CA Working on Linux Kernel Intercept Module

 
 
By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-05-24
 
 
 

Linux is getting driven deeper into the core products of Computer Associates International.

At its CAWorld conference in Las Vegas this week, CA will make several announcements regarding extended support for Linux and open-source software.

Central to the effort, according to Computer Associates International Inc. officials in Islandia, N.Y., is the formation of a new open-source foundation that will house and support open-source code, which will be made available under open-source licenses, officials said.

CA also will discuss KGEM (Kernel Generalized Event Management), a generic facility that enables kernel events to be communicated to user applications, according to Sam Greenblatt, senior vice president and chief architect of CAs Linux Technology Group.

"It is an intercept module, available on the open-source-code repository SourceForge, which allows any event that occurs in the Linux kernel to be raised to a package [or] an intercept," Greenblatt said.

For example, CA security packages wont have to modify the kernel or anything else, Greenblatt said.

"We are pretty excited about this," he said. "It is the first major step to creating a kernel that will be independent for ISVs. Were also excited about it because we have gotten endorsement from our friends at IBM and [Hewlett-Packard Co.] over it."

Greenblatt said Linux is "the key enabler for pervasive computing." Click here to read more.

Mark Barrenechea, senior vice president of product development for CA, added that KGEM involves building management capabilities into the Linux kernel, not just for CA but also for the industry.

Click here to read about CA extending its management tools for Linux.

Attendees at CAWorld can also expect to learn more about new patch management solutions, including the Vulnerability Management Service. Also on tap is some significant work by CA in the database and database management areas, including plans for commercial management and databases, Greenblatt said.

Despite the moves, some software developers and users are wary of CAs commitment to Linux. A developer in New Britain, Conn., who works on Linux and open-source software and who has developed software for PalmOne Inc.s PalmPilot, said CA is chasing new revenue opportunities, as any company should. "But their end-of-life policy for products and how they handled this in the past makes for some concern," the developer said.

One of his companys development teams recently selected the open-source database from MySQL AB. "I see no need to look to CA or Oracle [Corp.] or Microsoft [Corp.] for this," the developer said. "But the big question is how companies like CA deal with the threat posed by products like MySQL, [OpenOffice.org] and such."

To help convince such customers, CA will talk about the findings of a survey—which will be released after the conference—of 500 enterprise customers about Linux and what they want from it.

According to the survey, CA will say, customers want five main things: integration with existing applications, patch management, management tools, database tools and Web services tools for Linux.

Click here to read about CA taking the plunge into wireless LAN management.

Asked how CA was delivering on these objectives, Barrenechea said integration with Linux is not just about porting software but also about exploiting Linuxs uniqueness. "The ability to do job management, to assign work to processors, requires new code," he said.

"Were doing this across security, across our product portfolio, from operations infrastructure to network systems management as well as life-cycle management."

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