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000-454 - IBM High-End Tape Technical Solutions V7 - Dump Information

Vendor : IBM
Exam Code : 000-454
Exam Name : IBM High-End Tape Technical Solutions V7
Questions and Answers : 76 Q & A
Updated On : November 16, 2018
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000-454 IBM High-End Tape Technical Solutions V7

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000-454 exam Dumps Source : IBM High-End Tape Technical Solutions V7

Test Code : 000-454
Test Name : IBM High-End Tape Technical Solutions V7
Vendor Name : IBM
Q&A : 76 Real Questions

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IBM IBM High-End Tape Technical

IBM makes a big wager on utility-described storage and hybrid clouds | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

IBM believes within the hybrid cloud, and now it’s backing that with application and a promise.

First, the promise: IBM is committing to spend $1 billion to develop its utility storage portfolio over the subsequent five years. As a down price on that, it’s releasing a brand new software kit referred to as IBM Spectrum Storage.

Spectrum Storage is partially the utility layer for IBM’s excessive-end storage equipment, called XIV. XIV is intended for agencies with huge statistics storage needs and excessive-end necessities, nonetheless it’s designed in such a method as to facilitate companies’ strikes in opposition t the cloud with the aid of serving because the “in-condo” cloud whereas helping the specifications used via public storage cloud infrastructures. IBM notes:

IBM’s Spectrum Storage portfolio can centrally manage more than 300 distinctive storage contraptions and yottabytes of records.  This gadget interoperability is the broadest in the trade — incorporating both IBM and non-IBM hardware and tape systems.  IBM Spectrum Storage can assist in the reduction of storage fees up to ninety % in certain environments by means of automatically relocating statistics onto essentially the most low cost storage gadget — either from IBM or non-IBM flash, disk and tape systems.

With such an omnivorous approach to requirements and interoperability, IBM is clearly hoping Spectrum Storage should be greater than just a front end for XIV, but will win a critical region in big agencies’ datacenters as those huge techniques delivery to circulation to a hybrid cloud structure, with a mixture of natural on-premises storage programs, scalable in-condominium clouds, and public clouds.

The move in opposition t utility-driven storage is deliberate, and parallels a much broader business fashion. according to a Gartner examine referred to by means of IBM, 70 p.c of present storage array options might be obtainable as “utility most effective” models via 2019, and by here 12 months, 70 to eighty % of unstructured statistics will dwell in within your budget storage hardware managed by utility-described storage methods.

part of IBM’s kit, IBM Spectrum speed up, is already getting used on a hundred,000 servers all over, IBM says, and is being demonstrated by means of Netflix, China State Grid, and metropolis of Hope countrywide scientific core, among other clients. based on IBM:

IBM Spectrum accelerate makes it possible for purchasers to layer their infrastructure with clever aspects derived from XIV. These facets consist of unique architecture with zero-tuning that can support purchasers dynamically add storage skill in minutes versus the months it takes nowadays so as to add, install and run storage hardware programs

In Netflix’s case, it changed sixteen existing storage programs with three XIV programs, cutting back datacenter ground area utilization by using eighty %. I’ve embedded a video from IBM at the bottom of this put up that describes Netflix’s use of XIV.

IBM is also open-sourcing the Spectrum accelerate software, which — possibly — it hopes will spur greater activity in XIV.

http://youtu.be/bg_zkpv6yds


IBM Beats on Q2 revenue, stock Down on precise-Line Decline | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

foreign enterprise Machines Corp IBM mentioned third-quarter 2018 non-GAAP income of $three.forty two per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate with the aid of couple of cents. earnings per share (EPS) multiplied four.9% from the yr-in the past quarter.

The 12 months-over-year boom in EPS may also be attributed to strong pre-tax margin operating leverage (28 cents contribution) and aggressive share buybacks (19 cents contribution). This became partly offset by means of lower revenues (seven cents bad affect) and better tax expense (17 cents negative affect).

