Christopher Tozzi


Christopher Tozzi has covered the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis since 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution, is forthcoming with MIT Press.

Ten Years as Desktop Linux User: My Open Source World, Then and Now 1

I've been a regular desktop Linux user for just about a decade now. What has changed in that time? Keep reading for a look back at all the ways that desktop Linux has become easier to use -- and those in which it has become more difficult -- over the past ten years.

How Data Storage is Changing - and What It Means for the Channel
Data storage is changing. What was true five years ago about the way you managed databases and storage systems may not hold true anymore.
Why is IoT Popular? Because of Open Source, Big Data, Security and SDN

Why is everyone talking about the Internet of Things (IoT)? It's not because the IoT is a new concept -- it's not -- but rather because the IoT intersects with several other key trends in the tech world, from open source and big data to cybersecurity and software-defined networking.

GitLab's Not Alone: AWS, Google and Other Clouds Can Lose Data, Too

Data stored in the cloud may feel safe. But as GitLab users learned the hard way last week, data loss can occur even on well managed public cloud platforms. Here's a look at five examples of cloud data failures on major public clouds.

The projects are building platforms that are poised to become increasingly impor
Five Open Source Projects that MSPs Should Be Following
If you're in the managed services business, you need to stay on top of the latest technologies. Here are five open source projects that MSPs should be watching.
From Food to Sofas: How Open Source is Changing the World Beyond Software 2

Once upon a time, open source was a term used only within the software world. Today, the open source concept is being extended to many other industries -- from computing hardware to furniture. Here's a look at how the open source idea is eating the world beyond software.

To Keep IT Assets Secure, Pay Attention to the Simple Things 1

What are the greatest threats facing the software industry today? Hint: They're not foreign spies or 400-pound programming prodigies. A look back at some of the biggest cybersecurity attacks of 2016 reveals that the most serious threats remain simple and unsophisticated -- even though people keep falling for them.

Five Technologies and Trends MSPs Should Embrace
How can you make the most of your managed services business? One way is to leverage the best technologies and trends. Here's a list of five technologies and practices to embrace to keep your MSP business lean and mean.
Fission and Effe are some of the first open source serverless computing framewor
Open Source Serverless Computing Frameworks, and Why They Matter

Serverless computing is fast becoming one of the hottest trends in the channel since the cloud. What is the open source ecosystem doing to keep pace with the serverless trend, and why does it matter? Here's a look.

Monitoring, analytics and log aggregation help managed service providers deliver
Why MSPs Need Monitoring, Data Analytics and Log Aggregation
As an IT managed services provider, you supply infrastructure and support services to your clients. But do you also deliver monitoring and analytics? If not, you should. Here's why.
The Linux and Windows Ecosystems are Converging. Here's Why It Matters
The Linux and Windows Ecosystems are Converging. Here's Why It Matters 1

Windows is starting to look a lot like Linux -- and vice versa. As the feature sets and use cases for these two operating systems converge, the line separating the Windows and Linux ecosystems is disappearing. Here's why, and what it means for the channel.

Open Source Software's Top Five Challenges for 2017 3

It's a new year, and open source software is more popular than ever. But the open source community is also confronting a new set of challenges. Here's what open source programmers and companies will need to do to keep thriving in 2017.

How MSPs can Deliver Managed Docker Environments with Containers-as-a-Service
How MSPs can Deliver Managed Docker Environments with Containers-as-a-Service
Containers-as-a-Service, or CaaS, is becoming one of the most popular ways for companies to use Docker. Here's what MSPs need to know about adding CaaS to the services they deliver to customers.
FOSS History in Retrospect: 3 Generations of Open Source Coders and Users 3

It's 2016, and open source is everywhere you look. The norms, forms and faces of open source have changed so much, in fact, that they seem to signal the rise of a new generation of open source programmers. Here's why.

Pragmatism in the History of GNU, Linux and Free/Open Source Software 8

If you ask a lot of people why Linus Torvalds and the Linux kernel that he wrote became one of the most prominent open source projects of all time, while Richard Stallman's GNU project has received much less attention beyond hacker circles, they'll tell you the difference has to do with Stallman's excessive commitment to an uncompromising ideology. Is that really accurate?

From Food to Sofas: How Open Source is Changing the World Beyond Software
February 3, 2017

"Free software" -- which a lot of people would characterize as similar to, but not quite the same thing as, "open source software" -- originated well before 1998. But the...

Open Source Software's Top Five Challenges for 2017
January 13, 2017

Personal experience :) I am remembering a wireless card I owned (some kind of D-Link -- I forget the exact chip) that only worked with ndiswrapper, and it would crash after an...

5 Ways Open Source Programmers and Companies Make Money
June 10, 2016

Good point. This was drafted a while ago, before the ownCloud kerfuffle in April.

IoT Past and Present: The History of IoT, and Where It's Headed Today
May 3, 2016

Thanks for the pointer. I am unable to find proof that the Electrolux ever actually made it to market, though. A February 1999 Wired article (

Open Source and Android: A History of Google's Linux-Based Mobile OS
April 29, 2016

Re: the GPL, there is a bigger story I want to tell about the tendency to treat the GPL as an omnipotent solution to all of open source's problems. The quotes are examples of...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×