Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Destiny Bertucci, Tim Hinds

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

OSDL - Promoting Linux Enterprise Servers

An overview of OSDL's Data Center Linux initiative

This article provides a brief introduction to the Data Center Linux (DCL) initiative sponsored by the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL). I'll describe our goals, show how we achieve those goals though our committees and working groups, and provide some examples of some DCL-driven activities and challenges.

The OSDL Data Center Linux is one of three OSDL initiatives created so that OSDL members can work together to accelerate the use of Linux for enterprise computing. The DCL initiative was formed with the intent of promoting the adoption of Linux-based servers in the enterprise across its many tiers: edge, infrastructure, application, and database. It brings together interested parties to accelerate the availability of stable, fully featured, integrated, customer-available solutions that run on Linux. The initiative addresses both mid- and high-end multiprocessor servers as platforms for mission-critical enterprise applications and databases.

DCL has three committees - steering, marketing working group (MWG), and technical working group (TWG) - made up of OSDL members and dedicated OSDL staff. These committees work within an ecosystem that integrates these activities within the framework of open source development.

DCL Steering Committee Activities
The scope of issues related to an Enterprise Data Center is extremely broad. The DCL steering committee acts to focus the efforts of the initiative. For example, steering directed that DCL identify the most important applications used in data centers today. From that, DCL can identify the workloads ready for Linux adoption and, conversely, can flag the marketing and technical inhibitors to running key applications on Linux in the enterprise (see Figure 1).

DCL Marketing Working Group (MWG) Activities
DCL has a marketing working group for two reasons. First, many of the inhibitors to Linux adoption are not technical. In fact, the Linux operating system has improved so much that this is the situation more and more. So a marketing group is needed to evaluate those nontechnical needs. Second, MWG sets DCL goals and priorities for such things as Linux awareness and confidence, global enterprise services and support, software availability for priority applications, training and education, care and feeding of the development community, stability, and total cost of ownership. In addition to determining the DCL marketing effort, this helps the technical working group (described next) focus on the most important capabilities and activities needed to support the DCL marketing goals.

MWG produces collateral to document their goals, create awareness for Linux in the Data Center, identify important workloads used for DCL analysis activities, and encourage interest in joining DCL activities. They report any resource issues for resolution to the steering working group.

DCL Technical Working Group (TWG) Activities
DCL's technical working group is responsible for identifying and removing the technical inhibitors to Linux adoption. When the initiative was first formed in 2002, the focus was on the Linux kernel. As the kernel has matured, TWG's scope has expanded to the whole software stack, including both the kernel and above the kernel.

Based on the MWG goals, TWG tracks eight categories of Data Center concerns: scalability, performance, manageability, RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability), standards, security, clusters, and usability. To set the priorities of the effort, the capabilities required for the data center in these categories are described and mapped for the application workloads identified by marketing. For the highest priority capabilities, the gaps in maturity are identified and TWG works to close those gaps.

DCL members want to be good open source citizens. Moving from a closed to an open source world requires a shift in culture for those making the transition. So, TWG assists member and non-member assimilation into the community. One DCL effort underway is to create the environment whereby more storage drivers are found exclusively in the mainline kernel. There is a lot of good documentation on formatting style and coding rules for open source drivers. However, the knowledge about what is the right way to interact with the kernel community was found to be lacking and is under development.

Special Interest Groups and Use Cases Link the Ecosystem
As previously stated, the working groups identify and remove the technical and marketing inhibitors to Linux adoption. It's equally important to know that DCL is not another Linux distribution. To ensure that solutions are available to end-customers, our approach is always to drive kernel-based solutions into the mainline kernel.org kernel. Any open-layered solutions (for example, the NFS user-level code or statistics-gathering utilities) are driven through community-recognized forums.

A challenge for DCL TWG, and indeed for all the initiatives, is to map the capabilities needed to:

  • Solutions that need to be developed
  • The gaps for solutions that do exist
  • Solutions that could satisfy the needs of all the initiatives
To overcome these challenges, OSDL created special interest groups (SIG) in high-priority subject areas (e.g., storage networking, hotplug, clusters, security) that our members use as cross-initiative technical forums to identify the use cases and gaps (coding, testing, and documentation) needed to provide enterprise-worthy solutions on Linux (see Figure 2).

These forums are completely open so that we can include non-member maintainer participation. SIGs are not meant to replace the active community developer mail lists. If the existing community can deal with an issue, there's usually no need for activity on the part of a SIG. SIG activities are made public on their home pages.

Example: Storage Networking SIG
One example of a SIG activity is that of the Storage Networking SIG, which includes a focus area for NFS version 4. The SIG determined that the development community was progressing with no need for intervention, except that no one could answer the question "What testing is needed to make NFS v4 customer ready, and who will be doing the testing." The SIG then sponsored an effort led by an OSDL test engineer to create a prioritized NFS V4 test matrix to:

  • Identify what tests needed creating or updating due to new features in NFS V4.
  • Determine and create the use cases that should drive the testing.
  • Provide a description of each test and testing configuration needed.
  • Track who will do or has performed the test.
  • Post all of the above to attract testers and determine NFS v4 stability.
This information helps the community know what testing is highest priority to more effectively assign test resources and not duplicate efforts. It also means that the testing gaps can be identified and raised to DCL Steering for action. The SIG gathers information from the NFS v4 developers on their own forums: it's not required for the developers to join the SIG. Those who wish to join are certainly welcome. For more information on this project, see the References section below.

Use Cases
The use case is an important, accepted tool used by the community to explain how open source software will be used. There are many motivations to write use cases. Since developers may not have experience actually working in a large data center, use cases can help them understand end-user problems so developers can accept the need for a solution and can determine the best solution.

More Stories By Mary Edie Meredith

Mary Edie Meredith is a member of the OSDL Engineering Department and is initiative manager for the Data Center Linux initiative. She chaired the DCL Technical Working Group from 2003-2005. Mary has recently served at OSDL as lead database performance engineer in the Test and Performance Lab, has worked for several enterprise-level hardware and software vendors in hardware performance engineering, decision support engineering, and database research and development.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...