Revenues of $18.76 billion lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $19.10 billion and declined 2.1% on a yr-over-year foundation. At steady forex (cc), revenues remained flat.

IBM cited that signings plunged 21% to $eight billion. features backlog declined 3% from the 12 months-ago quarter to $113 billion.

Shares reduced more than 4.7% in after-hour trading, following third-quarter announcement. IBM has lost 10.1% 12 months to this point, underperforming the trade’s decline of 4.4%.

  a close up of a map© provided via Zacks funding analysis Inc  

Geographic salary details

Revenues from Americas inched up 1%, driven by continued growth in Canada and Latin america and modest growth in the united states.

Europe, middle-East and Africa decreased 2% from the 12 months-in the past quarter, driven by way of decline in Germany and France, partly offset by way of boom in Spain and the United Kingdom.

Asia-Pacific revenues declined 1% on a year-over-year groundwork with modest boom in Japan.

Strategic Imperatives growth Continues

Strategic Imperatives (cloud, analytics, mobility and protection) grew 7% at cc from the year-ago quarter to $9.3 billion. safety revenues surged 34%. On a trailing 12-month basis, Strategic Imperatives revenues were $39.5 billion, up 13% (eleven% at cc).

Cloud revenues surged 13% from the year-in the past quarter to $4.6 billion. The annual run rate for cloud as-a-carrier revenues increased 24% at cc on a yr-over-year groundwork to $11.four billion.

 

international company Machines organisation rate, Consensus and EPS shock

a close up of a map© offered through Zacks investment research Inc

international enterprise Machines agency rate, Consensus and EPS shock | foreign enterprise Machines organisation Quote

 

Cloud revenues of $19 billion on a trailing 12-month groundwork elevated 20% (18% at cc) and now debts for 24% of IBM’s complete revenues.

Cognitive Revenues Decline

Cognitive options’ revenues-exterior decreased 5.7% yr over 12 months (down 5% at cc) to $four.15 billion. Segmental revenues touching on Strategic Imperatives and Cloud declined 4% and a pair of%, respectively. Cloud as-a-carrier earnings annual run price became $2 billion.

solutions software comprises choices in strategic verticals like fitness, area-certain capabilities like analytics and security, and IBM’s emerging applied sciences of AI and blockchain. The phase additionally contains offerings that address horizontal domains like collaboration, commerce and talent. options application revenues diminished three% yr over 12 months within the quarter.

IBM mentioned that in commerce domain the infusion of AI into offerings like client event analytics helped SaaS signings to grow double digit within the quarter. The contemporary launch of Notes Domino version 10, which is optimized for cell, and supports JavaScript and node.js will increase boom collaboration in 2019.

Transaction Processing utility comprises utility that runs mission-essential workloads, leveraging IBM’s hardware platforms. Revenues fell 8% on a 12 months-over-yr basis.

IBM witnessed growth in trade verticals like health, key areas of analytics and safety within the quarter. Watson health witnessed extensive-primarily based increase in Payer, company, Imaging and existence Sciences domains.

right through the quarter, the Sugar.IQ application, developed by using Medtronic MDT in partnership with IBM, hit the market. The utility is designed to simplify and improve every day diabetes management.

IBM stated that analytics carried out well in the quarter, pushed by statistics science choices and IBM Cloud inner most for information offering.

all through the quarter, the business announced bias detection functions and launched new Watson features on the IBM Cloud inner most platform.

protection increase became pushed by way of offerings in orchestration, facts protection and endpoint administration.

