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05
Jul

Roadmap Update

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

We haven't being doing a great job at communicating the roadmap for ClearOS, so here's a quick update on what is in store for next three months!  A follow-up blog post will detail some of the medium and long term roadmap goals (more/better reports, IPv6, etc.).

The following apps are in public beta right now -- head on over to the developer forums for details:

- Software RAID Manager
- UPnP
- VLAN support
- Amazon EC2 Support

In addition, a few apps are nearing completion or waiting on the ClearOS 6.5 testing phase (which will begin in August):

- Mail Archive (paid app)
- Administrators
- QoS
- OwnCloud (Tim app)

Under the hood, a new engine for supporting web applications (WordPress, Joomla, SugarCRM, etc.) is also in development.  There's also work with "reports, reports, reports" going on.

 

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28
Jun

New neighbors

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

ClearFoundation is pleased to announce that the ClearFoundation site and forums has been successfully moved to a joint server farm that also hosts the Koozali SME Server project community content. Additionally, portions of the longstanding RPM build system which has built the current versions of both SME server and ClearOS has been moved together into the shared space provided at ClearCenter’s data center in Orem, Utah. Koozali (contribs.org) is an distinct Open Source community with a mission to develop and distribute Koozali SME Server.  Both SME Server and ClearOS have a shared synergy and many common Open Source goals and are both based on the same upstream Linux distribution.

The shared server farm and geo-redundant RPM build system was engineered by veteran SME developer Shad Lords.  Shad has been part of the SME Server community and a core SME Developer for over a decade and, in recent years, is a member of the ClearFoundation team

This move and hosting collaboration with Koozali will increase the speed and reliability of the ClearFoundation community content and data while leveraging a friendly Open Source relationship with Koozali.  Both ClearFoundation and Koozali SME Server project data and community content will reside on separate virtual machines managed on the shared server farm each managed by administrators of the respective projects.

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22
Jun

Sweet changes afoot!

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Over the next coming days, ClearFoundation will be moving off of the slow server which is now on to a newer environment to be provided by ClearCenter. We know things have been slow and this should speed things up nicely. We will continue to look for more improvements and optimization but things may be choppy. We hope to make the cut-overs as speedy as possible (i.e. under a couple of minutes.) So if you can't get to us, come back in a few minutes and hopefully all will be well.

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19
Jun

Software RAID App Available

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The ClearFoundation development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a new FREE app - Software RAID Manager.  This app provides an integrated Webconfig UI to the ubiquitous mdadm software RAID management tool.

The app will be available for install via the Marketplace next week.  For now, if you have software RAID on your ClearOS server and want to give it a whirl, from the command line, run:

yum --enablerepo=clearos-test install app-raid

Feedback (via email or the forums) is always welcome.

Thanks,

CF Development Team

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31
May

ClearOS Source Code - Migration to GitHub

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Over the next few months, we will be migrating ClearOS source code to GitHub.  This week, the code to all the internal packages (i.e. not upstream) used in ClearOS was migrated to https://github.com/clearos-packages.  The real GitHub fun will start when the apps are migrated... but that's for another day.

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17
May

New ClearOS Development Tools and Documentation Available

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

We have updated the ClearOS development tools and documentation.  If you are interested in building apps, you may want to check out the new Hello World Tutorial. The tutorial - which includes video demonstrations - can guide you through the process of getting an app up and running in no time!

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17
May

ClearOS Community 6.4.0 ISOs Updated

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The ClearOS Community 6.4.0 ISOs were updated.  The default partitioning scheme was not configured to use all available disk space -- not a great default of course. Only the ISOs were updated, the virtual machine and Amazon EC2 images were not changed.

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01
May

SME Cloud - ClearOS Available on Amazon EC2 (beta)

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

For a few months now, ClearFoundation has been using Amazon EC2 for bits of infrastructure and we really like it. We eat our own dog food when we can, and Amazon EC2 is a great place to implement a master node in a master/slave architecture.

For ClearFoundation, all the users and groups are managed on the ClearOS master node running in EC2. Across the Internet, two ClearOS slave nodes are used for hosting source code (SVN running on good old hardware) and hosting the beta translation server (running in a virtual machine on-premise). The accounts on the master node are automatically replicated to these two slave nodes and the slaves can run quite happily without a connection to the master node. In other words, we can shutdown the master node on Amazon and the two slave nodes will hum along just fine.

