In the article about cloud computing/utility computing/grid computing we’ve presented the most important companies which offers cloud computing hosting.In this article we will present the companies which offers means (mainly, the software and hardware) which powers most of the cloud computing hosting providers.
As Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_virtualization puts it:
In computing, platform virtualization is a term that refers to the abstraction of computer resources. Virtualization hides the physical characteristics of computing resources from their users, be they applications, or end users. The term has been widely used since the 1960s.
Platform virtualization is performed on a given hardware platform by host software (a control program), which creates a simulated computer environment, a virtual machine, for its guest software. The guest software, which is often itself a complete operating system, runs just as if it were installed on a stand-alone hardware platform. Typically, many such virtual machines are simulated on a single physical machine, their number limited only by the host’s hardware resources. Typically there is no requirement for a guest OS to be the same as the host one. The guest system often requires access to specific peripheral devices to function, so the simulation must support the guest’s interfaces to those devices. Trivial examples of such devices are hard disk drive or network interface card.
Virtual machines are used to consolidate many physical servers into fewer servers, which in turn host virtual machines. Each physical server is reflected as a virtual machine “guest” residing on a virtual machine host system. This is also known as Physical-to-Virtual or ‘P2V’ transformation.
Virtual machines can be used in disaster recovery as “hot standby” environments for physical production servers. This changes the classical “backup-and-restore” philosophy, by providing backup images that can “boot” into live virtual machines, capable of taking over workload for a production server experiencing an outage.
There are several methods of platform virtualization:
- full virtualization
- hardware assisted virtualization
- partial virtualization
- operating system-level virtualization
Below we’ll be trying to present most of these platform virtualization and software providers (next page).
WebHelpDesk is known for its Java help desk software. The lite and full version is not free (between $180 and $900).
But now they are offering a free version of their software for small business, K-12 institutions, and small government organizations.
The Free Edition has no trial period or expiration date, is completely free from ads, and includes one full year of help desk software upgrades.
It’s a good move because they know there are some good free help desk software outhere like osTicket (more software here) and also paid software.
Thus, they try to get more users of their product which in time might become paying customers. In these times you need to do everything to acquire new customers and if that means giving away software so be it.
The FREE version of Web Help Desk is a one technician seat version of the Web Help Desk Lite edition, with an unlimited number of endusers. There are NO functionality restrictions with this free version.
Key benefits of this free help desk software edition include:
- * Cross-Platform Technology – Server-side installers are available for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows Server; while all endusers access the help desk from virtually any internet browser.
* Web Portal – A full customer support web portal for endusers to submit service requests, view ticket updates, and seek self help or view auto-suggested solutions from the knowledge base.
* Email-to-Ticket Conversion – Automatic email-to-ticket conversion ensures that service requests submitted via email do not fall through the cracks and breach SLA.
* Ticket History and Audit Trails – Support staff may add notes (and hidden notes) to each ticket, from the web app or via email. Every update to a ticket is recorded by username and time date stamp.
* Knowledge Base – The mentioned customer service Knowledge Base also allows article visibility to support staff only; building an extensible and searchable internal knowledge base.
* LDAP and Active Directory Integration – Utilize your current LDAP or AD directory for login authentication and to schedule imports of customer data.
* SLA Email Alerts and Reminders – Configure various Service Level Agreements for email alerts and reminders to be sent to support staff.
* Graphical Performance Reports – Run a variety of help desk reports to increase productivity and create new efficiencies. Reports may be run real-time, exported to spreadsheets, or through automated email delivery.
For more details check their website or download it from here (well, I have an advice for them: please don’t ask the users of the free software to fill out that form! I know you might need those data for marketing purposes – you are a commercial company after all, but users are not seeing it like that: if it’s free why would I need to register?)
Today Microsoft entered in competition with WordPress (or, at least, that what it seems).
WordPress is a blogging software and is considered also a content management system (especially with the help of various plugins). It is very used in the blogging world (another competitor is Movable Type) and not only.
Now Microsoft wants a piece of this market (is there a market Microsoft doesn’t want a piece? Rumours has it that it also wants a piece from the smart mobile terminals where the iPhone is king).Microsoft released today a blogging and content management software called Oxite. It is, yes, open source and in alpha version (according to ReadWriteWeb).
Oxite has some features other blogging software has:
- # RSS feeds
# Anonymous and authenticated commenting along with optional moderation
# Pingbacks, trackbacks
# Gravatar support (global avatars)
# Web Admin Panel
# Supports Open Search format
# Search friendly URLs
# Supports the MetaWebLog API
# Create any number of web pages for any purpose
# Create sub-pages off a main page
Because it is still in alpha version it’s not for begginers but merely for developers who wants to mess with the code. The code is, of course, based on ASP.NET Model View Controller which could limit its spreading (many standard hosts are running Linux and ASP.NET is not running on it, unless a special software comes to help, like The Mono Project – which not many hosting companies are using on production servers).
