| Finding actual enterprise Linux users among LinuxWorld Conference and Expo attendees used to be a needle-in-the-haystack search. This year the haystack was filled with needles.
An hour's walk around the exhibit hall yielded a dozen business users of Linux. Among the enterprise Linux users interviewed during the show by SearchEnterpriseLinux.com were Mark Rosenberg, Computing Infrastructure Technology Group leader for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Anthony Hill, CTO of Golden Gate University; and Alexandra Andrews, webmaster for Berkeley, Calif.-based non-profit organizations CancerLynx and its parent organization Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency.
BOSS and CancerLynx are in the process of migrating applications to Linux. "We're moving everything to Linux because it's stable, secure, and I never see the blue screen of death," said Andrews.
BOSS and CancerLynx, one of the world's largest and most-used cancer information resources, have been using SuSE Linux as a Web platform. (The CancerLynx sites serve 300,000 users each month.) Next on Andrews' Linux migration agenda is the database. She's evaluating IBM DB2. She came to LinuxWorld, however, to check out open source databases.
Currently, "I've found SuSE Linux to be unbreakable," said Andrews.
LBNL has more than 500 Linux systems and uses them for computational and administration applications. Recently, LBNL has moved production services like distributed printing into Linux.
The abundance of enterprise Linux projects announced at LinuxWorld is good news, Rosenberg said. "Having acceptance in the industry is an important thing," he noted. At LBNL, however, most of our move to Linux was driven by the physics community. "As the researchers decide which platform they're going to use, it's typical for them all to move in that direction," he said. "That was more of a driver for us than what other businesses are doing."
With the goal of becoming an e-business, Golden Gate University is undergoing an enterprise IT transformation, said Hill. Eventually, Hill plans to put all of GGU's applications on Linux. That's a big challenge because GGU runs almost every client-server operating system imaginable.
"Two years ago for every core application we had, we ran a different operating system, database and hardware platform," Hill said. Step-by-step, he plans to transform the technology architecture in order to operate as an e-business running on the Linux platform and Oracle 11i database.