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LinuxCare Resurfaces as Linux Device Vendor

timothy posted about 9 years ago | from the switch-up dept.

Linux Business 83

An anonymous reader submits "LinuxCare, famous employer of Rasmus, Tridge, and others during the go-go-90's Linux start-up days, has resurfaced as a Linux device vendor. The company, now known as Levanta, is shipping its first hardware product, which it says is the 'world's first Linux management appliance.' At nearly $8K, it's pretty expensive, but the Integra M does appear to bring some of the cool sysadmin features long available on the Windows side over to Linux IT types."

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Good old sysadmin cloning (4, Funny)

RoceKiller (699407) | about 9 years ago | (#13174840)

From Levantas frontpage:
"For Us, Levanta is the next best thing to cloning our system administrator."
- Joe Poole, Boscov's Tedhinical Support Manager

Re:Good old sysadmin cloning (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175031)

SOVIET RUSSIA... the system administrator CLONES YOU!

Re:Good old sysadmin cloning (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175622)

'Levanta' - isn't that an E.D. medication?

Re:Good old sysadmin cloning (2, Funny)

Hyesh (587854) | about 9 years ago | (#13176613)

From Levantas frontpage:

"©2005 Levanta. No part of this website may be reproduced without express written permission"

See you in five to ten minumum...can't just run around copying and posting stuff from copyrighted websit...wait...d'oh!

IP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13174851)

who owns the IP ?

The automation of system administration (4, Interesting)

ReformedExCon (897248) | about 9 years ago | (#13174868)

Levanta is right in that the most crucial aspect of running a Linux network is having the manpower available to handle all the issues that arise. They solve this by introducing their hardware/software combination that makes such administration easier and more automated than before.

But you'd never know it by skimming their site. Like many tech wizards, they get bogged down with technical details and fail to clearly present their product in a coherent manner.

For all the slick web designing that went into their site, someone could have had the decency to tell them to "dumb it down" for the CIOs out there who haven't got the time to dig into their literature.

After reading the site, I'm still not clear on what the name of the administrative tool is, nor the limitations as to the number of nodes I can attach to the admin machine.

There are some very keen concepts that seem to mimic the concept of a system emulator, where the administrator can deploy experimentally and see the results of those deployments without causing system-wide disaster.

I just wish it were better presented.

Re:The automation of system administration (3, Insightful)

Bandraginus (901166) | about 9 years ago | (#13174908)

Agreed. Techies don't hold the purse strings, and they should be well aware by now that "coolness" factor simply doesn't cut it with PHBs.

Mind you, that cost is still well under the cut-off point at which most level 3 managers can sign off on, so there's a chance that it might gain some market traction.

Still, no matter how bad the material on the website is, it's still fantastic seeing these kinds of products coming out. Good to see these guys haven't given up.

Re:The automation of system administration (2, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 9 years ago | (#13177020)

You have a different definition of coolness than I do.

I don't think the product is cool at all.


I don't know what it is at all.

They don't actually say, in technical terms, what the box offers me, as the sysadmin.

I already know how to run a site on Linux. I'd love to know there's something out there to make it easier, but make it easier *how*?

I'm not putting out $10k for a box that doesn't have software and functional specifications.

Re:The automation of system administration (2, Funny)

Bandraginus (901166) | about 9 years ago | (#13181118)


I don't know what it is at all.

That's what makes it so cool :)

Re:The automation of system administration (2, Insightful)

leandrod (17766) | about 9 years ago | (#13174972)

they get bogged down with technical details and fail to clearly present their product in a coherent manner.

On the contrary, there are no relevant technical details, only some very, very high-level, ambiguous conceptual stuff.

someone could have had the decency to tell them to "dumb it down" for the CIOs out there who haven't got the time to dig into their literature.

Well, it is dumbed down for the CIOs, perhaps not enough for the CEOs but who cares -- such a system will be sold to them by the CIOs, they won't read this kinda stuff. It's us techies who are left in the cold, and the mention of 'systems administration' and 'MySQL' in the same pages does not bide well, nor the claims of patented software technologies.

torlla trolla trolla! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175088)

how can you possibly criticize a linux product? DONT YOU LOVE FREEDOM?

