What's next for Linux?
Industry observers will be looking for answers to that question this week at the Linux Foundation's LinuxCon conference in Boston, where a wide range of participants, contributors and stakeholders in the Linux ecosystem will be gathering to discuss a broad range of topics.
The first keynote of the event is being delivered by Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. Zemlin is set to detail the state of Linux as he sees it and what is required for Linux to continue to grow and evolve.
Linux kernel developers -- including Red Hat's Fedora kernel maintainer, Dave Jones, and Google's Linux kernel developer, Ted Ts'o -- will be on a panel looking at what's next specifically for the Linux kernel. The most recent kernel release was the 2.6.35 kernel and work is currently underway on the 2.6.36 release.
One of the biggest areas of growth for Linux is in the mobile arena. Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm's Innovation Center unit, is set to deliver a keynote on how his organization is leveraging Linux as part of its mobile business development. Also speaking on the business impact of Linux is Ravi Simhambhatla, vice president and CIO at Virgin America, who is set to deliver a keynote address titled, "Selling the Value of Open Source When Cost is Not the Driver."
From a distribution perspective, Markus Rex, senior vice president and general manager of open platform solutions at Novell, will be taking the LinuxCon stage to update the Linux community on where he sees the future of the platform heading. Novell has been pushing a message of workload management with Linux as a core component, while software appliances have also been a big push for Novell with its SUSE Appliance effort, which recently celebrated its first anniversary.
One of the biggest shifts in the IT landscape over the past year was the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle. While Sun had its own Unix operating system in Solaris, Oracle has long been a Linux supporter and has its own Oracle Enterprise Linux distribution. Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president for Linux and virtualization engineering at Oracle, will be giving an update on where Oracle is now taking Linux in the post Sun acquisition era.
Coekaerts isn't the only Oracle engineer at LinuxCon. One of Oracle's big area of contributions to Linux in recent years has been in filesystem improvements, particularly with the Btrfs next-generation filesystem. Chris Mason, the creator of Btrfs, will also be at LinuxCon to give attendees an update on the current status of Btrfs and what the future roadmap holds. Btrfs provides new scalability and file snapshotting featues to Linux and is currently available in a number of Linux distributions including openSUSE and Fedora as a technical preview.
Legal issues are always a topic of discussion at Linux conferences, and this week's LinuxCon will be no exception. Eben Moglen, founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), will talking about current legal issues affecting open source software. The talk is especially timely considering the recent court ruling in favor of the GPL license, the latest version of which Moglen helped to author.
No Linux event would ever be complete without analysts giving their view of the state of the market. For LinuxCon 2010, Jeffrey S. Hammond, principal analyst at Forrester Research, and Al Gillen, research vice president at IDC, will be speaking in two seperate sessions, provinding a view of the current state of the market and a forecast for Linux's next steps.
LinuxCon begins with mini-summit events on Monday, Aug. 9, with the main even beginning on Tuesday and running until Thursday.
Sean will also be appearing on a panel on Tuesday at LinuxCon, titled,"Hype vs. Reality: Today's Linux Story from the Media's Perspective."