In blockchain, IBM meals have confidence community for meals security went reside in the quarter. Reatiler Carrefour joined IBM’s blockchain network. The business additionally jointly introduced TradeLens with Maersk that addresses inefficiencies within the international give chain. IBM at the moment helps 75 active blockchain networks.

world company capabilities Revenues increase

Revenues from global business functions-exterior section had been $4.13 billion, up 0.9% from the 12 months-in the past quarter (up three% at cc). Segmental revenues referring to Strategic Imperatives grew 9%. Cloud follow surged 18%. Cloud as-a-carrier income annual run expense became $1.9 billion.

application administration revenues declined 1% from the year-in the past quarter. despite the fact, global procedure services revenues climbed 2%. additionally, Consulting revenues elevated 7% 12 months over year, pushed via potent performance from IBM’s digital company.

technology services & Cloud platforms: Revenues Dip

Revenues from expertise services & Cloud platforms-external decreased 2% from the year-in the past quarter (flat at cc) to $eight.29 billion. Segmental revenues bearing on Strategic Imperatives advanced 16%, driven through hybrid cloud features. Cloud surged 22% from the yr-ago quarter. Cloud as-a-provider revenue annual run price changed into $7.5 billion.

Integration utility accelerated 1% from the yr-in the past quarter. throughout the quarter, ninety five agencies worldwide chosen IBM Cloud inner most offering. Infrastructure functions revenues also expanded 1% on a yr-over-12 months groundwork.

although, Technical help capabilities revenues reduced three% from the year-ago quarter.

vigor & z14 power systems Revenues

systems revenues elevated 0.9% on a year-over-year groundwork (up 2% at cc) to $1.seventy four billion. Segmental revenues bearing on Strategic Imperatives surged 5%, whereas Cloud revenues declined 8%.

IBM Z revenues accelerated 6% 12 months over 12 months on greater than 20% MIPS increase, pushed through huge-based mostly adoption of the z14 mainframe.

vigor revenues expanded 17% from the 12 months-ago quarter. all through the quarter, IBM launched its subsequent technology POWER9 processors for midrange and high-end systems which are designed for dealing with superior analytics, cloud environments and data-intensive workloads in AI, HANA, and UNIX markets.

IBM also delivered new offerings optimizing both hardware and utility for AI. management believes that items like PowerAI imaginative and prescient and PowerAI commercial enterprise will assist force new client adoption.

besides the fact that children, storage hardware revenues declined 6% due to vulnerable performance in the midrange and high end, in part offset through mighty boom in All Flash Arrays. IBM brought up that pricing force within the immensely aggressive storage market is hurting revenues. The enterprise introduced its new FlashSystems with subsequent technology NVMe technology right through the quarter.

operating programs utility revenues declined 4%, whereas systems Hardware superior four% from the 12 months-in the past quarter.

eventually, international Financing (contains financing and used equipment revenue) revenues decreased 9.1% at cc to $388 million.

operating particulars

Non-GAAP gross margin remained unchanged from the 12 months-ago quarter at forty seven.four%. This become IBM’s most reliable gross margin performance in years and turned into essentially pushed via 160 groundwork points (bps) enlargement in capabilities margin. however, adverse combine in z14 mainframe and application thoroughly offset this expansion.

working rate declined four% yr over 12 months, due to realization of acquisition synergies and enhancing operational efficiencies. IBM continues to invest in speedy becoming fields like hybrid cloud, synthetic intelligence (AI), protection and blockchain.

Pre-tax margin from continuing operations extended 50 bps on a year-over-12 months basis to 19.2%.

Cognitive solutions and world company capabilities section pre-tax margins elevated 190 bps and 320 bps, respectively, on a year-over-12 months groundwork. despite the fact, know-how features & Cloud structures segment pre-tax margin shriveled one hundred bps.

methods pre-tax salary turned into $209 million down 38% yr over yr. international Financing section pre-tax income jumped 26.7% to $308 million.

steadiness Sheet & cash stream details

IBM ended third-quarter 2018 with $14.70 billion in total cash and marketable securities in comparison with $11.ninety three billion at the conclusion of 2d-quarter 2018. total debt (together with international financing) turned into $46.9 billion, up $1.4 million from the previous quarter.

