Category Archives: Stiri IT Externe

Linux 5.13-rc7 Released Following A Very Calm Week


LINUX KERNEL --

Linus Torvalds is celebrating Father’s Day by releasing Linux 5.13-rc7. Kernel maintainers and testers managed to keep him happy the father of Linux happy this week by keeping to a small change set for this late-stage release candidate.

Torvalds wrote in the 5.13-rc7 announcement, “So we’ve had a very calm last week, and in fact if it hadn’t been for the networking side, it would have been positively tiny. Just over half the commits are from the networking tree, and honestly, though networking changes dominate, it’s not like there’s a ton of networking changes – it’s all pretty small. The two largest commits are a revert and a code movement patch for a build issue.

If this keeps up, Linux 5.13 stable could be released next Sunday without having to resort to a 5.13-rc8 that would otherwise put out the final release to 4 July.

Among the fixes added to Linux 5.13-rc7 are more fixes to the messy FPU/XSTATE code and a lot of other mostly mundane fixes.

See our Linux 5.13 feature overview to learn more about the changes in store for this summer 2021 kernel version.


Surface Suspension Protocol Proposed For Wayland


WAYLAND --

Joshua Ashton who is known for his work on DXVK (formerly D9VK) and related Steam Play / Proton graphics related efforts has submitted a proposal for a Wayland Surface-Suspension protocol.

The proposed “surface-suspension” protocol is about being able to know if/when a surface has been fully occluded/hidden. This is important with some Wayland compositors suspending the client’s windows’ buffers under such conditions.

With games/applications potentially hanging if the buffers are suspended when hidden from view, the Wayland Surface Suspension protocol can be quite practical. The proposal would allow for providing events when a surface buffer is suspended and then restored. In turn the windowing system integration and graphics APIs can handle these surface suspension events to take proper action. Knowing this information could also allow for possible efficiency gains around memory management and the like when being able to reliably know if a surface’s buffer is suspended.

The new Wayland protocol proposal is currently being discussed with various free software developers planning possible patches around it for Vulkan WSI and EGL handling, complementing some early work done by Joshua for Mesa and WLROOTS/Sway supporting of the newly proposed protocol.


GFX1013 Target Added To LLVM 13.0 For RDNA2 APUs


LLVM --

Merged last week to mainline LLVM 13.0 was the new “GFX1013” target for the AMDGPU shader compiler. Well, it landed twice as at first had to be reverted after breaking the build bots / sanitizer testing.

GFX1013 is the newest graphics target for AMDGPU LLVM. Notable out of the commit is confirmation that it’s for an RDNA2-based APU. Like with the other RDNA2 GPUs, the compiler target does confirm that GFX1013 does feature ray-tracing support with the BVH ray-tracing instructions being present.

Current rumors put the Ryzen 6000 series APUs as featuring Zen 3 (or Zen 3+) CPU cores with RDNA2 graphics. These “Rembrandt” APUs are also expected to launch with DDR5 memory support. Some more recent rumors put the Rembrandt APUs as having up to 12 CUs. In any case it will be great to see AMD APUs coming with RDNA2 in moving beyond Vega graphics.

The LLVM 13.0 compiler stack should be out as stable in September while waiting for the rest of the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics stack to get ironed out for AMD’s next-gen APUs.


Modern Network Automation is Missing from Modern IT


By and large, the pandemic has prompted IT leaders to rethink modernization efforts, recognizing how important agility, performance, and security have become in the wake of the widespread shift to remote work and the reorientation and digitization of business operations. In this effort, enterprises are finding increasing value in automation, particularly network automation, to streamline IT operations and accommodate fast-changing enterprise IT. Before the pandemic, network automation was a “nice to have” for forward-thinking organizations, but now that remote operations are commonplace, and IT environments span complex webs of vendor devices, multiple on-prem HQs, and branch locations, and cloud environments, automation has become a mandate to achieve the efficiency and accuracy modern organizations require.

Automation is critical to creating an agile and secure IT stack. But investments in the resources, time, and effort required to transition the workforce skillset and self-build automation rarely provide the expected return. Organizations will face limited success when implementing automation if they do not heed industry best practices, integrate the right tooling and shift their focus to strategic self-operation. With the right architectures and strategies in place, enterprises can achieve the flexibility, performance, scalability, and security needed to effectively adapt to the large-scale change in work environments, and business bottom lines demand.

Network automation is the missing link

Automation promises to simplify and alleviate the burden of redundant, tedious tasks while streamlining manual processes that do not require human intervention. In its broadest definition, automation is becoming widely adopted in modern IT environments and a critical element of modernization efforts. Yet, automation alone will not have the dynamic impact it should if it is not applied correctly. Intelligent capabilities are important – enabling automated IT to turn into self-operating IT – as are the right applications.