Re:The automation of system administration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175111)

Just use Altiris, it does this for windows and Linux/Unix, and Macs. It is a much better solution, esp for automating the datacenter and desktop deployments.

Re:The automation of system administration (3, Informative)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 9 years ago | (#13176888)

Altiris® Server Management Suite(TM) System Requirements

Altiris® Server Management Suite(TM) requires that you install and configure the Altiris Notification Server(TM).

Notification Server Minimum Requirements

        * Processor--Pentium* lll 800 MHz or faster
        * Memory--1 GB RAM
        * Hard drive--20 GB
LOOK HERE-> * Operating system--Windows* Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Server SP2 or later
LOOK HERE-> * Database--Microsoft* SQL Server 2000 SP3 restricted to less than 50 percent of available memory. Note: MSDE 2000 recommended for evaluation purposes only.
LOOK HERE-> * Browser--Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later
LOOK HERE-> * Package servers (remote distribution points)--Windows NT* or Windows 2000/XP/2003 and a large hard drive
LOOK HERE-> * File system--NTFS
LOOK HERE-> * Services--Microsoft Windows Internet Information Services (IIS)
LOOK HERE-> * Services--Microsoft .NET Framework* 1.1

LOOK HERE->Supported Windows Platforms

        * Windows NT Server 4.0
        * Windows 2000 Server
        * Windows Server 2003

Supported UNIX/Linux Platforms
LOOK HERE->Note: Not all Server Management Suite features are supported on all platforms.

        * AIX* 4.3,3, 5.1, 5.2
        * HP-UX* 10.20, 11, 11i
        * Red Hat* 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, Advanced Server 2.1
        * Solaris* 7, 8, 9 (Sparc)
        * SuSE* 8.0, 8.1, Enterprise Server 8
        * UnitedLinux* 1.0

Right - I reaallly reaally want this to manage my Linux server farm...

Re:The automation of system administration (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175220)

Jesus saved me from my past. He can save you as well.

Jesus saves with coupons!
"What would Jesus do ... for a Klondike bar?"
"Jesus saves and takes half damage"

There is no god and most likely Jesus is fictional too. The sooner churchie types understand this the better off the world will be. I hate to be so hard but I'm truly tired of the radical christian right trying to turn the US into a Nazi style State.

Re:The automation of system administration (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175424)

I'm sorry, I missed the rigorous logical proof that there is no God. My advice: don't let religion get between you and God.

Re:The automation of system administration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13176123)

they get bogged down with technical details and fail to clearly present their product in a coherent manner.

Are you reading the same web site I am? I'm not finding any technical details, just a whole lot of vague phrases like "transform your Linux environment into an agile, rapid-response speed machine."

The site is already too dumbed down to be of any use to me- they're so busy talking about benefits that they never actually say what the product does.

Seriously, were you kidding? Were you being ironic and I just missed it? If this is too technical for a CIO, the CIO needs to be fired.

Re:The automation of system administration (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 9 years ago | (#13176839)

What part of "patented technology" didn't you understand?

They aren't going to tell you all the technical details of a proprietary product they're selling, obviously. This isn't an OSS play.

I just downloaded their documents (you have to register and give them an address and email that you WILL be spammed with - they say so.) They don't explain the details either.

Clearly the software product is essentially a virtualizing version control system for Linux systems - you can set up an OS image, make changes to it, roll back those changes, inventory everything, deploy it, etc. - all done in virtual. They even claim to be able to manage Linux systems that are already virtual on IBM mainframes.

If they can do what they say, I'd say the product will be very valuable for large Linux server farm operations. Whether it's any better than any other such product I wouldn't know since I'm not familiar with what's out there for large server farm management.

Re:The automation of system administration (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | about 9 years ago | (#13177048)

Clearly the poster understands the phrase "patented technology" better than you do. A patent is not granted unless the technical details are publicly disclosed. You seem to be conflating patents with trade secrets.

But yes, it seems common sense that a company would not disclose the details of their product if they can help it, patent or no patent.

Re:The automation of system administration (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 9 years ago | (#13177120)

I know what a patent is and what it entails.

