Telstra standardises on Linux, Unix

 
Telstra chief information officer Jeff Smith has revealed plans to shift the telco's back-office systems to the Linux operating system “wherever possible”, to take advantage of the platform's commodity pricing.

And where Linux cannot scale to cope with the company's gargantuan applications – such as its billing systems – Telstra plans to shift to a Unix base, Smith said. Or more specifically, the shift will be to the Sun Solaris flavour of Unix.

Telstra has already standardised all enterprise application development work on the Linux platform, Smith said. And it has already implemented Linux extensively across its IT infrastructure, particularly in Web servers, and increasingly application server functions.

Within three years, Telstra's entire back-office architecture will be either Linux-based, or Solaris-based, Smith told the IT Leaders Summit in Sydney on Thursday.

“(Linux) is an area that is just exploding,” Smith said.

“I have always been a Linux fan, but I don't think I have ever seen anything in the last 10 years – outside of the Internet in the mid-nineties – that has exploded the way that Linux has,” he said.

Linux had become a fundamental cornerstone of Telstra's longer term plans to build an entirely IP-based network architecture, Smith said. The IP network would become the fundamental platform from which Telstra will sell its range of utility-based products and services ranging from voice telephony to data storage, to collaboration and application services.

“We're going through a whole blueprint right now at the application level on the migration of all our legacy systems, and that will primarily be to Linux and Unix,” Smith said.

“But because Linux can't scale all the way up, you can mix and match. I can use Linux application servers and Unix database servers – I think that's the mix that you're going to see,” he said.

“For our billing system, for example, we're going to need a big, honking Unix platform. And on the Unix side, it's going to be Solaris.”

Telstra announced mid-year that it would standardise its back-end infrastructure on the Sun Microsystems SunONE network architecture. Smith revealed yesterday that all of that back-end, J2EE application development work was being done entirely on Linux systems.

Although Telstra had committed to standardising backend development on the SunONE J2EE platform, Smith said Microsoft's competing .NET platform would still have its place, and may be used to develop customer-facing applications at Telstra.

In a wide-ranging discussion on the future of telecommunications services – and the future of Telstra services specifically – Smith said Linux would also become a primary component of the network architecture.

Switch manufacturers were quickly moving from building proprietary boxes running proprietary operating systems to Intel-based commodity switches running Linux.

Smith said it had been the amount of work being done within universities on the Linux platform that had convinced him it would be a dominant business of the future.

“If you're out there looking at solutions, and wondering which environments are going to win, then (Linux) is not a fly-by-night kind of platform. This is very serious,” Smith said.

“If you look at the universities, everybody is building things on Linux – and the basic reason is that it's free,” he said.

“If you look at the last 20 years of innovations – like Microsoft being born, Sun being born, or Yahoo, or the Mosaic browser and FreeBSD – the common characteristic among all these developments is that they were all formed by students.”


 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1447

Vote