Saturday, March 1, 2008

AppStacks - one stack, many possibilities

This weekend we wrapped up testing of our "Appliance Stacks" under AppOS 4.0, and started beta testing those same stacks under MacOS X 10.5. Appliance Stacks or "AppStacks" as we call them, are a self contained image that provides a secure and optimized stack. AppStacks can be run from within any existing Linux operating system, but require AppOS for some of enhanced security features.

Well we have just completed our QA process of AppOS running within existing virtualized environments, such as VMware ESX and Parallels. This will allow ISVs to develop for a single platform (AppOS) and still support legacy Linux platforms. While for maximum security, we recommend the use of AppOS natively on a server, Spliced Networks is about providing a choice to the community.

With AppOS there is no steep learning curve, no need to learn a completely new packaging system, and the solution makes it simple to QA the resulting product. You just have to ./configure and go! Something practically *EVERY* open source developer out there knows how to do.

rPath's calculator shows benefits do not scale

Earlier this week rPath announced a "cost savings benefit" calculator. I thought I would take a look. After plugging in some generic values for costs, I took a look at exactly what savings you can expect. If you currently support just one operating system, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, there are no R&D and no additional revenue gains at all. According to rPath's own calculator, there are *NO* R&D benefits from just one OS. I found this interesting, because rPath on many occasions have indicated how much of a time savings benefit it is to use Conary. Now their calculator looks like its back tracking on that?

Their calculator shows a static 40% cost savings benefit on support. Whats interesting is that according to their calculator, the benefits of rPath do not scale beyond 8 support operating systems. So if you need to QA lets say 10 operating systems, there is no additional cost savings benefits.

This calculator is very questionable, it provides some nice numbers, but there is no explanation of the savings. Apparently, if you use rPath their calculator is claiming 15% or 16% increase in revenue. Perhaps it prints money? Its unrealistic, and doesn't appear to take into account the pricing program that rPath pushes on its customers.

It doesn't seem to take into account that real ISVs have to support legacy customers, so at any point in time, you might be supporting RHEL 4.x and 5.x, Fedora Core 6, 7 and 8, CentOS 4.x and 5.x, SuSE Enterprise, OpenSolaris, Solaris, Ubuntu Server, Gentoo and Debian.