My point was that the company isn't going to tell everybody every detail of proprietary technology ON THEIR FREAKIN' WEB SITE (or even in their marketing brochures.)

Some /. nerdboys have no clue how business works and it shows in clueless comments like the OP's.

They tell you all you need to know about their software on the Web site - it does THIS and THIS and (supposedly if you believe the case studies) it WORKS. Whether it does or not, and how much of a pain it is to actually get it to work, you have to talk to them to find that out. Every other Web site I've ever seen does exactly the same thing - unless the product is so simple they CAN tell you how it works in one page.

How do you tell somebody how an OS virtual provisioning system works? Exactly what they do. Anybody who can't figure out that it uses some sort of configuration rule knowledgebase, etc. shouldn't bother being interested in the system. You get the implementation and operating details when you are a serious customer prospect.

Granted, I prefer some of the other Web sites mentioned by posters - they go into much more detail than this one does - but they still don't tell you exactly how it works any more than I did by saying "configuration rule knowledgebase."

Re:The automation of system administration (1)

MikeFM (12491) | about 9 years ago | (#13176848)

Not sure if I should be disappointed or not. I've been working on some free tools that provide a similar interface. I think I'll not stop though as I'm not sure if they offer a free version and I think my tools are more easily extendible. My interface for single systems is browser based (Gecko-based browsers only.. There is only XUL.) but my fancier interface for managing multiple systems is Python/wxWindows based.

Oh well.. darn.. I was trying to make Linux easier to manage but it looks like they beat me to it. :)

... and back down they go (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13174878)

... once they relearn that their key audience consists of a bunch of cheapskates that wouldn't pay for shit like this if their mom's lives depended on it.

But does it work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13174886)

The article was complete fluff... Does the damn thing really work? I would shell out $8,000 just to get snapshots working with that 1.4 TB drive array if it really did work. I guess I was hoping the article would have been more like a tech review and less like a commercial.

Re:But does it work? (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 9 years ago | (#13176922)

They have several case studies and a white paper available for download (once you agree to be spammed by them). Apparently it's worked for some companies.

Still no technical details, but this is proprietary software, not OSS, so you aren't going to get any.

Why sell a device? (2, Interesting)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 years ago | (#13174897)

When you can make more money selling off the software and support?

Seems like lots of engineering time for something that is basically commodity hardware these days when the focus is the software to begin with.

Re:Why sell a device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13174912)


so you can sell

matter based "supports" like rails!

for 200 dollars!

Add Rails
Purchase additional rails.
If you already own a Levanta Intrepid and have discovered that you need some rails to rack mount it, you can order them here. We offer both side-mount and middle-mount rails specifically designed for the Intrepid.
View product details

$199.00 for side or middle rail set

Re:Why sell a device? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13174919)

Believe it or not some people just want a turn-key solution. Sometimes you have the experience and know-how on your staff, but you just don't have the time to get to everything. (I think that is the whole point to this box).

Re:Why sell a device? (3, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 years ago | (#13174958)

Because now the CIO's can pay a few $1000 more for the same product.

Realistically, I think the major benefit is that this box comes completely preconfigured, working and plug-and-playable. Spending a few thousand dollars extra on this might be less expensive than having a person do the same thing on another box. And how about support? Software not working on vendors' box; Vendors' problem, software not working on your own box; your own problem. $8000 may seem like a lot, but compare it to payed labour and it may be cheaper.

Re:Why sell a device? (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 years ago | (#13175060)

My point is they could expand the market beyond there specific systems by using software. If they sold a similar system for HPUX and Solaris then they could reach into the markets where people may actually buy these services instead of simply looking at them as "things"

Re:Why sell a device? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 years ago | (#13175314)

As far as I understand, the specs are simply for the servers running the package, not for the clients which are administered by it.

Besides, seeing as they are currently supporting the ultra-low-end (intel) and ultra-high-end (z/OS), I wouldn't be surprised to see other versions popping up soon.

Re:Why sell a device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13176032)

No z/OS support. Linux under z/VM support on zSeries hardware (former System/390 -- IBM mainframes); z/OS is an entirely different kettle of hamsters.

Note that it's been around for 3 years or so on the mainframe, so it's reasonably well-proven technology.