Microsoft’s Channel 9 on MSDN has an interview with the developers where they describe some of Oxite features (you have to install Silverlight to watch the interview).
Let’s see how and where this goes.
Python is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Ruby, Scheme or Java. Google is one of the power users of this dynamic programming language.
This new version, released on December 3 2008, is incompatible with the 2.x line of releases. The language is mostly the same, but many details, especially how built-in objects like dictionaries and strings work, have changed considerably, and a lot of deprecated features have finally been removed. Also, the standard library has been reorganized in a few prominent places.
If you are interested in what the founder of Python programming language, Guido van Rossum, has to say read his blog here.
You can try the new production version by downloading it from here in these formats:
- * Gzipped source tar ball (3.0)
* Bzipped source tar ball (3.0)
* Windows x86 MSI Installer (3.0)
* Windows AMD64 MSI Installer (3.0)
Have bugs to report? Do it at http://bugs.python.org
Python offers a wide range of choices for web development:
- * Writing basic CGI scripts
* Frameworks such as Django and TurboGears
* High-end solutions such as Zope
* Advanced content management systems such as Plone
For custom web solutions and other internet-based applications:
- * Extensive support for HTML and XML
* E-mail processing
* Processing RSS feeds
* Support for many other Internet protocols
Python also offers choices for other applicatiohn development but it’s beyond the scope of this website. You can find out more here.
Dimdim, the world’s open source web conferencing company, today launched its new Dimdim 4.5 edition and simultaneously released the complete source code to the open source community.
With this release, Dimdim officially exits its beta phase while introducing significant new customer-requested features designed to enable businesses, organizations and consumers to cut the costs of their expensive legacy conferencing products while enjoying improved performance, openness and ease of use.
So, if you pay for WebEx conferencing software (or other software like this) now it’s a good time to take a look at DimDim. After all, this isn’t the best economic times we’ve seen so cutting costs where we can should be a priority for all of us.
Dimdim also introduced the new SynchroLive Communication Platform that automatically scales its performance to ensure all live communications are synchronized; whether sharing the desktop, webcam, PowerPoint, whiteboard or web pages. SynchroLive ensures superior performance, security, and always-on reliability, enabling a whole host of collaborative activities that have never been possible before. SynchroLive Co-Browsing is one example of this innovation at work: it is now easy to share your web browsing experience with multiple people.
Simply start a Dimdim room and send anyone your room’s URL. Now as you scroll through any web page SynchroLive lets your guests see what you see as you navigate, scroll and click through web pages at will. For example, a meeting host can view a YouTube video and every attendee will immediately see this video play in their browser. Simultaneously attendees can chat, talk, and see the presenter live using just their browser.
DimDim has three options:
- free (complete feature set and maximum 20 people in a room)
- Pro $99/year (complete feature set including unlimited number of meetings and no software download, maximum 100 people in a room and custom branding)
- Enterprise $1998/year (complete feature set, maximum 1000 people in a room, custom branding and simultaneous meetings)
WebEx, for example, starting price is $59/month. Quite a difference.
Synchronized with the release of Dimdim 4.5 is the launch of “Liberty”, the latest Open Source Community Edition based on the new commercial hosted version. Dimdim has released Liberty’s complete source code under a GPL3 license with no limit to the number of attendees, meetings or mashups that can be created. To ensure setup is as easy as possible, Liberty is also available as a downloadable VMWare Virtual Appliance.
DimDim has also integration with:
- * Zimbra: Dimdim now offers a free zimlet for Zimbra’s open source email system
* Moodle: Dimdim is integrated with version 1.9 of Moodle’s Course Management System
* SugarCRM: Dimdim is integrated with the leading open source customer relationship management system
* Claroline: Dimdim is embedded within with the collaborative learning environment
Checkout the free edition here.
WordPress fans and critics alike have avidly awaited the release, considering this as the close-to-final version of WordPress 2.7 before its final release, originally targeted last November 10. The 280 commits have polished the new admin UI and finally solved many blocker bug problems. The new UI now includes the menu icons created by Ben Dunkle and Verena Segert, the winners of Project Icon, WordPress’ icon-making contest.
The RC1 roll out is a significant milestone for the WordPress team because this means they have finally moved to the last leg of development before the final release of WordPress 2.7. This comes after a series of beta releases that attempted to solve a series of showstopper bugs.
RC1 is ready for use in production, and WordPress encourages users to help evaluate the said release with the end-goal of improving the final release version 2.7.
WordPress 2.7, by the way, is touted to be packed with better graphics and functionalities, taking the simple task of blogging into a higher level.
You can download the RC1 here.