Enough blabbing about clearfoundation.com infrastructure.  If you are looking for a hybrid cloud / on-premise solution, Amazon EC2 can certainly be part of the puzzle.  To install ClearOS in Amazon, please review the documentation here:

- ClearOS Amazon EC2 Install Guide

If you run into any issues, please post a message in the forums or send an e-mail to developer@clearfoundation.com. We like squashing bugs, so send those reports our way!

 

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25
Apr

Storage Manager Technical Guide Available

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The Storage Manager is currently available in the (beta) Amazon EC2 ClearOS Professional builds, but the app can be installed and implemented on any ClearOS system. If you want to start using the Storage Manager on an existing ClearOS system, the following technical guide walks through the details:

Storage Manager Technical Guide

If you have any questions or run into any problems, please feel free to post a message in the forums or contact technical support if you have a ClearCenter support subscription.

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17
Apr

Access Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora with the New ibVPN App

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

If you are outside the United States, you know the frustration of getting locked out from content providers like Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and others. With ClearOS and the new ibVPN app, you can now invisibly and securely access these services.

Using the ClearOS Marketplace, install the ibVPN app on your ClearOS gateway and start routing devices on your local network via your favorite country: US, Canada, UK, and many more. For example, an Apple TV system can be routed through the US while leaving other systems on the network as is. Here's how it works.

- Install the app from the ClearOS Marketplace
- Sign up for an account from ibVPN (link includes an affiliate ID... beer money)
- Configure your ibVPN settings in the ClearOS app
- Select the country VPN server (US, UK, Canada, etc)
- Specify the devices on your network that should go through ibVPN

Enjoy!

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16
Apr

Download ClearOS via BitTorrent

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The folks over at terasaur (by ibiblio) have provided a nice spot for grabbing ClearOS Community 6.4.0 via BitTorrent.  We are adding a couple of seed nodes right now, so feel free to torrent away!

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11
Apr

ClearOS Community 6.4.0 Released!

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

ClearOS Community 6.4.0 is now available! Along with the usual round of bug fixes and enhancements, this release introduces a new reports engine, a storage manager, an antimalware file scanner, RADIUS, a basic POP/IMAP server, and mail retrieval.

- Release Notes
- Downloads

What's next? After a bumpy start with ClearOS 6, we are now happy with the stability and maturity of the version. Version 6 required a major overhaul under the hood, but it provided ClearOS with a modern and secure web application platform.  So what's currently in the pipeline?

- A beta release of the new QoS engine
- Samba 4 / Samba Directory preview
- The ibVPN app (coming next week!)
- A new Administrators app
- Additional network support: VLAN and static routes
- The Network Map tool, which will enable IP-based content filter filter policies (Professional Edition)

OwnCloud, Captive Portal are other potential developments are also floating around in various stages of development.  Stay tuned!

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20
Mar

ClearOS Community 6.4.0 Beta 2 Released!

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

ClearOS Community 6.4.0 Beta 2 has arrived! Along with the usual round of bug fixes and enhancements, this release introduces a new reports engine, a storage manager, an antimalware file scanner, RADIUS, a basic POP/IMAP server, mail retrieval (fetchmail) as well as upstream proxy support.

Over the last few weeks, there was a lot of focus on squashing bugs and improving little usability issues. From the modernized installer to the easy to use Marketplace, ClearOS 6 has matured to be our best offering.  It's not only the core platform that has had a facelift, but also the individual apps and solutions.  For example, Zarafa's solution with two great webmail interfaces, Outlook support, and out-of-the-box mobile synchronization brings enterprise-level mail to small organizations. 

- ClearOS Community 6.4.0 Beta 2 - Release Notes and Download

 

 

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22
Feb

6.4 Core done. To be included in next beta.

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The build of ClearOS Core 6.4 packages from upstream sources is completed and rolling out to the mirrors. All in all it took about 32 hours from the time the packages showed up to having them fully built. We are busy adding Core to the current ClearOS Community and Professional trees and should have some great new features and hardware support. 6.4 Core is useful for techies and hobbyists but we shall all be able to set our sights on the future release of ClearOS 6.4 Community and ClearOS 6.4 Professional.