IBM mentioned cash circulation from operations (except for world Financing receivables) of $3.1 billion and generated free money stream of $2.2 billion within the quarter.

in the stated quarter, the business back $2.1 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. on the conclusion of the quarter, the company had $1.4 billion last below existing buyback authorization.

counsel

IBM reiterated EPS forecast for 2018. Non-GAAP EPS is anticipated to be as a minimum $13.eighty. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently pegged at $13.84.

IBM still anticipates 2018 free cash move of $12 billion.

Zacks Rank & stocks to accept as true with

IBM currently includes a Zacks Rank #four (promote).

Some enhanced-ranked stocks within the broader desktop & know-how sector are Hewlett Packard business HPE and Microsoft MSFT. each the stocks lift a Zacks Rank #2 (buy). that you could see the comprehensive list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (strong purchase) shares right here.

lengthy-term EPS growth rate for Hewlett Packard enterprise and Microsoft is at the moment pegged at 9.eight% and 12.3%, respectively.

5 clinical stocks to buy Now

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IBM Boosts safety, Cloud, Analytics Capabilities with New vigour techniques, Storage, Mainframe technologies | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

IBM Boosts safety, Cloud, Analytics Capabilities with New vigour programs, Storage, Mainframe technologies

the brand new offerings encompass the strongest business vigor techniques to this point, a brand new excessive-end disk storage device, and key application updates for IBM’s newest mainframe laptop.

IBM has launched new technologies to assist corporations meet their want for superior safety, take potential of cloud computing, and control and analyze mammoth quantities of data.

New power techniques Tout POWER7+, Elastic capability on Demand and fast business Analytics

IBM’s new business vigor programs comprises hardware and software innovations to support shoppers gain enterprise insights quickly and securely.

IBM vigour 770 and energy 780 servers now function the new POWER7+ microprocessor, boosting efficiency boosts of utility workloads in comparison with outdated types. among its many points, the POWER7+ offers an elevated 2.5x L3 cache memory, more suitable security with faster file encryption for the IBM AIX working gadget, and reminiscence compression that outcomes in no elevated energy usage over previous era POWER7 chips.

on the excellent of the vigor line, the power 795 server enhancements allow consumers to run traumatic purposes such as company analytics quickly by using up to 16 terabytes of memory with new 64GB twin In-Line memory Modules (DIMM).

in addition, IBM has brought a few new capabilities to its family of vigour systems servers to aid customers build virtualized deepest cloud or managed provider cloud infrastructures, and reply dynamically to alterations in utility and workload necessities. Elastic skill on Demand for vigour systems swimming pools, for example, allows the sharing of materials throughout diverse servers, that may enrich the availability and enhance the entry to substances during deliberate and unplanned maintenance activities.

When managing a cloud-based infrastructure with IBM PowerVM virtualization utility, shoppers can greater effortlessly circulate individual server partitions to without delay balance materials in response to changing enterprise wants. Single virtual machines will also be moved quicker and concurrent migrations can take place quicker than with outdated models.

The normal corporate IT infrastructure is cyber-attacked practically 60,000 instances every day and the regular total organizational cost of a knowledge breach is $5.5 million, making security a true precedence for companies. To enhance data security and regulatory compliance, IBM PowerSC safety and compliance software together with trusted Surveyor has been up-to-date to supply true-time security alerts and gives you superior compliance reporting.

IBM speeds up business Storage Capabilities for big statistics

The deluge of guidance groups continue to grapple with is posing increasingly dynamic challenges for IT administrators. Mounting information volumes are stressing device efficiency, manageability, and security. To aid purchasers respond to these challenges, IBM these days solidified two of its excessive-conclusion storage systems with performance and security updates.

The IBM equipment Storage DS8870 is the most recent member of the enterprise’s DS8000 family unit of “excessive-density” business classification storage methods. Upgraded with the IBM POWER7 processors and up to 1TB of device cache, the DS8870 improves efficiency for transaction processing functions than the existing DS8800 mannequin. The DS8870 comes normal with full self-encrypting drives for further security.

