The Monkey Lab
Virtualization - Differing views on containers
Interesting stuff on virtualization from virtualizaiton.info reporting on the recent Linux Symposium:
What emerged since the very first day
of this year Linux Symposium is that various virtualization approaches have to reach a common standard before being considered for Linux kernel inclusion. In other words it's unlikely one technology will be chosen over others.
SWsoft is reporting different positions about the specific virtualization approach called OS partitioning, implemented by mentioned solution like its products Virtuozzo (commercial) and OpenVZ (open source), Sun Solaris Containers, UML, Linux-VServer and others:
Eric Biederman wants to have so-called namespaces in kernel. Namespaces are basically a building blocks of containers, for example, with user namespace we have an ability to have the same root user in different containers; network namespace gives an ability to have a separate network interface; process namespace is when you have an isolated set of processes. All the namespaces combined together creates a container. But, as Eric states, an ability to use not all but only selected namespaces gives endless possibilities to a user.
IBM people want application containers, and for them the main purpose of such containers is live migration of those. The difference between app. container and the ?full? (system) container is a set of features: for example, an application container might lack /proc virtualization, devices, pseudo-terminals (needed to run ssh, for example) etc. So, an application container might be seen as a subset of a system container.
OpenVZ wants system containers that resemble the real system as much as possible. In other words, we want to preserve existing kernel APIs as much as possible inside a container, so all of the existing Linux distributions and applictions should run fine inside a container without any modifications. Of course, the goal is not 100% achievable, for example we do not want the container to be able to set the system time.
Linux-VServer wants just about the same as OpenVZ, it?s only that their implementations of various components are different, and their level of a container resembling a real system is a bit lower (for example, in networking).
Read the whole article at source
Solution convergence is a huge problem here like in Xen / VMware server virtualization approaches. And an agreement seems too far at the moment.
MyNoteIt - Web 2.0 for students and workgroups
God I wish I had this when I was in college:
From the website:
MynoteIT is an extremely powerful utility for any student at any grade level. You can store all your school information in one place, and access it anywhere in the world instantly.
Here are some reasons why every student would benifit from mynoteIT.
* Tell us the scores you get on assignments throughout the semester and we will automatically calculate your grade.
* Instant access to your teacher's contact information.
* Our note taking area has an auto-save feature so you never lose any of your notes if your browser crashes. You can also lookup words you don't know, and translate words between languages, instantly inside your workspace.
* If you need help on a certain subject, use our community search to find what you need, even bookmark notes for later use. Need to find those notes you thought you would never need from two months ago? Use the Your Search option to search through your notes instantly.
* Build a friends list so you can easily get in contact with your classmates.
* Our calendar allows you to view all your upcoming assignments so you never forget what is due again. Create (or join) groups at your school so you can more easily share information with the people who need it.
Middle age for startups
A friend of mine has a hardware startup called PowerToad. Typical to any middle-aged startup, they are suffering from growing pains. It is imperative for startups to begin moving from the "sell it to anyone who sniffs at us" phase, to really focusing on just exactly, what type of market you are focusing on
? Those questions are the most salient for PowerToad as they have signed up a number of high profile clients, but as of yet it doesn't appear they are cash flow positive and need just the right marketing and sales effort to make it all happen. This post from Early Stage VC seemed to fit the bill. Jeff if you're reading, take a look.
Business Model, Schmizness Model
The term “business model” has bothered me for a long time. I have always found it to be a glib method of characterizing a company’s relationship with its various constituencies, e.g., customers, suppliers, competitors, etc. The problem isn’t really the concept. The problem is that it’s a complex, multidimensional structure that doesn’t really lend itself to a summary sentence, at least not if you really want to understand the business. Yet it one of those economic terms that has entered the popular lexicon as the rise of business schools in the 1970s and 1980s mainstreamed “businessperson” as a profession (like engineer, doctor, or lawyer).
Wikipedia does a decent job of summarizing the cacophony of ideas that are embodied in the term business model. I won’t recount them here. The reason the question “what’s your business model?” bothers me it that the inquirer often judges the answer based on its parsimony, as though simple is prima facie evidence of good. Occam’s razor applied to business strategy.
I myself will sometimes ask others the question, but I use it to test for complexity, not simplicity. I use it as a Rorschach to see how deeply the respondent has thought about the market and which aspects of the business appear most salient to him or her.
In preparing for this entry, I started to ask myself how do I think about a business model? And how do I test if business models are complete, coherent, and compelling? When I worked at Bain in the early 1980’s the firm then specialized in ‘strategy’ and ‘business definition,’ equally amorphous concepts. (Amorphous is good when you bill by the hour). We used to refer to three tests to define whether two companies were in the same business – similarities of cost structures, competitors, and customers.
So I sat down and drew this little graphic for myself to try and outline the key concepts that seem to appear in the “business models” of companies that I see in my practice. I don’t claim this is complete or some form of ‘ground truth.’ It is a snapshot of the concepts that I most readily gravitate toward when I think about “what’s your business model?” I am sure I have left out huge chunks that will become obvious when I go to my next deal pitch meeting tomorrow.
I am not going to explain every facet. Most of it is self-evident (I hope). However, a couple of things are worth noting. First, at the center are the terms “lever” and “return on equity.” I think of all these bubbles as knobs or levers in the machine that is a business. Not all are equally important, but all are impactful choices that Management has made about the business, even if the choice is to ignore this facet. Second, the objective I want to maximize is return on equity, not growth, not revenue, and not necessarily even market share, though these may be part of what generates ROE.
I have enumerated some of the common choices more for illustration than prescription. I should point out the category of “enterprise asset” because I think of this as a separate objective beyond barrier to entry. The “enterprise asset” is that intangible that is the difference between book value and enterprise value. It is the reason why an acquirer is drawn to the business beyond the NPV of the earnings stream. It is the strategic value or what accountants call goodwill. This box is particularly important in early stage investing, as the exits are so often around acquisition. The business should have a clear definition of its ‘residual value’ to a potential set of acquirers.
Hopefully some will find this useful as a checklist. There is nothing Web 2.0 about this framework. And there shouldn’t be. Business is applied microeconomics -- Web 2.0 or pest extermination (perhaps a poor juxtaposition – I need an editor.) Anyway I feel better for having shared my quick and dirty model of a business model. Thanks for listening.
So, quick, what's your business model, anyway?
20 Chinese firms in Fortune's top 500
Something of interest:
Twenty Chinese companies, including four newcomers, rank among the 500 largest firms in the world in Fortune magazine's latest Global 500 list to be published on July 24. China's three largest state-owned construction firms made the list for the first time, with China Railway Engineering debuting at 441, China Railway Construction 485, and China State Construction 486. Shanghai Automotive, at 475, also made the list for the first time, but China First Automotive dropped from 448 last year to 470. Sinopec remains the largest Chinese company on the list, rising from 31 to 23, followed by State Grid, up from 40 to 32, and China National Petroleum, up from 46 to 39. China's four state-owned commercial banks also moved up the rankings: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China jumped from 299 to 199, Bank of China from 399 to 255, China Construction Bank from 315 to 277, and Agricultural Bank of China from 397 to 377.
Comparatively, India only has 6 companies in the Fortune 500
: Reliance Industries Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. State Bank of India just joined at 498th. The highest ranked is IOC, or Indian Oil Corporation. None of India, Inc. makes the 500. Heavy industry still puts companies in the Fortune 500 it appears.
This and that, here and there on tech and other stuff.