Re:Why sell a device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13177167)

I notice that they sell the software, too. Given how elaborate software setup for administrative systems like Tivoli, etc. are, I can see why a turn-key box would be very attractive.

Duh (2)

NineNine (235196) | about 9 years ago | (#13175491)

Well, if you'd read the article summary, it says that this company is run by the guys who started LinuxCare. LinuxCare was a company that did do Linux support. They went bankrupt. They failed. It didn't work. So, apparently, you can't "make more money selling off the software and support".

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13176231)

LinuxCare was a company that did do Linux support. They went bankrupt. They failed. It didn't work. So, apparently, you can't "make more money selling off the software and support."

Actually, they went bankrupt because the CEO and CIO spent millions of dollars on an enormously over-engineered server infrastructure to power Linuxcare in the early days. You can see that Doug Nassaur [] has pretty much done the same thing at every company he's burned.

They also had the most clueless Program and Project Managers on-staff, who would simply agree to outrageous contracts with vendors (such as writing a Linux-based 3Com WinModem driver for 3Com, in a weekend, without any specs or API documentation. Of course we lost that one too.).

They burned through so much money because 80% of their staff were completely non-technical people who didn't have the most basic understanding of Linux and where it fits.

After their 4th CEO and 5th round of layoffs in 18 months, they finally decided to turn the company into a 100% proprietary, non-Linux company and persue "Bank Provisioning Software". That too failed. 2 or 3 more CEOs later and now they're doing Linux appliances.

When I was there, I saw literally hundreds of brilliant, talented people get laid off, just so a clueless project manager could continue making $240k/year while working 4 days a week. Most of the rest of us were lucky to get 1/2 of that and we were working 20+ hour days, 6 and 7 days a week to meet absolutely unreal deadlines that some PM agreed to with the client/vendor.

Rasmus, Tridge, Paulus, Anton, Hugh, the rest of Ozlabs, dozens of very smart technical support people. Basically everybody underneath the cushy "management" layer were the people who could have made Linuxcare the "Google" of the Linux services environment.

They were all ignored, suppressed, and their ideas quashed before they were finally released from the hell by being laid off.

So the problem wasn't that "you can't make more money selling software and support", its that you can't make more money when you have completely clueless idiots driving the ship. If we fired 2/3 of the clueless management types and had the board actually listen to their engineers, Linuxcare would probably still be around today.. and still doing Linux in a community-responsible way.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13182862)

Well, all I can say is the incessant complaining from people like you is what allowed those management leeches to stay attached to the host. These individuals held onto their jobs for a long time by saying the "Open Source" people were at war with the Experienced Management. So, they sucked - and you sucked! Basically the founders screwed up - not only did they get unlucky by hiring the worst possible CEO (who then hired idiots, who hired idiots), but they hired the unemployable dregs of the local Linux community. The Gurus deluded themselves into believing they didn't have to work for a living. As for Ozlabs, they're lucky they didn't wind up in jail for inviting competitors in to interview them in Linuxcare offices - there was plenty of internal sabotage from people who seemed to not have a problem bashing the company but always seemed to make it to the bank with their check.

Re:Why sell a device? (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | about 9 years ago | (#13175892)

When you can make more money selling off the software and support?

Because turnkey "appliances" are popular right now. Instead of having to worry about multiple maintenance contracts for your OS, software, hardware, etc., you just buy a contract from the appliance vendor and they handle the rest and guarentee the software is compatible on the hardware they sell. It's not a bad arrangement, especially when you factor in the cost of not having to putz around installing and maintaining your own OS on your own hardware and hoping it all works together.

Re:Why sell a device? (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 9 years ago | (#13176980)


They ARE selling the software separately as well.

But appliances are big these days. The appliance is just a box they can feature on their Web site. The software is the important thing in this product. The rest of the site barely mentions the box.

Re:Why sell a device? (1)

m0nk3ym1nd (548825) | about 9 years ago | (#13178577)

They sell the device to provides a plausible basis for extending the revenue opportunity with licensing fees: 10 client systems for the base price, additional licenses are $250! Just barely a cost savings versus Windows....

