Links: Open Source Research, Dell Systems Management, Google Stickyness

  • Research Shows Effectiveness of Open Source Model of Developmentthe homepage for the research group has lots of interesting looking papers. The othe research groups at the ISR look interesting as well.
  • Dell Pushes Management Standards:

    [Customers] have to choose to invest in multiple proprietary vertically integrated management stacks from each of the vendors for their hardware in parallel to the management they’re using to manage their operating system and application deployment. That increases their costs of managing the environment. If they don’t do that, then ultimately they are locked into one or, if they’re lucky, two vendors, and have to live with the decisions that vendor makes, which won’t always be optimized to the business problem that they’re trying to solve inside their industry.

    We [in the high-tech industry] have tried to out-innovate each other, but ultimately that has driven up the cost of ownership for customers.

  • Google Stickiness, Command Line Interface to the Web:

    Google has decided that its customers should gather information through inputs of text search terms by using more or less the same simple interface to search for news, things to buy, or any other topic. That’s a small but important distinction. Google assumes that customers are smart enough to learn to search with words rather than with the graphical and pull-down menus used by most of its competitors. That’s an understandable bet. Google has gone from upstart to Internet star with a business plan based on that assumption.

    This is an interesting point: Google really is a command line interface (CLI) to the web. Well, of course, a sort of modern day CLI that’s done through a web browser instead of a shell. Nonetheless, it’s wide use and popularity gives hope that the optimist have been right about everyone being able to use CLI’s. They’re so much quicker (at least, for simple tasks) once you figure them out.

    Also of interest, and alluded to, is the extremely loose coupled architecture of Google’s services. To “integrate” with feeds and UPS tracking they didn’t have to exchange code with either of those companies, Google just used the most brilliant and simple RPC ever: the URL…and, implicitly, HTTP.

    There’s also this interesting marketing note:

    At the same time, being included among Google’s services could become a key selling point for companies such as FedEx. It’s not that much of a hassle to go directly to the DHL Web site to track packages shipped on that FedEx competitor. But when anyone can check package status directly from the Google toolbar, that constitutes a nice little edge for FedEx or UPS. In the brutally competitive package-shipping business, that small advantage can have a big impact.

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