cisco Systems -- will also speak at the event.

Dozens of companies are expected to debut new products at the show, including, among others:

  • Alamos (booth 1482) is slated to introduce Linux Migration Agent Professional, which allows users to move documents, e-mail and settings from any version of Windows to Red Hat, SuSe, Fedora, Turbo Linux and Mandrake Linux. 

  • Bitstream (booth 1484) will showcase btX2, a small, fast font subsystem that renders high-quality text. 

  • Coraid Inc. (booth 690) is expected to showcase EtherDrive, a new, low-cost Ethernet appliance for Linux and open-source users that is said to provide a scalable, networked storage solution that is less than half the price of any other network storage technology.
  • Emic Networks (booth 1381) is set to unveil Emic Application Cluster(TM) 2.5, a clustering solution for high-availability, scalability and dynamic load-balancing for open-source application stacks that supports more application architectures through initial support for JBoss as well as support for 64-bit chip architectures. 

  • Immunix (booth 1290) plans to take the wraps off a new YaST graphical user interface for its Immunix SubDomain Suite, which simplifies the development, administration and management of Linux Application Security for novice and power users by providing a point-and-click console. 

  • Melissa Data (booth 154) is unveiling Address Object for Linux, a Linux-based address verification solution that compares addresses against the U.S. Postal Service's database to allow for accurate mailing and shipping deliveries, successful target marketing, effective CRM campaigns and reliable data storage. 

  • ObjectWeb (booth 269) is using the platform to tout its involvement in the Eclipse Web Tools Platform, a new project created under the umbrella of the Eclipse foundation to address the Web/J2EE application-tooling domain. 

  • Tatung Science & Technology (booth 1173) is bringing out a new family of rack-mount servers targeting the high-end market for PC applications, science and engineering, Web-based applications, e-commerce servers, Internet game servers and clustering environments. 

  • Tyan Computer Corp. (booth 1643) will unveil a full line of server platforms based on Intel's E7520 and E7320 chipsets, starting with Thunder i7520/i7520R (S5360 and S5360-1U), and Tiger i7320/i7320R (S5350 and S5350-1U), answering market demands for robust tower and rack-mount server solutions that offer feature flexibility and high reliability for a wide array of applications. 

  • CRM vendor E.piphany (booth 468) will announce that it will soon make its E.6 CRM software suite available on Linux. The company has joined the Red Hat Ready partner program and will demo E.6 at the show.

'Applications like ours, that are moving over to Linux, is the big story at this year's show,' said Bill Roth, chief technology evangelist at E.piphany. 'If you look at past LinuxWorlds, a lot of it was on really low-level stuff, like drivers for Webcams and backup software. Last year, you heard a lot about app servers, which was still in the infrastructure area. This year, you're going to see the maturation of the Linux market in the form of products like ours.'

IDG World Expo launched the first LinuxWorld Expo in 1999 at the San Jose Convention Center.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at



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