What sunk Linuxcare (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13174898)

So, it was the 90ies, and things did get out of hand, but the basic idea of doing Linux services - tech support, consulting, training - was a good one, and many companies continue to pursue these businesses quite successfully. The things that really sunk that company were two of the nitwits that they hired:

Fernand Serrat - CEO

Doug Nassaur - CIO

The second one managed to spend a metric shitload of money on equipment that there were no plans to even use, and, indeed, if you follow his career around, you see him getting turfed out of pretty much everywhere he goes. The sad thing is that, he comes in at such a high level that instead of just being fired like you or I, he gets a big severance package, and no one says anything bad about him anywhere.

Re:What sunk Linuxcare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175014)

Doug Nassaur was really the worst with his kickbacks heading strait back to Atlanta suppliers (and I guess him). Who ever bought EMC at cost price? Fernand was incompetent enough to not notice Doug Nassaur screwing the company.

Re:What sunk Linuxcare (1, Funny)

kaellinn18 (707759) | about 9 years ago | (#13175298)

The second one managed to spend a metric shitload of money on equipment Can someone post the conversion factor to US Standard shitloads? I can't seem to find it on Google.

Re:What sunk Linuxcare (2, Funny)

Cat_Byte (621676) | about 9 years ago | (#13176085)

Can someone post the conversion factor to US Standard shitloads? I can't seem to find it on Google.

It is more than a buttload but less than a motherload. I think it is a 1:1.1 ratio so you will get a little more shit when trading shit with other countries like France.

Re:What sunk Linuxcare (1)

Pollardito (781263) | about 9 years ago | (#13176228)

Can someone post the conversion factor to US Standard shitloads?
it's a moving target, because the increasing waistlines here in the States cause corresponding increases in shitload size

Re:What sunk Linuxcare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13180901)

Shouldnt that be American Standard shitload?

Re:What sunk Linuxcare, or Turbolinux (1)

towatatalko (305116) | about 9 years ago | (#13180497)

Some of the waste of resources and money in the late of 90ies and beginning of 2000 was that it was part of the culture of mismanagement at that time. We had huge parties, fishing trips for seals and tech support teams over the S.F. Bay, which would cost the company 25-30k a piece and those boots in Los Vegas conventions with big guys for 250k a piece, and so on. What bothered me most when the reality hit hard was that there was no plan B. Higher management and people in charge just assumed the bull market of the 90ies would last forever, well it didn't, so they had to lay off people instead putting some cash aside when it was still possible.

Fair Chance? (3, Insightful)

one_who_uses_unix (68992) | about 9 years ago | (#13174913)

It is curious to me to see the frequency that the Linux/Unix enthusiasts complain about the lack of robust/commercial offerings of Linux hosted/compatible systems in various areas compared to those that are Windows hosted/compatible.

We should be supportive of companies and individuals that are attempting to establish a broader base of Linux/Unix hosted/compatible systems since it can only benefit the industry.

If a system truly is a piece of crap, then many will hopefully learn from the experience - even folks not part of the effort. Many great products started as a POS and grew into respectable offerings.

Although I understand people taking the opportunity to thrash this system (it can be fun), I wish that the general attitude of the vocal members of the community was just a little more positive.

Re:Fair Chance? (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | about 9 years ago | (#13175857)

"It is curious to me to see the frequency that the Linux/Unix enthusiasts complain about the lack of robust/commercial offerings of Linux hosted/compatible systems in various areas compared to those that are Windows hosted/compatible."

Yeah, curious to me too.



linux hardware (1) (630682) | about 9 years ago | (#13174938)

Specialized linux hardware can take linux into the future !

Re:linux hardware (1)

geeraard (223251) | about 9 years ago | (#13174967)

Yeah right. For supercomputers & the like, this probably makes sense, if accompanied with good system management softw. But for general purpose computing: we've seen where BeBox, NeXT etc went...

World's first Linux MANAGEMENT appliance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13174988)

I guess that means it won't do much but take credit for all the hard work the techs have to put into it just to get it to boot?

Ha... (3, Funny)

William Robinson (875390) | about 9 years ago | (#13175020)

Among LinuxCare's contributions were a beautiful 8-foot tall printed map of the Linux kernel

Big deal. It cant be more beautiful than Windows, which gives me map of kernel daily, that too on blue screen.

