LJ Archive

New Products

James Gray

Issue #264, April 2016

Linaro Announces Software Reference Platform for ARM

With the launch of its Software Reference Platform for ARMv8-A processors, Linaro is proud to enable both a complete end-to-end open-source server software stack and access to enterprise-class ARM-based server hardware for developers. The build for the Linaro Enterprise Group is a complete reference implementation for ARM servers, including open-source boot software and firmware implementing the ARM Trusted Firmware, UEFI and ACPI standards, a Linux 4.4 kernel, tested latest Debian and CentOS distributions, OpenStack, OpenJDK, Hadoop and Spark. A build for the Linaro Mobile Group also is available. Linaro expects the platform to be utilized by Linaro members and the wider community for enterprise products and cloud-instance development and deployment. During 2016, the Linaro Software Reference Platform releases will provide market-segment-specific application stacks to support an increasing range of data-center, networking and home-gateway applications.


Kolab Systems AG and Collabora's CloudSuite

The chemistry created by the Kolab Systems-Collabora Productivity partnership enabled CloudSuite, the first 100% open-source, enterprise-grade cloud office suite. Kolab Systems' contribution is its Kolab open-source groupware and collaboration framework; Collabora Productivity is the architect behind LibreOffice Online, the cloud-based office productivity suite. The integration of CloudSuite into Kolab allows users to work on documents simultaneously using a full-featured on-line office suite. Collaboratively, they can compose text documents, fill spreadsheets and design presentations, even from different locations. Documents can be saved in Microsoft-compatible and Open Document formats. The CloudSuite offering also includes Collabora Office, a professional LibreOffice distribution, for off-line use on the desktop. An important motivation for both firms in this effort involves a desire to move away from closed and insecure solutions to ones that respect users' freedoms, protect their privacy and guarantee their work will not be locked away in proprietary formats.

kolabsys.com, collaboraoffice.com

AdaCore's SPARK Pro

With this new version of the SPARK Pro toolset, AdaCore comes one step closer to its goal of making the writing of proven software both efficient and pleasant. As part of its new SPARK Pro 16 integrated development and verification environment, AdaCore further simplifies software engineers' transition to greater reliance on static verification and formal proofs sans need for expertise in mathematical logic. SPARK Pro 16 also provides enhanced coverage of the SPARK 2014 language features and now supports the Ravenscar tasking profile, thus extending the benefits of formal verification methods to a safe subset of Ada 2012 concurrent programming features. This new SPARK Pro can generate counter-examples to verification conditions that cannot be proved, making it easier for developers to find defects in the functional code or in the supplied contracts. Finally, SPARK Pro 16 also improves the handling of bitwise/modular operations, and the product's proof engine now includes the Z3 SMT solver.


Canonical and BQ's Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition Tablet

Canonical's broad vision for Ubuntu Linux is to offer a single, converged personal computing experience across devices. This vision has taken a leap forward with the launch of the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet, “the first fully converged Ubuntu device” released by Canonical together with its European partner, BQ. As a converged device, the Aquarius M10 with dynamically adaptive user experience is capable of providing both a true tablet and the full Ubuntu desktop experiences. The former becomes the latter by simply plugging in a monitor via the HDMI port or connecting a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth. Canonical hopes to offer customers everything they have come to expect from an Ubuntu PC, now on the tablet. Ubuntu is already the preferred desktop OS for more than 30 million users worldwide, and the first Ubuntu phones have proven successful as well. With this latest software release and the launch of the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition, Canonical notes that Ubuntu is now the only platform that runs both a mobile-based full-touch interface and a true PC experience from a single smart device. Hundreds of apps and scopes (content-specific home screens) already are available in the Ubuntu App Store.


Varnish Software's Hitch

Making life easier for the 2.2 million Web sites that deploy the Varnish Cache HTTP engine is the point of Hitch from Varnish Software. The recently updated Hitch is a scalable, open-source network proxy designed to handle tens of thousands of connections on multicore machines efficiently. Maker Varnish describes Hitch's benefits as easy to configure, a low memory footprint and the ideal way of terminating client-side SSL/TLS for Varnish. The deployment process for Varnish Cache is streamlined by the support for the PROXY protocol, which lets Varnish consider the original client's endpoints as if there were no TLS proxy in between. Hitch is tested on Linux, but works on other *nixes as well. Hitch's features include support for TLS1.0-1.2; SNI, with and without wild-card certificates; support for HAProxy's PROXY protocol; seamless configuration run-time reload support and performance of up to 15,000 listening sockets and 500,000 certificates.

hitch-tls.org, varnish-software.com

ACI Worldwide's UP Retail Payments

As customers of global-payments solution provider ACI Worldwide retire aging platforms, they are clamoring for Linux-based options. ACI Worldwide has responded with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux version of UP Retail Payments, a complete and customizable end-to-end enterprise payments solution. UP Retail Payments, targeted at banks and processors, combines the benefits of ACI's BASE24 and UP BASE24-eps solutions. BASE24 is ACI's retail payment platform; UP Framework orchestrates any payment type, channel, currency or network. ACI's approach with this solution is like a bridge between BASE24 customers' current systems and evolving end-user demands, enabling them to continue running some or all of their systems into the foreseeable future. This strategy lowers risk and costs, adds ACI, eliminating the need to “rip and replace” systems to address emerging payment needs. ACI emphasizes the advantages of the new RHEL version of UP Retail Payments, such as a 50% reduction in TCO while increasing performance, scalability and reliability.


EnterpriseDB's EDB Postgres Advanced Server and EDB Postgres Enterprise Manager

The elegance of open source is on full display with new product releases like EnterpriseDB's (EDB's) new PostreSQL-based database solutions. On the heels of the significant PostgreSQL 9.5 update come two EnterpriseDB solutions that take Postgres further, namely EDB Postgres Advanced Server 9.5 and EDB Postgres Enterprise Manager 6.0. EDB Postgres Advanced Server integrates additional capabilities and security into Postgres that large companies and governments require in order to use it, and this new v9.5 features the following: preconfigured integration with Hadoop and MongoDB, enhanced security with password profiles, expanded compatibility with Oracle to ease and speed migrations, and dramatic performance increases through vertical scaling optimizations. Meanwhile, EDB Postgres Enterprise Manager, EDB's single console for tuning, monitoring and administering large Postgres deployments, adds enhancements as well in this v6.0 release. These include Nagios support, failover management, a streaming replication wizard, audit log alerts and an improved alert UI.


BitTorrent Inc.'s Sync

The Sync application from BitTorrent Inc. is simple yet powerful, offering the ability to move large amounts of data directly between devices. The new Sync 2.3 provides new features to support power users seeking to unlock Sync's full potential. BitTorrent says that Sync is simple to use in combination with a cloud provider's storage space or NAS to ensure data redundancy for backup. Of course, having data stored anywhere on third-party infrastructure is a serious concern. The new Encrypted Folder feature in Sync 2.3 solves this issue by providing the ability to encrypt data at rest on any designated location. Encrypted Folders can be shared to read-only nodes to provide an off-site snapshot of data without providing direct access, or users can deploy multiple Encrypted Folders to increase the reliability of a peer swarm. Another new feature is support for moving data to and from an SD card on Android 5+ devices. Finally, Selective Sync support is available on all flavors of Sync for Linux. Users download only the files they need, when they need them, without having to replicate entire folders on their beloved Linux boxes.


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