OSDL prioritizes Linux capabilities

The Open Source Development Lab is asking for feedback on a document that prioritizes the Linux capabilities required by enterprise applications.

The Open Source Development Lab released a document Thursday that prioritizes the Linux capabilities required by enterprise applications.

The lab, based in Beaverton, Ore., hopes that kernel developers and IT shops will now analyze the prioritization in the document -- titled "Data Center Linux Technical Capabilities, Version 1.0" -- and provide timely feedback that can be taken into account by Linux developers.

"We're looking for a sanity check," said Lynn de la Torre, strategic marketing manager for the OSDL. "We hope that this becomes a broader blueprint for Linux development and help us set our priorities."

We're looking for a sanity check. We hope that this becomes a broader blueprint for Linux development and help us set our priorities.
Lynn de la Torre
Strategic marketing managerOSDL

The OSDL is a consortium of Linux users, developers and vendors whose mission is to drive enterprise adoption of Linux. The lab sponsors two working groups dedicated to data center and carrier-grade Linux. It is also home to Linux creator Linus Torvalds and 2.6 kernel maintainer Andrew Morton.

The document identifies more than 300 capabilities, slotted into seven categories: performance, reliability/availability/scalability (RAS), manageability, clusters, standards, security and usability.

"Our analysis flagged some things that are important to the development of Linux," de la Torre said. "For example, support for SANs [storage area networks], ISV capabilities for data centers porting to Linux and Java performance; making sure Linux is competitive as a development platform for Java applications."

"The OSDL DCL Working Group defined Linux capabilities and assigned priorities based on what companies need in Linux to support demanding, enterprise-class applications such as high-end online transaction processing (OLTP) and decision support," said Steve Geary, director of Linux engineering at Hewlett-Packard Co. and chair of the DCL Working Group, in a statement. "We are releasing the capabilities document to create an open process to solicit feedback on capabilities and priorities prior to producing a requirements document."

De la Torre added that the lab is relying on enterprises that use Linux every day to examine the document and evaluate whether the lab's prioritizations match those of IT managers. The document has been available for preliminary review for a month.

"We're hoping to hear [from reviewers] that something is not a priority because they're not seeing it that way from their usage, or that they don't depend on it as much as we think," de la Torre said. "From our preliminary reviews, for example, we've already heard that our placing a priority on support for SANs is a great thing."

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