YOU FAIL IT.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175069)

people's faces at = 1140 NetBSD 80s, DARPA saw BSD followed. Obviously cuntwipes Jordan interest in having that has lost As possible? How

Yah but (-1, Redundant)

Arthur B. (806360) | about 9 years ago | (#13175070)

does it run Linux ? Oh! Sorry, it does...

I've downloaded the "papers" --- also marketing (4, Insightful)

baldvin (267689) | about 9 years ago | (#13175105)

I am really interested, since I've spent the last two years of my life for creating a sysadmin tool, i hope much better than fai, but sort of similar.

Now they come, and create this buzz with only marketing bullshit on their site. I have filled in the form with all my data (curios that they did not ask my mothers maiden name...), and got the chance to download the whitepapers with such a huge amount of marketing stuff in it, that I still don't know how this system works.

- I don't care about cost graphicons
- I don't care about stories
- I don't care about anything, but

could anybody please tell me what the architecture is, what is the way it installs/maintains servers, so how does it work?

Patent application from 2004 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175135)

Probably not relevant to the new product, but in the same area: 0040044643&Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2 Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=0&f=S&l=50 []

At least three of the four inventors no longer work for Levanta / Linuxcare.

Re:Patent application from 2004 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175821)

Don't confuse "inventor" with "name on patent application". They're often not closely related.

In this case, 3 of the 4 were at least engineers, but whether any of them would claim to be the "inventor" or not, well...

Re:Patent application from 2004 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13176799)

Well, the three engineers listed were actually a few of the ones that came up with the idea. By all accounts it should be too obvious to be patentable, though, so I'm not sure I'd call it an "invention".

There was at least one more "inventor", but he requested that his name be left off the patent application, presumably so that he didn't hurt his standing in the "open source community" by having a bullshit patent under his name.

Re:I've downloaded the "papers" --- also marketing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175897)

Think "database of config info" plus "MapFS (UnionFS-type technology)" plus "RPMs (and tarballs etc.) stored in a format so they can be applied to a server" (if the whole world really were RPM, this probably wouldn't be necessary, but it ain't so) plus "!PXE-based inventory/boot", all living on shared storage (disk). The MapFS technology is GPLed.

For the folks who asked for Solaris, that's planned -- try Googling for "levanta solaris" and you'll get a number of hits.

Re:I've downloaded the "papers" --- also marketing (1)

baldvin (267689) | about 9 years ago | (#13176044)

Fine. Then I must be very clever. My system have all of it... Oh, sorry, I just created it for a university, and I don't have a patent for it, and just planned to use my code and my experience to start up a public project. Now that they have a patent, they can claim that I've just read it --- which I did not --- so I can't possibly found an enterprise on this. (Actually: I'm living in Europe, so maybe I can. But not in the us?)

Re:I've downloaded the "papers" --- also marketing (1)

Monkius (3888) | about 9 years ago | (#13185317)

Lots of related ideas and implementations out there, from systemimager to radmind to stateless linux to FAI to Knoppix, to rocks to etc etc. Ive heard of roll-your-own systems, too--Coventry has one.

If you aspire to do a free software project, in particular, persevere. If there were a web page, you should post it.

Total Cost of Ownership: Windows or Linux (1)

concept10 (877921) | about 9 years ago | (#13175128)

Does this further lower the TCO for Linux? Instead of paying some sysadmin 50-60K plus health and dental, you could use this solution.

So lets add up the prospect of this:

1. Debian GNU/Linux: $0

2. Magic box from TFA: $8,000

Oh, wait...

redhat satellite network (2, Informative)

Raleel (30913) | about 9 years ago | (#13175273)

seems really similar to RedHat's Satellite stuff. we use that where I work and it'll do pretty much all of that. It won't do it with Suse, of course, but the other functionality is there.

Re:redhat satellite network (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13175956)

aduva's onstage ( [] does it cross distro (redhat,suse) and architecture(ia32,ia64,amd64.s390,s390x,ppc) and solaris (8 and 10).

Re:redhat satellite network (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 9 years ago | (#13177156)

This product looks interesting - and seems more mature than the Levanta one.

