As I discussed earlier in A picture can tell a thousand words, I outlined briefly what the intention of UltimateLAMP was for. Let me spill the beans so to speak.
What is UltimateLAMP?
UltimateLAMP is a fully functional environment allowing you to easily try and evaluate a number of LAMP stack software products without requiring any specific setup or configuration of these products. UltimateLAMP runs as a Virtual Machine with VMware Player (FREE). This demonstration package also enables the recording of all user entered information for later reference, indeed you will find a wealth of information already available within a number of the Product Recommendations starting with the supplied Documentation.
My executive punch line with the “right” buzz words is:
You have heard of all the hype in Open Source with lowering Total Cost of
Ownership (TCO) or Total Economic Impact (TEI)? Evaluate Open Source now
in your organistion at no cost or risk with this software package.
What are the uses for UltimateLAMP?
Well, in a nutshell UltimateLAMP allows for instant exposure of Open Source products that use MySQL. You have to remember my goal here is to promote MySQL. Unfortunately, as with any database the features alone will not get the new sale, it’s the applicability to an organisation, and with Open Source the wealth of existing and developing applications that exist can. I don’t necessarily like this approach. Indeed many open source products are poorly designed and can be poor choices in a large scale enterprise solution, but the flip side is, where else can you start.
The benefits of selling a MediaWiki for example due to the success and scalability with Wikipedia is great. So it’s important that the product list includes proven products and currently developing products (rather then stale ones). This is something that the community can definitely provide valuable feedback on to help in this selection.
Other then becoming a CD used as a drink coaster, I feel the potential is here already to provide a copy to people, even install it on a managers computer. You can’t break the software, so why not install it for your non-computer user friends/family. The goal is to move up to executive management however I feel the exposure to the general community first will greatly help.
How it came about
There is some history to this idea. Here are some of the highlights.
- Late 2005, several planning sessions with Jon and Morgan about a more practical Open Source Contribution user group lead to obviously LAMP stack products for simplicity and exposure. This lead to exposure of LAMP stack products to more of the general person and split from the original intended goal, but was a great idea.
- Early 2006, futher discussions of how MySQL could get exposure and traction into organisations. For myself professional, how could I promote in industry sectors that I work in.
- In April 2006, the MySQL Users Conference with discussions of this idea with others and the positive feedback
- In May 2006, the VMware Appliance Challenge was the possible exposure and deadline needed for me to “Just Do It”. Originally the idea was intended as a Live CD, but in some ways a virtual machine is just as good.
Where to from now!
Well, supply and demand. I don’t know if anybody else has a particular use, or will even download to use it, or market it.
I could see the potential for MySQL User Groups to get behind my idea, and enable members to filter this into known organisations. I could see for targeted opportunities/events, CD’s or information could be distributed. With the support and backing of MySQL AB, I could see the opportunity for even a breakfast CEO/CTI/CIO introduction or other format of meeting the ultimate intended audience.
I could see the potential that an organisation or entity could provide free hosting (30 days) to an organisation that pointed a 3rd level domain to the provider (e.g. wiki.acme.com). It’s like the honeypot, if it takes off after 30 days, the company will either want to pay for hosting, or what to move it. And that’s also fine, organisation provides a MySQL dump, and links to documented installation instructions, or perhaps a sale of services for initial installation/customisation/training can be made.
What can I do?
There is always a list of things that can be done. For now the greatest thing I can ask for is feedback. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s find to get the comments to say, “That’s great”, or “Good job” or “I can use this”, it’s just as important to get the comments that are proactive in what’s not good. I would value any feedback. Please feel free to Download UltimateLAMP
On my immediate ToDo List or even partially complete is:
- Document VMPlayer installation instructions for Windows/Linux (partial).
- Add more product sample content.
- Add more mediawiki content about the product, like customisation options, references to specific documentation, or other online working examples.
- Documenting the installation/creation instructions for individual products.
- Figure out a better way for users to contribute content that get’s rolled back into the Virtual Machines. For the mediawiki, I could see a public online copy, but for other products it could become harder
- Optimise VM image (removing unnecessary OS stuff), removing product language support (not ideal), but my goal is to provide a 2 CD pack. The first CD has VMplayer in Win/Linux/RPM formats and the default VMware BrowserAppliance (All software from VMWare). The second CD is UltimateLAMP. Combined in a DVD 2x case along with perhaps a small booklet of a few pages, would enable this product to potential move to a commercial state.
- Investigating other products
Should anybody wishing to help, leave a comment, that way I can see somebody is reading this and so can others.