On the tape storage front, IBM updated the IBM Virtualization Engine TS7700 liberate 3, a system that melds virtualization with magnetic tape. The equipment is an replace of the TS7700 commercial enterprise digital Tape Library device, which is customarily utilized in enterprises powered with the aid of mainframes and is designed to assist administrators virtualize their existing tape storage methods for better manageability, capacity and safety. The virtualization engine provides end-to-end encryption and connectivity of up to six methods in a grid structure for more advantageous entry to counsel and improved redundancy.

the new Technical Computing for large information solution includes IBM's widespread Parallel File device (GPFS), an advanced file management platform regularly used in high-efficiency computing environments for storing and providing tremendous volumes of records for weather modeling, oil exploration and digital media production. Combining GPFS with the latest IBM Platform Symphony scheduler and utility platform, as neatly as the IBM clever Cluster, offers commercial enterprise consumers a scalable, high performance ambiance for analytics.

New Mainframe software for Operational Analytics, Cloud, and security

IBM’s utility choices for its most recent mainframe -- the zEnterprise EC12 (unveiled on August 28) -- aid purchasers function their IT extra correctly while employing essential information to gasoline company insights and support supply enhanced service to consumers.

The zEC12 can run transaction processing applications and analytics functions on one computer, enabling customers to receive and analyze structured business information in actual-time. Now, IBM is making it less difficult, quicker, and more reasonable to run analytics on device z with the new IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator V3 equipment that can speed response times for analytics to supply business insights and consequences. The Accelerator can additionally in the reduction of the should store data on disk drives in the mainframe by using ninety five %, that could dramatically decreasing storage expenses.

IBM is enabling its frequent transaction processor, CICS (client counsel control device), to be developed, delivered, and operated within the cloud to aid zEnterprise valued clientele build private cloud environments that can assist a excessive volume of client transactions. With the new CICS 5.1 portfolio, interactive applications such as ATM systems, bank-teller applications, and insurance applications will also be made purchasable within the cloud.

the brand new IBM protection zSecure Suite V1.31.1 enhances safety intelligence via spotting peculiar undertaking before the equipment is compromised, monitoring for threats with actual-time signals and network conduct analytics, and managing safety audits. Integration with QRadar SIEM (protection suggestions and event management) gives enterprise-vast safety monitoring.

system Networking

in addition to these programs and storage updates, IBM additionally introduced a software defined Networking (SDN) controller for its commercial enterprise networking portfolio. the new IBM Programmable network Controller provides clever software for IBM RackSwitch and other OpenFlow-enabled switches. via OpenFlow, individuals can create virtual networks with the scalability and adaptability required to respond to company alterations in cloud and cellular services environments.

greater tips about these announcements and IBM Smarter Computing can be found at www.ibm.com/smartercomputing.


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International Business Machines (IBM) Q3 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

No result found, try new keyword!International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) Q3 2015 Results ... The growth in our high end servers was more than offset by a double-digit decline in storage hardware driven by weakness in the hig...

STORServer Joins Forces with IBM to Help Ease SMB Storage Woes | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

STORServer Joins Forces with IBM to Help Ease SMB Storage Woes

New all-in-one backup, archive, and disaster-recovery appliances approved as “Built on IBM Express” offerings

Colorado Springs, CO -- April 3, 2006 -- STORServer®, manufacturer of the all-in-one suite of Business Continuity Appliances, announces a new line of STORServer EZ Backup Appliances®. These cost-effective, easy-to-use backup solutions, which are preloaded with IBM storage software and hardware, are designed to help small to medium size businesses (SMBs) manage their data.

“SMBs are a fast-growing and often-underserved market, especially in terms of backup and disaster recovery,” said Ellen Rome, STORServer vice president of sales and marketing. “Our new EZ Backup Appliance bundles IBM’s leading hardware and software technology to provide an affordable, reliable solution that is easy to implement and maintain while providing a sophisticated feature set appropriate to SMBs’ growing needs.”