Cant wait to get started with ClearOS? Then don't wait. 6.3 will upgrade to 6.4 when the time comes and the licensing is all the same. Stay tuned for more updates on the features of 6.4.

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12
Feb

New App Available: Static IPsec VPN - Free and Paid

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

We are happy to announce the availability of the Static IPsec VPN app from Tim Burgess!  This app makes it possible to create IPsec VPN connections between your ClearOS system and third party systems including Cisco, Sonicwall, Linksys, pfSense, Watchguard and others.  Static IPsec VPN also supports road warriors, dynamic tunnel management, dead peer detection, advanced settings for IKE, ESP, etc, and more.  The app is available in ClearOS Marketplace for a one-time price of $50 and includes forum support -- a place to find help with interoperability, security and fine tuning.  

A basic version is also available for free.  If you need to connect your ClearOS system to other ClearOS systems, the free version will get you up and running.  Though there's no support for dynamic IPs and the software is provided as-is, it is certainly a great solution for non-mission critical scenarios.  For those of you looking for support for dynamic IPs and need mission critical reliability for ClearOS-to-ClearOS connections, check out Dynamic VPN -- a free app included in ClearOS Professional Basic/Standard/Premium.

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01
Feb

QoS App Ready for Hackers - First Results

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

For the hackers out there, the new ClearOS QoS engine is ready for testing! 

A few years ago, the old Bandwidth Manager was introduced as a way to manage Internet bandwidth usage for a local network. The tool allowed administrators to reserve enough bandwidth for high priority traffic, and shuffle low priority traffic into a small slice of the pipe. It works, but it only solves half the problem and arguably the less important half. The other half is QoS (quality of service) – a way to prioritize network traffic that needs to move quickly. VoIP is probably the most important service that benefits from QoS, but terminal services and other traffic can benefit from QoS as well.

If Netflix, Youtube, and (pick your audio streaming service) are causing hiccups with your VoIP system, then ClearOS QoS will be your new best friend.

(curses at blog software... continues in the wiki)

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23
Jan

New App Available: Transmission BitTorrent

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Here comes another app from Tim -- Transmission BitTorrent for ClearOS!  With the Transmission app, you get a web-based BitTorrent client with powerful features: encryption, peer exchange, magnet links, and more. It's open source, free, easy to use and lean. You can install the app through Marketplace (see screenshot).

When you couple Transmission with a mobile client, you have a great way to manage your torrents while out and about town.

Transmission in ClearOS

 

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11
Jan

ClearOS Community 6.4.0 Beta 1 Available

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

ClearOS Community 6.4.0 Beta 1 is now available!  Along with the usual round of bug fixes and enhancements, the 6.4.0 release introduces a framework for Samba 4 integration, an improved reports engine, a storage manager, an antimalware file scanner, a basic POP/IMAP server as well as upstream proxy support. Here are the app details:

- Storage Manager
- Basic IMAP/POP Server
- Upstream Proxy Support
- Antimalware File Scan

The DNS and Resolver infrastructure in ClearOS has been updated to support the introduction of Samba 4. If you are used to configuring your DNS servers from the command line, please take a look at the following technical document for important details.

You can find important release and download information in the Release Notes. For those of you interested in the ClearOS Professional 6.4.0 release, expect to see Amazon EC2 Images, Network MappingSamba Directory / Samba 4 Beta, and more!

 

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07
Jan

ClearCenter Wins Global Technology Award

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Cloud Computing Award We are proud to announce that ClearCenter won the "Best Hybrid Cloud Solution 2012", at the Up-Start 2012 Cloud Computing Awards, held in San Francisco in Dec 2012. The UP-START Cloud Awards recognize innovative companies that advance cloud computing to business and technology communities around the world. Consistent social media outreach and thousands of votes secured ClearFoundation as finalists, advancing the company to the final round of voting. Participating companies ranged from startups in the Silicon Valley area to industry giants such as IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce, as well as international companies from Europe, Asia and the Pacific region. Finalists in our Category were Alfresco, Hewlett Packard, Eucalyptus and Virtustream. We would like to thank those from the ClearFoundation Community who supported us by voting during the first phase of the Up-Start Cloud Awards. 