Although, while the Web site goes into much more detail on it, they still don't tell you exactly how it works any more than the Levanta one does. Which is not surprising since it's a proprietary product.

Given a choice between the two, I'd probably be more interested in this one. And certainly not the Altiris one which requires Windows all through it.

I'd be more interested if... (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | about 9 years ago | (#13175489) handled Solaris too.

We don't care about Windows, but we have a 50/50 mix of Solaris and Linux. Supporting both OSs, that would be something.

Re:I'd be more interested if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13176223)

There is a company that does this and in my opinion better the levanta.
It's name is aduva and it supports solaris linux hybrid networks.
It support also tons of arch's in linux like s390,ppc,amd64,ia64 etc...
and has support for solaris as well. []

Levanta (0)

squidguy (846256) | about 9 years ago | (#13175497)

Isn't Levanta something sold as a "stamina improving aid"?

porting to appliance form factor (3, Insightful)

dan the person (93490) | about 9 years ago | (#13175551)

"Dennis says that porting the Levanta software to an appliance form-factor was "a very smooth operation," which he credits to the maturity of Levanta software as a standalone product.

In related news Microsoft reports they have successfully ported Windows from Intel Desktop ATX platform to VIAs mini-ITX platform

The first? No... (2, Informative)

buffy (8100) | about 9 years ago | (#13176588)

For one... []

In addition to pioneering the whole concept of Server Blades, we've had a Linux-based management system for quite sometime. We're on our sixth generation, so it's pretty smooth to boot. Target audience varies a little bit, but the "first" they are not.

Just my $0.02.


PS. I work for RLX, though these opinions are mine.

Re:The first? No... (1)

bluelip (123578) | about 9 years ago | (#13182331)

Not to burst your bubble...

It's very hard to make out what your software actually does from your website. Is it a nagios frontend? webmin?

If you're in your 6th generation, provide an online demo or at least some screenshits w/o having to squint to see them embedded in a PDF. I'm not talking about a 'demo' where a salesperson shows me some screenshots that have been selected for their marketing value. I want to see how the software actually works.

I doubt the software RLX came up w/ is any closer to being "the first". rsync? cron? expect?

c'mon man, stop trying to pretend your comment is anything but an ad for your software.

OBTW, I _really_ love the part about how your ticketing software is watched 24 hours a day. right.......

blue pill? (1)

EvilStein (414640) | about 9 years ago | (#13176787)

Levitra? Uh, no, I don't need to buy any, my sex life is fine, thanks..

oh.. *Levanta* is what you're trying to sell me. Ah, I see. A different kind of pill. "The kind of purchase that gets rid of headaches," you say? I'll take 2!

The LinuxCare/Levanta folks are going to be at the next Linuxworld Expo. Is Slashdot going to be there? I've been going since 1999 and the event really has dwindled in size. No more huge Slashdot booth, either.
I was going to go anyway, but this product looks pretty interesting and I'll definitely stop by the booth and check it out.

Re:blue pill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13177314)

I see that they have a couple of speaker slots as well talking about the technology behind the product. 'though I can't afford to pay Linuxworld's steep conference prices anymore.

Guess who worked at Linuxcare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13176845)

Yes. Ceren Ercen, the indomitable BSD mascot in hot tight latex, aka. Strange Attractor. She used to work there and not just as a booth babe.

She is the one with whome Linux is compared [] .

Some picture perhaps? here [] and here [] (particular this one [] .

When will LInux get a latex clad booth babe? We need one. Now. Errr, to take care of Linux, of course.

Re:Guess who worked at Linuxcare? (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about 9 years ago | (#13177196)

Yeah! That's what I'M talking about!

And somebody said nerd babes aren't hot! (Well, actually they said nerds aren't hot...never mind.)

mod 04 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13177597)


informative troblltroll (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13177768)

been looking for! the developer Java IRC client *BSD has lost more has bee;n my only EULOGIES TO BSD'S Clear she couldn't that FreeBSD is

cool tool != windows (1)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | about 9 years ago | (#13178604)

Cool system admin tools and Microsoft Windows is an oxymoron.