The new line of EZ Backup Appliances, available in both entry-level and high-end scalable models, are effective storage solutions for SMBs that typically have smaller budgets and fewer employees armed with the necessary skills to deal with complex IT management issues. Pre-configured with hardware and software necessary for backup, archiving, and disaster recovery, the appliance contains IBM’s latest in data-protection technologies, including disk and tape storage such as the new IBM TotalStorage TS3310 Tape Library.

The STORServer EZ Backup Appliance leverages IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, enterprise-level backup and recovery software, and is offered in three pre-configured bundles: Disk-to-Disk, which offers backup and archives with optional tape or disk for disaster recovery; Disk-to-Tape, with backup, archives, an online tape pool and disaster recovery to tape; and Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape, which offers backup, archives, an online pool of IBM TotalStorage DS4100 disk arrays, and disaster recovery to tape.

Fully automated, policy-based configurations are available for customers storing all amounts of data, from less than one terabyte to up to 10 terabytes for a single appliance. Multiple appliances can be installed and managed from one interface for customers that have more data or that need to distribute their recovery storage management. Each appliance comes with a 3-year warranty that provides a single point of contact for technical support.

Backup and disaster recovery is a top concern for SMBs and large organizations alike, according to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) analyst Heidi Biggar. She credits STORServer with creating a solution for SMBs that is both affordable and simple to manage.

"The problem is SMBs generally lack the necessary resources -- people, dollars, and technology -- to attack the backup and recovery problem at its root,” Biggar said. “Historically, SMBs have either tried to 'fix' the problem with enterprise backup solutions (which tend to be too unwieldy and expensive for their needs) or have ignored the problem altogether. What SMBs want -- and need -- are easy-to-use, scalable, and integrated solutions. The STORServer Appliance fits this bill nicely and takes the guesswork out of data protection."

Also announced today, STORServer’s EZ “Entry” Backup Appliance provides a low-cost, reliable, disk-to-disk backup solution for up to two terabytes of data. The EZ “Entry” Backup Appliance integrates IBM’s new Tivoli Storage Manager Express, automated backup and recovery software designed specifically for small and mid-sized businesses. All backups are stored on the server disk and an optional disk array is available for expanded storage capacity. Customers can also add tape backup for disaster recovery. Two scalable entry appliances are available -- one for customers with less than one terabyte of data and the other designed to accommodate up to two terabytes of storage.

The entire line of EZ Backup Appliances back up all popular servers and workstations and can also be purchased with IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files – software that is designed to continuously and instantaneously capture and save changes to files in real time and send copies of data to a backup location to add a second layer of defense against data loss.

With the integration of IBM Express Portfolio software and hardware, the new STORServer EZ Backup Appliances have received “Built on IBM Express” validation. Built on IBM Express is an initiative designed to incorporate IBM Express products with IBM Business Partner products in order to provide integrated solutions that help enable SMBs to manage their IT environments with the same capabilities as larger companies.

The STORServer EZ Backup Appliances are available through IBM resellers only. Pricing for the entry-level appliance starts at $5,000 and the higher-end model begins at $15,000. For more information, visit http://www.storserver.com.


Developers using open-source software behind bosses' backs | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

May 5, 2000Web posted at: 10:37 a.m. EDT (1437 GMT)

(IDG) -- This is a story about programmers and systems administrators who, by and large, don't want to speak on the record because they're afraid of being fired. They're smugglers who sneak unapproved operating systems into corporate offices without telling upper management. These activities aren't in the same league as gunrunning or drug trafficking, but that doesn't mean you can't get fired for doing them.

In many cases, the unapproved operating systems are the so-called open-source systems, which come with all of the source code, so that a programmer can rewrite them as much as he wants. These versions, with names like Debian GNU/Linux, FreeBSD or Red Hat Linux, are produced by loosely knit groups of programmers who contribute their code into a vast commonwealth of software that can be freely shared. The members contribute what they can and have the freedom to improve the code.