Your votes helped ClearCenter obtain 4th position prior to the 2nd phase of voting, conducted at the Up-Start Conference 2012 only by those in attendance where we ended up obtaining 1st place position for the Best Hybrid Cloud Solution 2012 category. The opportunity to present at the conference helped drive awareness about ClearOS and what ClearCenter is doing for the Hybrid Cloud in relation to the other finalists. 

Special thanks to the ClearFoundation Community members for the continued effort to help drive awareness for ClearOS around the world and for helping ClearCenter to receive such a recognition. 

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21
Dec

New Zealand the Field of Dreams for the Software Industry

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

New Zealand Flag And KiwiRemember the baseball movie “Field of Dreams” where Kevin Costner hears a voice in his head that tells him “if you build it, they will come”? He then ploughs up a productive cornfield to build a professional baseball field complete with bleachers in the middle of nowhere. Everyone thinks he has lost his marbles and his dream team of baseball players comes out of the corn fields and play on his field. Well, New Zealand (NZ), through its Open Source Software Society, has created the opportunity for the software industry’s ‘Field of Dreams’ for the World’s next generation software industry to exist here in NZ and it is all because it has banned software from being patented. New Zealand’s current position is that its copyright laws are sufficient for software and patent laws do more damage to innovation than encourage it. The issue at hand is that this all might be about to change with an amendment to the law being pushed through parliament at this moment. This would give up a huge advantage and has the potential to adversely affect NZ’s own successful software companies. 

While the NZ Government has mooted a desire to build a knowledge-based economy the business sector is still waiting for the detail of how the Government envisages achieving this. Support to the film industry could be categorized as a part of the knowledge-based economy with what Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor have been able to build in Wellington. Clearly any penetration into the world’s multi-billion dollar software market would be an attractive opportunity that would be a way of increasing this knowledge-based economy. NZ has created itself a huge advantage that has become a concern for the established US companies like Microsoft and others in the US as they seek to protect their market share by foisting protectionist policies on smaller nations. 

In protecting market share, companies have been known to use software patents as a way to stifle, inhibit and negate competition rather than protect their own works. Practices that are legal but not necessarily within the spirit of patent law are designed to stifle competition like broadening the scope of the original patent or registering new patents that are well outside the scope of the original software are common. This causes emerging companies financial issues that either require cost prohibitive legal fees or end up causing royalties to be paid to the established software companies for the innovation provided by new companies. NZ’s ban on patenting software concerns the established companies because it negates their ability to threaten or follow through with patent lawsuits. Evidence so far has shown that patent laws in the US have become overbearing and obstructive causing emerging software companies to seek protection and NZ is seen as a viable option to achieve this. All NZ has to do is keep its ban on software patents. Here is where it gets interesting: In Jun 2012 Microsoft renegotiated its, Office Suite, contract with the NZ government. Not long after that the Minister of Internal Affairs, Craig Voss, added an amendment to the current Patent Bill that added the words “as such”. Without going into the detail of it all the effect that this amendment imposes is that it has the potential to negate the patent ban and play into the US Companies hands.  

NZ software companies that already have Worldwide penetration and are leaders in their specific niches include: Jade, Xero , Vista Entertainment Solutions, Orion Health, Gentrack, Fingertapps, Booktrack, GreenButton, Car Parking Technologies, Infotools, KlickEx, Outpost Central, Vend, WhereScape Software, Enatel, Vesper Marine and Diligent to name a few. NZ’s innovation and creativity has been well recorded. You just have to look at its accomplishments from Ernest Rutherford, splitting the atom; to Richard Pearse powered flight pioneer, to Harold Gillies arguably the father of plastic surgery; to Bill Hamilton, inventing the impeller water jet engine to help power boats go up river; to Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes pioneering the first cardiopulmonary bypass (open heart surgery), to Alan Gibbs and the Aquada amphibious car that Richard Branson crossed the English Channel in; to AJ Hackett’s bungy jumping; to Arthur Lydiard the inventor of jogging as a pastime; to Peter Witihera’s power beat battery; to Martins Jetpack, to name a few. Needless to say that Kiwis have been at the forefront of invention and design since New Zealand was established as a Country in early 1800’s. NZ has always demonstrated a willingness to step outside the box and its innovation has been made possible by its pioneer heritage, its absence of tradition and boundaries that have been common factors in inhibiting creativity. 

