Shifts for Enterprise Linux, Green Networks in '09
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Also this year, the breakneck pace of development in networking technology continued apace. But with concerns about security and energy consumption at all time highs, there's still a great deal of work that needs to get done. And quickly.
We'll explore both as InternetNews.com's ongoing series of predictions for the coming year in technology rolls on!
2009 will be a big year for enterprise Linux with both of the major enterprise Linux distributions expected to make new releases. Red Hat at some point in 2009 may release Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6, its first major enterprise Linux update since the debut of RHEL 5 in March of 2007.
In 2009, Novell will roll out Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 its first update since SLES 10 in 2006.
In terms of scheduled Linux releases, Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope is scheduled for April 23, 2009, and Red Hat Fedora 11 is currently targeted for a May 26, 2009 release.
For the Linux kernel itself, I expect that Chris Mason's BTRFS filesystem will get merged into the mainline Linux kernel in the first quarter of 2009. BTRFS is a next-generation file system that could put Linux ahead of other operating systems for storage and mission-critical applications.
Mozilla and SCO
Mozilla is likely to release Firefox 3.1 early in 2009 with work beginning in earnest for their next iteration which could be numbered as Firefox 4. The Mozilla Thunderbird email client will finally hit version 3 in 2009, hopefully with the lighting calendar add-on in tow.
On the legal front, SCO -- yes, it will still exist in 2009 -- will continue its myriad appeals against Novell and attempt to press for a court date with IBM.
Networks get smarter on security and energy
After years of wrangling, I'm going to forecast that 2009 will be a big year for DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). The big hang-up to date is getting the root DNS zones for the Internet -- which are operated by Verisign -- digitally signed to support DNSSEC. It's a large job and one that I forecast will be something that ICANN (or maybe the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA) will mandate in 2009.
Meanwhile, the IEEE Energy Efficient Ethernet standard is likely to be ratified in 2009. This will provide networks and network equipment manufacturers with new mechanisms to dramatically cut the amount of power used by networking gear.
Expectations are for power reductions of up to 50 percent through the new standard. If accurate, that impact stands to have dramatic ramifications for the environment and for enterprises' efforts to cut costs in 2009 -- and beyond.