Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin Offers Sneak Peek at 2010 End User Summit

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 08, 2010

The Linux Foundation rolled out it's speaker lineup for its invitation-only 2010 End User Summit slated to be held October 12-12, 2010 in New Jersey. The event is designed to bring CTOs and other business executives together with high-level maintainers and developers in the Linux community to discuss critical issues surrounding using Linux in the enterprise.

Presenters at this year's summit include IBM's Gerrit Huizenga talking about public and private clouds, a panel of key Linux kernel developers discussing storage and filesytems, and a keynote from British Telecom’s Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami on "Why the Cloud Rocks." Of course, Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation will be giving a keynote at the event as well. We caught up with him this week to hear what he has to say about the upcoming Summit, what message attendees will take away, and what he'll be talking about onstage this year.

OStatic: What's the takeaway message you hope attendees will come away with after this event?

That Linux is growing, thriving and changing and users are a part of that momentum. Linux users and developers who attend this event walk away knowing that their voices have been heard and they've contributed in a very real way to the advancement of Linux.

OStatic: How would you respond to those who say that CTOs, highest-level maintainers, etc aren't necessarily representative of what some people consider to be "Linux end users"? In other words, what real-world implications does the Summit have for John and Judy Linux-user?

The users who are invited to attend the Linux Foundation's End User Summit are pushing the envelope on Linux and represent enterprise end users, those who are pushing Linux in large scale environments. They are the leading indicator for what the larger market will need out of Linux in the near future. Also, the collaboration that takes place at the End User Summit can have real influence on what features and functionality are ultimately included in the Linux kernel and make their way into every user's life - whether it be on their servers at work or their desktop at home. The great thing about Linux is that power management features needed by a stock exchange for their huge data servers will end up making your laptop run more efficiently.

OStatic: Can you give me an example or two of some issues that have been clarified, advanced, or resolved thanks to the collaborative efforts of Summit attendees?

Tracing is one example. Linux frankly has needed to get better in this area, and the collaboration between large enterprise users and the developers of the technology is really starting to pay dividends. It's extremely helpful for the developers to hear from the users about how the technology is used and what users would like to see. These users are also sophisticated developers in their own right, so you're seeing smart people come together to solve problems. Security has been another area that has benefited from this collaboration.

OStatic: I'm sure it was tough to narrow down topics of focus this year. What issues may not get addressed this year that you wish had made the cut?

It is always tough to narrow down topics for our events, because there are so many important contributions to the Linux community. Security was one area we wish we had more time for this year but the advances in file systems, tracing and virtualization are just too big. We're also including Open Spaces Sessions this year, which provide moderators on general topics such as virtualization, but where anyone who attends can influence the direction of the session. This helps to spark collaboration opposed to mere observation.

OStatic: Can you give readers an advance peek at what you'll have to say during your keynote on Linux and next-generation enterprise computing?

Linux is the fabric of computing. It's powering and dominating next-generation technologies in every industry. Utilities are using it as the foundation for the smart grid; almost every mobile device maker is standardizing on Linux; and the world's largest enterprises are using the operating system to power the cloud and virtualization. I'll talk about the implications this has on users, the kernel community and the competition. It's exciting to be working on a technology whose relevance hasn't wavered in 20 years; in fact, it just keeps getting more deeply woven into the fabric of our technically advanced lives.