Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Anders Wallgren, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, James Carlini, SmartBear Blog

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Linux Containers

Open Source Cloud: Article

The Genesis of the Linux Foundation

New York Times published a story on Linux. This wasn't an article on technical advancement

On January 21, the New York Times published a story on Linux. This wasn't an article on technical advancement: no new kernel or distribution had been released. It wasn't financial; there wasn't yet another impressive quarter from one of the many companies that build their business around Linux. Thankfully, it wasn't another piece of FUD about open source legal issues and dubious patent assertions from desperate competitors. Instead the article simply stated: "The Linux industry has united to compete against proprietary platforms." The Linux Foundation was born.

Late last year, our members and internal management teams decided the time was right to merge the two leading Linux consortia: the Free Standards Group (FSG) and the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL). Why now?

Since OSDL and the FSG were formed, more than six years ago, Linux has grown enormously in server, desktop, and embedded usage around the world - driving more than $15 billion in annual sales of hardware, software, and services according to market research firm Gartner Group. Moreover, the open source model now dominates new software development and provides faster demand-side learning, higher quality, better security, shorter development cycles, and lower prices. OSDL and the FSG were helpful in this phase.

Now that Linux has achieved widespread use, it faces a different set of challenges. In order to advance the platform further, the Linux industry formed the Linux Foundation to standardize, protect, and promote the Linux platform. The distributed development and sales and support model of Linux drives many of its benefits, yet also creates challenges that can hinder its success. We want Linux to continue to challenge the dominant operating system in the world. We want Linux to offer true choice for end users everywhere, regardless of economic means or technical literacy. In order to do that, we need to keep the freedoms and advantages of the open source model while continuing to improve the platform and its competitiveness.

The Linux Foundation will work with our members to provide services that an open source platform needs to compete. These projects can be far-ranging, such as standardizing Linux so application developers can more easily target the platform, or smaller in scope, such as providing the legal infrastructure so open source developers can sign required NDAs before writing device drivers for private companies. Our projects can be technically complex, such as the new LSB testing framework that links compatibility tests to code development, or simple and straightforward, such as providing a neutral voice of reason to the press to counter competitors' aggressive PR tactics.

The Linux Foundation has united the Linux ecosystem with founding platinum members Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC, Novell, and Oracle. Other members include AMD, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Google, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems and more than 70 other companies, industry end users, universities, and community groups. We have representation on the board from the Technical Advisory Board and key Linux individuals so the technical community's voice will always be heard. We work with the community - we don't speak for them and certainly don't tell them what to do - and at the same time we provide a much-needed forum for end users, application developers, and system and distribution vendors to collaborate and continually enhance the Linux platform for their needs.

The Linux Foundation fosters the growth of Linux by complementing existing Linux achievements in these areas:

  • Protecting Linux by providing legal services and sponsoring key Linux developers
    It's vitally important that Linux creator Linus Torvalds and other key kernel developers remain independent. The Linux Foundation sponsors them so they can work full time on improving Linux. The LF also manages the Linux trademark and offers developers legal intellectual property protection through such initiatives as the Open Source as Prior Art project, the Patent Commons (www.patent-commons.org), and sponsorship of the Linux Legal Defense Fund to deter and defend legal attacks on open source.
  • Standardizing Linux and improving it as a platform for software development
    A platform is only as strong as the applications that support it. The Linux Foundation will offer application developers standardization services and support that make Linux an attractive target for their development efforts. These include the Linux Standard Base and the Linux Developer Network. Currently all major distributions comply with the LSB and many major application vendors, like MySQL, RealNetworks and SAP, are certifying.
  • Providing a neutral forum for Collaboration and Promotion
    The Linux Foundation will serve as a neutral spokesperson to advance the interests of Linux and respond with authority to competitors' PR attacks. It hosts collaboration events among end users, application developers, the industry, and the Linux technical community to foster innovation and capture the viewpoints of its users. Through its workgroups, individuals can collaborate to solve pressing technical issues facing the Linux ecosystem in such areas as desktop interfaces, accessibility, printing, and application packaging.
I'd like to leave you with one important point. If you care about Linux, this is your foundation - it doesn't belong to me, or Linus, or big business, or the kernel developers. It belongs to everyone who cares enough to join and make Linux better. You can do this in many ways, not just by contributing or testing code. You can participate in one of our events and funnel your feedback to the community and to vendors who can make a difference. You can encourage your application developers to port their applications - if they haven't already - to Linux. You can tell your governments you want them to support true open standards in their software purchasing policy. Computing is entering a world dominated by two platforms: Linux and Windows. I've made my bet. The Foundation is here to make sure Linux unites its resources to challenge the privileged position proprietary platforms have enjoyed for too long. Please join us.

More Stories By Jim Zemlin

Jim Zemlin, formerly executive director of the Free Standards Group, is the executive director of the Linux Foundation. He previously served as vice president of marketing for Covalent Technologies. Jim has also been a keynote speaker at industry and financial conferences and is an advisor on open source strategy to various companies and governmental groups including Hyperic, Zmanda and the Chinese Open Source Promotion Union.

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
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...