At first glance, many information technology managers from traditional backgrounds recoil in horror at the thought of open-source operating systems. The freewheeling exchange of source code seems like a recipe for total chaos, and every IT manager knows that preventing chaos is the most important part of the job. No one ever got fired for buying from Microsoft Corp., IBM or Sun Microsystems Inc.

Some programmers, however, love the open-source systems. They come with all the source code, which often means less cursing at a black box. Talented programmers with a good knowledge of open-source systems can often finish jobs much faster.

Consider an engineer I'll call "Bob." He's an open-source smuggler. His boss wanted first and foremost to keep the networks running and the file servers serving. His boss believed that the best way to accomplish this was to pay one company to provide order. You get what you pay for, he assumed, and one way to get a lot is to pay a lot.

Bob's problem was simple. One of the company's newly acquired branch offices ran Windows NT and some custom software that was hard-wired to work with the old network. The new bosses insisted that Bob integrate the existing network with the new, incompatible network that had its offices in another state. Bob considered doing the job the official way. He calculated the hours, weighed the amount of red tape required to reinstall, figured out the travel time and then considered whether it was even possible to rewrite the software. The potential bill skyrocketed.

Then he had an idea. He grabbed an obsolete 50-MHz 486-based PC and installed FreeBSD on it. This Linux cousin is well-known and loved in the networking community because it's a descendant of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) versions of Unix that formed the original backbone of the Internet. In fact, most Internet software was originally conceived of on machines running BSD, so it's often the most compatible operating system for Internet applications. A few days later, the old, previously discarded computer was up and running, translating the data from one system to the other and gluing the two networks together.

"It took about four days because I'm so slow at FreeBSD," Bob says, "but I could now redo the entire thing if I had to in just one afternoon."

Politically correct PCs

Bob's story is a happy one. The low cost pleased his boss, and no one looked too closely at the guts of his "NT-compatible" router. The boss apparently preferred to concentrate on the price tag.

Unfortunately, many programmers are in situations like Bob's. IT departments face endless problems just keeping their data synchronized and their computers working smoothly. Everyone knows that strong rules like "Always buy Microsoft" often make life a bit simpler. But everyone also knows that it sometimes just makes good sense to break the rules.

The world of operating systems may seem like a placid environment where all the blood was shed years ago when Microsoft achieved its final dominance. That's what many managers want their IT staffs to believe: Microsoft on all machines means harmony everywhere.

But sometimes the right tool isn't made by Microsoft, IBM or whoever the dominant player happens to be. Increasingly, engineers are turning to open-source operating systems because having the source code lets them customize their work and solve the hard problems.

Another anonymous programmer reports that he got involved in a duel with a rival branch in his company that protested when it found out he was using the security-conscious OpenBSD operating system to process credit-card transactions.

"(The leader of that branch) wasn't happy and was determined to defeat us, so he decided to start a separate e-commerce organization that we would have no input into which would (have been) based entirely around Windows NT 4.0," he says. "That was in September. (Their system) still doesn't work. But the BSD kit on the other side of the company has been handling credit-card transactions securely since October."

The right tool for the job

There are plenty of other success stories out there on the Net. Many of the contributors to open-source systems say the tools are more flexible and easier to adapt to complicated tasks. This feature is especially valuable when the engineers are called upon to produce new applications or offer new services over the Internet. When the machines start working successfully, the smart manager doesn't inquire too often or too closely about the operating system vendor.

The success stories can be found in some strange places. The TiVo television recorder is a kind of digital VCR that stores MPEG-encoded versions of television programs on its hard disk. The system comes with a number of new features, such as an "instant replay" that quickly jumps back seven seconds.

Underneath the user interface is the Linux operating system. TiVo Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif., customized the operating system to speed up the real-time tasks it needed and started shipping Linux deeply embedded in the box. The TiVo user is none the wiser, because all the Linux calls are hidden from view.

The programmers involved usually cite two reasons for their success. First, the source code makes it easier for them to tweak, revise or extend the operating system. While companies like Microsoft or Sun make it possible to extend their operating systems, they often keep some of the information secret to maintain their leverage.

