Are you looking for a way to back up on S3?

Have you ever wanted to back up to S3?  How about Google Storage or Rack Space’s storage solution?  There is an amazing little piece of software that will let you create a drive.  It really does a lot more than that.  It also encrypts everything you put up there.  It compresses it and it does de-duplication.  Wait there is more, it also does copy-on-write snapshotting, is optimized for high performance and supports low bandwidth connections.  

So what’s it called?  S3QL written and maintained by Nikolaus Rath.

Here is how they describe it:

S3QL effectively provides a hard disk of dynamic, infinite capacity that can be accessed from any computer with internet access running Linux, FreeBSD or OS-X.

So far our tests have proven that it works great.  So if you are looking for an easy way to backup linux or freebsd systems onto a cloud solution check this out.  They even provide a script to help you do parallel rsync backup for even faster performance.

If you are on Ubuntu check out this article on how to get it setup.  If you aren’t don’t worry the documentation on the site is very complete.  There is a great wiki and active community.

What really happened between Microsoft and OpenStack…

Check out this article that tries to put some context to the discussion about what went wrong with between OpenStack and Microsoft.  Assuming that the facts are correct the story explains a lot.  According to this Microsoft let Citrix work on it’s contribution to OpenStack.  When Citrix needed to re-task those developers the work on OpenStack stopped.  Instead of Microsoft stepping back in and picking it up they just let it stall.  Microsoft has committed to upping it’s efforts and get things back on track.  We can only wait and see but this is pretty much par for the course where there interaction with open source is concerned.

Open API’s VS. Open Source….

WARNING THE LINKED TO ARTICLE IS A DIFFICULT READ!!!  The concepts are good but there is almost no conclusion and a really hard path to follow.  The reason we are pointing to it is to try and help form a conclusion.  The bulk of the article talks about what the author sees as a sift from open source to open API’s.  Will companies sift away from Open Source?  The problem with the question is that it’s not a zero sum gain.  Take Google for instance, they offer both Open Source software they develope and Open API’s for developers to use.  As does both Amazon and E-Bay.  There are serious problems when you build an applicaiton or business on open API’s as opposed to Open Source.  With Open Source the software is yours to use and while you may be never get another update to the code you at least have the code and could hire a developer to fix/update to meet your needs.  With an Open API if the company shuts off the API you are out of luck.  The most recent example of this is the changes over at Twitter.  Twitter wanted to make money and changed how things worked to make it happen.  Unfortunately if you wrote an app that relied on something they removed from the API you are out of luck and get to re-write your app.  So what do we want to make you aware of?  Remember when you write your application that you need to control where your data is and comes from.  If you don’t have data you really probably don’t have an application.  So if all of your data comes from an Open API what will you do if that API goes away?  What if the companies who’s API your using goes under or starts competing with you.

Episode 61 – 2012 begins will this be the end of the world?

It’s Official Apache now controls Open Office..

That’s right it’s finally offical.  The Apache Foundation are now the proud maintainers of OpenOffice.  The question we are asking is whether there are really enough developers to maintain two complete but office suites?  Since the LibreOffice group split off their copy of Open Office they have been strong and viberant.  They have released no les than 4 versions since the split.  OpenOffice by comparison has not had a release since the split.  Only time will tell if the Apache Foundation can revieve what was the strongest competitor to MS Office.  For more details check out the write up here at thevarguy.com.

Open Source helps innovation thrive…

Simmon Phipps wrote a nice piece for his blog over on computerworlduk.com pointing out some great points about why closed source leads to less innovation.  One of the best ones is that closed source means that you always have to support it.  This keeps a lot of people from making the effort because they don’t want to the commitment.  Opening up the source code gives you the freedom to walk away or at least easily transfer management to another person.  Passing off the baton of leadership for your project so it can live on beyond you.  It’s a nice read with several nice points.