Linux Rules the Day at CA World

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-15 Print this article Print

Computer Associates devotes a day to Linux at its CA World show that will include sessions on the future of Linux and how to establish a solid platform, as it works on a range of Linux products and a partnership with Ximian.

LAS VEGAS—Computer Associates International Inc., which has pegged Tuesday as Linux Solution Day at its CA World conference here, is working on a range of new Linux deals, initiatives and products, including an upcoming formal partnership with Linux solution provider Ximian Inc. CA is also proposing its current Event Notification Facility (ENF) as a stand-alone product for use in the Linux community. ENF is a set of interfaces that allow things like security products to directly plug into the Linux kernel without having to make source-level modifications. "What we want to do is open this up as a stand-alone package and put it out in the open-source community so that Red Hat and all the other Linux vendors can just pick it up as part of their normal build," Sam Greenblatt, senior vice president and chief architect of the Computer Associates Linux Development Group, told eWEEK on Monday here at CA World.
As an operating system interface service that enables applications to obtain event data from the operating system, this stand-alone product is essentially a way of registering product functions when certain events occur.
It is also generalized and not limited just to CAs line of products as "anybody with kernel dependencies will benefit from it," Greenblatt said. SuSE Linux evaluated the product and has signed on to use it, Greenblatt said, while Red Hat is currently evaluating it. The greatest challenge is achieving critical mass and getting consensus on the product in the Linux community, he said. The development of the product was a shift for CA, which is now moving away from writing specifications first and developing the product later toward a policy of writing the code first and then going to the community with it, as is evidenced in this set of interfaces. The product is necessary as there is a class of products today that have code in the Linux kernel and every time even the smallest patch comes along, the people writing the patches do not really have upward compatibility in mind, Greenblatt said. "They will add fields in the middle of structures and theyll change semantics, which makes it very difficult to keep up with if you are a vendor of something with kernel code," he said. "So what weve proposed is a set of interfaces that allow things like security products to directly plug into the kernel without having to have these source-level modifications."

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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