And because the Internet was originally built on machines running BSD, the basic protocols were specified, prototyped and finalized in that environment. Therefore, it's just easier to create new Internet applications using the original article.

That compatibility is one reason why Apple Computer Inc. is rewriting its Mac OS operating system to incorporate much of the code from the open-source community's FreeBSD and NetBSD. The core, which the company calls Darwin, is also being shared with the world in the hope of making it easier for Macintosh customers to work with the systems. Still, Apple hasn't opened up all the forthcoming Mac OS X code. The slick user interface and many of the time-saving features that attract new users are being kept proprietary.

IT professionals working with Mac OS X report mixed experiences. Those who use only the open-source parts of Darwin say they enjoy the new opportunities. But those who need access to the part that's still proprietary grouse about the restrictions.

One anonymous programmer says his boss heard his pleas for an open-source operating system and suggested Mac OS X. Because it's both open-source and a product from a big company, it has the aura of respectability and openness, he says. But in his case, the openness didn't help, and he ended up switching to FreeBSD.

Many open-source operating systems make it simple to strip away all but their most necessary parts. This flexibility makes it possible to run on less-expensive hardware and also get the maximum performance out of high-end hardware. The extra layers of gloss that make systems like Windows NT easier to understand can also make them less efficient, because they prevent a systems administrator from stripping away unnecessary functions.

"I reckon a PIII-450 properly configured with about 512MB of RAM will give me around a 400% to 500% performance increase over the incredibly expensive Sun hardware at around a tenth of the cost," says an engineer who supports open-source systems.

Coping with configuration

While many programmers are quite positive about open-source solutions, some are more circumspect. Rob Newberry, a programmer at Group Logic Inc. in Arlington, Va., has been an avid fan of Linux. Some of his networking code has, in fact, been made part of the standard Linux kernel.

Still, he says that his company is thinking seriously about converting its mail server back from Linux to Windows NT. Group Logic has documented several cases where the sendmail program running on the Linux server lost an e-mail message. While it's had few other problems with Linux, he says the software is still difficult for much of the staff to manage; Windows NT is just easier for most of them to use and reconfigure. According to Newberry, saving the cost of a Windows NT license just isn't worth it.

"Even though there are some of us here who respect Linux and work on Linux, we are rapidly trying to phase it out. It just kind of becomes a maintenance headache," he says. "We have lots of engineers here. There (are) only a few of us who know the Linux tricks." The folks who know Linux have better things to do than maintain the mail system, he notes.

This effect is leading some companies to roll the operating system into their product and sell the two as a pair. Network Flight Recorder Inc. in Rockville, Md., creates software that turns a PC into a spy that watches a network for suspicious activity. Abnormal data-flow patterns that might sneak by firewalls will set off alarm bells when this device spots them.

Naturally, the creators of the product want this system to be as secure as possible, so they turned to OpenBSD, a cousin of FreeBSD designed to eliminate security holes. They stripped out extra parts of the system and built a special version of the kernel that handles only their workload. They bundled all of this on a single, bootable CD-ROM that takes over the PC.

Marcus Ranum, Network Flight Recorder's CEO, explains that the CD-ROM also simplifies the technical support. The user can't change anything on the machine, so nothing can inadvertently be screwed up.

"The CD-ROM has a bootstrap loader and a kernel and our own set of applications inside. There are no user services inside," he says. "There's nothing on this sucker except the one application. It takes about 12 minutes to install our product, and that's the time to boot up and autodetect."

Ranum says hiding the operating system from everyone, including the professionals who know how to maintain one, is a smart solution. Every system takes time to learn, and his company wants to make its Network Flight Recorder product simple to use.

Ranum says, "The Unix heads hate NT, and the NT heads hate Unix, so our answer is that it's like a toaster: There are no user-serviceable parts inside."

RELATED STORIES:

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IBM 000-454 Exam (IBM High-End Tape Technical Solutions V7) Detailed Information



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