How does it work? (1)

misleb (129952) | about 9 years ago | (#13178932)

Could someone briefly explain exactly how this thing works? Reading through the website I get some idea of what it does, but how does it do it? Do you need to run a specific Linux distribution on your machines or what? Does it just store a bunch of disk images?


How It Works (2, Insightful)

DavidDennis-Levanta (903089) | about 9 years ago | (#13180336)

For those who would like more details on how the Levanta technology, and specifically the Intrepid M, works, I thought I'd jot down a quick response. After LinuxWorld, we plan to update the website with additional technical information, as well as a conceptual Flash demo, that should help answer some of the technical questions.

In the meantime...

As a basic concept, the Levanta technology marries network-boot provisioning with data virtualization and change control. MapFS, a GPLed Linux kernel-loadable module, is an integral part of this process, as is PXE-boot.

However, rather than trying to post a white paper's worth of content here, with limited space and no ability to draw diagrams (you don't want to see my ASCII art), it's probably best to refer those who are interested to a recent report published by Illuminata, a niche technology research firm specializing in grids, clusters, virtualization, and other leading edge stuff. Illuminata does a good job of giving an introduction to the architecture, including a few basic diagrams.

You can access the Illuminata paper below, no registration necessary: sting.pdf []

[Full Disclosure: Levanta did not commission this paper from Illuminata and it's available to Illuminata subscribers. However, we did purchase redistribution rights to it.]

Currently, Levanta supports managing Linux servers and workstations, although we're seriously considering adding Open Solaris support for next year. Right now, officially supported Linux distros cover Fedora, SuSE, and RedHat, although other RPM-based distros like CentOS are sometimes possible. Levanta can manage these distros running on x86 hardware (racks, blades, boxes), VMWare virtual machines, and z/VM sessions on zSeries mainframes.

Levanta Release 3.3 exists as two software products that support x86 and zSeries. The new Intrepid is actually running Release 4 of the Levanta software. We currently plan to port the new features of Release 4 to the software product lines in the near future.

For those who were asking, "Why sell a device?", there were many factors that contributed to our decision:

-Some were technical. For example, the Levanta Manager needs access to shared storage to act as the data store. Many customers like having the idea of the storage 'built in', especially if they don't already have ready access to NFS, iSCSI, or SAN.

-It costs less. The Intrepid appliance licenses actually cost less than the standalone software. With an appliance, there are fewer things like a multitude of shared storage device drivers and SMIS differences to worry about, which reduces our R&D and support costs. This, in turn, lets us come out with a lower-priced product.

-Simplicity. One of our key goals was to make a product that is easier for a broader range of people to use. This is especially important now that Linux is growing beyond universities, data centers, and hobbyists and (hopefully) is on its way to becoming more mainstream. It was easier to make the technology more 'plug and play' by putting it in a box.

If you plan to be at the SF LinuxWorld, feel free to pop by and ask questions.

Re:How It Works (1)

Unix4Ever (903064) | about 9 years ago | (#13182062)

Oh, cool! So someone finally figured out how to make shared storage work across the board, not just for executables. I have been working on this for the last couple of years, but looks like someone beat me to it! oh, well.

If not for the hefty $7500 price tag, the checkpoint/restore and the hibernation/migration features are a nice touch over the above. The price is probably chump change for an IT department, but it doesn't sing to all us OSS guys in the community with very little disposable income.

Now, if Levanta wants to donate a few boxes to the community, sign me up!

Would This Be Interesting For the Community? (1)

DavidDennis-Levanta (903089) | about 9 years ago | (#13182317)

We're actually considering creating a free downloadable ISO version that basically takes the software inside the Intrepid and can be used to burn a DVD. You could then take this DVD, boot off it, and turn a random machine into a a homebrew version of the appliance. Would this be interesting to the OSS community? If so, how many machines do you think the average OSS guy who might use the DVD would want to manage?

Well it sure is a cool product! (1)

Unix4Ever (903064) | more than 8 years ago | (#13285915)

I stopped by their booth at Linuxworld yesterday and got a demo. That thing is slick! At closing time, they had a group of their engineers celebrating cuz they had just been awarded LinuxWorld's Most Innovative Hardware award for product excellence. Mom, can I have one for xmas?
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