Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Amit Gupta

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: The New Paradigm of IT Buying

"Technology should add value to your business, not hold it captive."

With the U.S. economy and IT spending finally appearing to be making a comeback and China and India adopting IT faster than you can say symmetric multiprocessing, why am I predicting layoffs?

I'm not predicting layoffs so much as a shift from vendors and service providers who don't support the integration of open source and commercial systems. You see, I lead somewhat of a sheltered life - I usually speak with people in the open source field, the IT professionals who drink the proverbial Kool-Aid. They already have IT plans that encompass open source operating systems, such as Linux and other systems, and software that adhere to open standards. However, as I try to expand my horizons, I'm finding more people who use vendors that are not interested in supporting open standards or interacting with community-developed open source software. They claim this puts them at risk because open systems are often untested.

I'll let you in on a little secret: even the commercial tested solutions often aren't all they're cracked up to be; even worse, if there is a problem, you are at the mercy of the vendors as they dictate when they will be fixing bugs and adding features. Are you paying them for that? Here's a novel idea: What if we moved software to a performance-based model where you pay your vendor based on the level at which the software meets your needs? That would be a nice change. How about a tool that claims to increase your knowledge worker productivity and actually does so. Rather than charging royalties, they simply split the savings with you over the useful life of the product. If it works, it might be more profitable for the vendor and it will yield greater savings to the technology consumer.

The reason I find the complaints of those hemmed in by their vendors so offensive is that as they complain about their woes, they continue to put themselves in harms way. Why would you ever sign up for a product, service, or piece of hardware that locks you into a long-use cycle and potentially has you following decisions mandated by your vendor rather than your business. I am aware that there are certain tools out there that are necessary for certain industries (e.g., medical, and manufacturing) and require specialization, but what about other types of industries where needs can be met by a multitude of solutions. I can't emphasize this enough in the office suites; the release of OpenOffice.org 2.0 may have come and gone as has StarOffice 8.0 by the time you read this and with these new releases I expect that even more people will find an alternative to Microsoft's Office Suite.

The new paradigm of IT buying will be one where you buy services rather than licenses or at least support entitlements to IT products, and office suites are just one area of that. Also when looking for these gems I can see big opportunities in the following areas:

  • Databases: As we accumulate more and more data, especially as a result of e-commerce and other computer-related transactions, more businesses will have a need for databases, however, the per-seat access license model is not attractive to me. Consider looking at MySQL (www.mysql.org) or PostgresSQL (www.postgres.org), especially where the data needs to be stored, but advanced database features are lost on many users. If you need help, you can turn to vendors MySQL AB (www.mysql.com) or EnterpriseDB (www.enterprisedb.com) for support.
  • File and Print Services: Perhaps my biggest gripe is with the file and print services model that requires client access licensing. Does the server require any more support or attention from the vendor whether it serves one user or 100? Is there more value added by incremental user additions? I have a hard time believing there is. So why be charged as if there were? Consider Samba (www.samba.org) running on one of the many flavors of Linux; you can still use a Windows desktop because Samba accepts connections from Windows, no CALs required.
  • Content Management Systems: Doing business on the Web is a critical part of commerce for even small businesses, as is having the ability for data to flow from the enterprise to the end user. This can be facilitated by user-friendly content management systems or complex Web applications that require the ability to provide services based on business logic. Consider the small to medium business, for example, Joomla! (www.joomla.org), or complex enterprise applications, for example, JBoss (www.jboss.com) - both are open source and have large and successful user bases, and once again there are commercial support venues for these software packages.
If you've read any of my previous editorials, you may envision me as a "bible-thumping" preacher of sorts. The message that you need to start taking away from our publication, beyond the success stories of Linux and product updates, is that not all commercial software is evil and not all open source software is untested, and that you should look for solutions that are not apt to lock you into future decisions that limit your choice of vendors. Technology should add value to your business, not hold it captive.

More Stories By Mark R. Hinkle

Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...