LINUXWORLD: Proprietary era is over, IBM exec to say

In this keynote address at LinuxWorld Conference and Expo on Wednesday, a top IBM executive plans to proclaim that the heyday of proprietary platforms are over and that open-source computing will be what primarily shapes e-businesses, particularly open-source grid computing.

William Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive of IBM's server group, will credit the open-source community for "revolutionizing the industry" and say that those vendors not aligned with that community will "be on the wrong side of history."

"The future of the open-source movement will lead to new and exciting Internet opportunities. The Internet began as a platform communicating, but going forward it will evolve into a platform for computing -- grid computing," according to a draft document that highlights some of his expected remarks.

Zeitler will chronicle the progress and penetration Linux and other open-source technologies have made starting with TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), the Internet, applications, and now up to the operating systems level via Linux. The next logical step is to continue that progress on to grid computing, Zeitler believes.

Zeitler sees a world in which open grid computing will connect up a wide variety of resources over the Internet and make possible computing on tap, or e-business on demand.

"The model that has defined the computer industry from the mainframe to the PC is over," according to the draft.

Zeitler will also talk about how its Global Grid infrastructure products and strategies smoothly intersect with its Project eLiza, the company's initiative to produce a raft of next-generation self-managing, self-healing infrastructure products.

"Bill [Zeitler] will tie together Grid computing and the open-source movement, making the point that wouldn't it be nice to satisfy distributed users and computing and distributed data set requirements and to do so in an open fashion," said Dan Powers, IBM's vice president of Linux Solutions.

IBM will discuss its upcoming toolkits that will allow both AIX and Linux users to better "Grid enable" their applications.

"We are working very closely with IBM's Global Service and to make that happen," Powers said.

Powers said grid computing's road to broad commercial acceptance is the same one traveled by Linux and Web services, in that each has got its start in the academic, scientific, and medical communities before it caught on in the commercial markets.

"Where you see application work starting to develop is in the research communities, and then among those companies that are tied to research such as medical, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies," Powers said.

Also during his keynote, Zeitler is expected to announce that E-Trade plans to migrate its Sun servers over to IBM's eServer xSeries environment running Linux.

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