For many enterprises, network automation is the missing link for a fully automated IT stack. As networks become more complex and workloads are increasingly being driven to the cloud, the need for a solution that ties everything together and is powerful enough to stretch across multiple platforms, both on-prem and in the cloud, is more necessary than ever before. With intelligent network automation that is intent-based and declarative in place, teams have the ability to react quickly to unplanned events such as security threats or vendor vulnerabilities, flexing and scaling with whatever situation may occur to ensure business continuity.

It’s important to consider the differences needed to automate both traditional and modern infrastructures, as well as all their touchpoints, including integrations through APIs. Delivering automation throughout the IT stack helps alleviate organizational strains, making it possible to manage change at scale both on-prem and in the cloud while ensuring the performance and functionality of both brownfield (existing legacy) and greenfield (new) systems. As such, leveraging automation keeps IT operations running full steam while digitalization and modernization are underway.

Organizational change leads to wider adoption

The onset of the pandemic forced IT decision-makers to quickly reevaluate infrastructure and operations (I&O) to ensure their organizations were prepared to address the new and unique challenges presented by the unprecedented disruption. It was never more imperative to ensure that I&O teams were closely aligned with business goals and able to support, if not optimize, organizations’ bottom lines. In order to do this, I&O teams must learn how to operate differently in refining human practices to accommodate the processual changes necessary to support automation. Legacy approaches to automation require skill development, scripting/programming development, and testing, creating a long lead time to deliver on this business needs. This often requires a concerted effort made by IT leadership and practitioners alike, aligning adoption with business goals from the top down and breaking down organizational silos that strain efficiency. It’s critical that IT leadership sees themselves as change agents in this regard to adopt new technologies and automation approaches and move away from older, inefficient methods and solutions.

Adapting to large scale change

One of the challenges organizations face when implementing automation in their IT stack is the ability to adapt to large-scale change. However, with a strong foundation in place and ample planning, organizations can bypass this challenge with ease. In a sense, enabling broad-scale change is similar to building a skyscraper: once the foundation is complete, it can be built very quickly. Leadership teams can follow this approach by first setting a vision for the use cases they want to automate and the benchmarks, metrics, or milestones they want to use to determine success. Then it becomes a matter of outlining incremental steps, first to achieve quick wins and then to expand the use cases for automation and executing against this plan. Initial steps could include:

1) Start with the fundamentals by focusing on efforts that build towards the bigger changes. Implementing new technology can be a drastic change for many organizations that already have a process in place, especially for those who have been in business for decades. The key to successful modernization is to reevaluate your entire IT infrastructure, conduct an assessment of what’s working and what isn’t, and the types of skillset and mindset needed to adjust to change. This will help to close the gap for any of the missing pieces and prepare for large-scale change once you’ve identified the fundamentals needed to lay out a foundation. This can start with automating low-risk, read-only tasks like network discovery, device inventory, configuration drift monitoring, auditing, and troubleshooting.

2) Once you have your foundation in place, then it’s time to invest in the future, the vision, and the achievable goals that can be accomplished along the way. Investments can include hiring new employees or upskilling current ones to help fulfill the skillsets needed to implement change. Setting a new vision for your organization and aligning it with achievable goals that are tangible can also help streamline productivity and ensure that deliverables are accomplished. This will help accelerate large-scale change throughout the enterprise. Expanding network automation to address current use-cases can provide quick wins to build off and gain confidence in the process and approach.

3) Build out a roadmap. Create a roadmap that aligns well with where the business wants to go in the next three to five years. This can enable employees to get a more targeted approach to the work that needs to be done upfront, which can be a force multiplier throughout the enterprise. Once this is finalized, put in the groundwork and execute the vision by going through the steps, which will eventually lead to buy-in from individuals involved. This often starts with automating domains like the campus/LAN, WAN, and Data Center, then expands to newer SD-WAN deployments and public cloud IaaS.

Investing in the right capabilities and intelligence while building a roadmap that aligns with the strategic business direction will inspire IT teams to become more supportive of business operations and act as a force multiplier throughout the enterprise. Investment in the right foundation for network automation will set the stage for future enablement, such as self-operating capabilities, hardened security, and the concentration of manual processes. Empowering IT teams with this level of intelligence using network automation is what will enable a company to build an agile, modern IT stack ready to take on future enterprise demands.

Jeff Gray is the CEO and co-founder of Gluware.



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Wine 6.11 Released With Theming Support For All Built-In Programs


WINE --

Wine 6.11 is out as the latest bi-weekly development snapshot for running an increasing number of Windows applications and games on Linux.

Wine 6.11 now has theming support for all of its built-in programs thanks to some recent COMCTL32 theme improvements, all remaining CRT math functions have been imported from Musl libc, and Unicode support for the 720 codepage in handling Arabic / Farsi / Urdu.

Wine 6.11 has 33 known bug fixes ranging from fixing a Microsoft Excel 2007 issue to a Starcraft 2 64-bit issue to various other game and application fixes.

Overall Wine 6.11 is another fairly small summer time development release. The full list of patches and fixes making up this two week release can be found over on WineHQ.org.