So what is a level playing field for software development? In essence it is an environment where software developers feel confident that they can can compete on an equal basis with their potential competition without being picked off by the effects of patent lawsuits that are cynically being used to limit, constrain and stifle competition. Established companies and Patent Trolls, (i.e Companies who only reason to exist is to use the law to gain an advantage and have innovative investment in the industry whatsoever) are the other problem. The US has realised the negative affect that patent trolls are having on a number of industries and it at a loss of how to nullify their operations (The Numbers don't lie: Patent trolls are a plague.

New Zealand already has a strong Open Source Software Community that have been active in building an open minded culture of innovation and creativity in the local software industry. This has been championed by the New Zealand Open Software Society (See article on how the current ban came into force) and the Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand. So all New Zealand needs is its burgeoning software entities, many of whom are world leaders in their niche fields of expertise, to unite in protecting the NZ’s advantage.

The exodus from the US and Canada has already begun. The ClearFoundation, a company whose software is in over 150 countries, was an early mover (See full article for moving to New Zealand), and moved here in 2011 to take advantage of the Ban on Software Patents and the business friendly environment. As an open source advocate, ClearFoundation was also impressed with the calibre of the Open Source Software Community here in New Zealand. While there may be others who preceded ClearFoundation we know that there are more lining up from the extensive networks that the ClearFoundation has in the US. These companies have a minimal carbon footprint, create jobs and revenues and are a potential benefit for New Zealand. 

In June this year we came across this article Bringing Innovation to New Zealand by a Canadian software developer explaining his perspective as to what is going wrong with the US and Canada, and why he is in the process of moving to New Zealand. His article spells everything out in simple terms and essentially what he is saying is this: New Zealand offers a number of benefits as pull factors, i.e first world country, english speaking, good connectivity through high speed broadband and the education system is world class and the lifestyle outstanding. These factors and the trickle through of developers already could mean the time is ripe for actively luring the best and brightest emerging software companies and entrepreneurs to New Zealand. 

At the moment there have been just a few companies moving to NZ but as they have good experiences and tell their friends how good it is in NZ the potential for the flood gates to open is only a push or pull factor away. The US and Canada realise that they have a problem with their Patent laws and are moving to see what they can do about them. This article explains the issue. (Patents.) 

The issue for New Zealand is to have the courage to stay the course and keep the field of dreams alive by maintaining its patent ban on software. As alluded to above, there is a move to change the law with Minister Foss referencing the move as falling into line with the European Unions Patent Law. The NZOSS regards this as a backward step and deems that this amendment will negate the Ban. So it is all in the hands of the Parliamentarians and the word is that the numbers are sufficient for the bill to pass with the amendment. The best way to defeat the amendment will be for the Minister to withdraw his amendment. If he doesn’t then for either Peter Dunne, United First Party or one of the Maori Party to vote against the amendment to the bill.  

The final reading of the bill will take place sometime after 29 Jan 2013, once parliament resits in the New Year. If the amendment is upheld all is not totally lost because there is an opportunity to shape the interpretation of the amendment once a patent lawsuit is submitted and in the courts. Unfortunately, this will cost thousands and in reality will be a reflection of what software developers will have to put up with in future if the shaping objections are unsuccessful. The shaping will be be focused on influencing the court to support “specific invention software patents” and not “general obvious software patents”. 

The aforementioned Canadian Software developer sums it up nicely. “I hope that New Zealand does not succumb to external pressures to abandon its plan to eliminate software patents, because without such a ban the future of software innovation is rather bleak. New Zealand now has the opportunity to lead the world with enlightened laws that foster true innovation, rather than encourage legalistic oppression. Besides, New Zealand is a beautiful place with excellent wine and friendly people - a place I would love to call my home.” For the short 18 months that the ClearFoundation has been in New Zealand it has found the business environment to be supportive, innovative and creative. The people are friendly and accommodating.

So the Field of Dreams for the Software industry has been built in NZ and it is worth protecting to build a solid knowledge based economy by attracting those brightest and innovative from the US and Canada to create businesses here. Combine them with NZ’s existing software companies that already have a worldwide market presence by creating the opportunity to collaborate and NZ will have set the conditions to potentially have its own Silicon Valley that creates jobs and revenues. So if you have any influence with Minister Foss, United First or the Maori party now is the time to act to keep the dream alive.

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