|By Mark R. Hinkle||
|October 15, 2006 01:30 PM EDT||
I recently read an article in the "mainstream" media that gave me pause. The author made an assertion that the current trend towards Open Source might just be a passing fad. I thought about this and looked critically at the software industry, thinking about whether there was merit in that statement. After all, we have seen plenty of high flyers peter out in a software industry riddled with buzzwords and acronyms-of-the-day. I just don't believe that open source is one of them.
When I worked in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) business, we saw every new consumer Internet fad firsthand. I remember PointCast, a push technology with a screen saver and news ticker that sucked up bandwidth and reduced office LANs to a crawl. I recall the days when every other technical support call was for help setting up the hot new Web browser, Netscape (the code that has, ironically, been given a second life as the basis of the free and open source Firefox), or the time when when thin clients were first championed by Sun Microsystems. However, not everyone grasped the idea that we would have always-on "dumb terminals" and that all our applications would live on the servers carefully maintained and backed up by application service providers (ASPs), though this vision may someday be realized by Google (who may be setting the stage with their Google Desktop (http://desktop.google.com). Thin clients seemed to have found ways to remotely access internal applications in order to keep data from leaving secure networks. Besides, like so many others, I still love my data-laden, fat-client laptop, and as much as I enjoy tools like hosted e-mail and online back-ups, I don't foresee parting ways with my laptop anytime soon.
What makes free and open source software more than a fad? The notion of free software is nothing new - in fact, it's how software was originally distributed. In the earliest days of computing, you usually got the source code for the operating system at the time you purchased the mainframe. At that time, of course, there were very few computers - most of which were for use at large companies, government agencies, and universities - so users often shared programs and source code. Since free software has been around for over 40 years, it can hardly be called a fad. Furthermore, there are more and more long-term projects that continue to gain momentum. Linus Torvalds started Linux, for example, in 1991, and 15 years later, the operating system is enjoying quarter after quarter of double-digit growth in the server market. That's hardly a flash in the pan. Apache, too, the dominant Internet Web server, has been growing by 4.4% since July, and holds 63.09 % of the web server market, according to Internet services company Netcraft (http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html).
Not only do open source markets have a reliable history, but their future, too, is nearly guaranteed by the continued need for the adoption of open source software in order to sustain the efficiency they have brought to the industry. First, open source software is by and large a pull model. Before any corporate vendor can get involved, software is usually developed to solve specific problems faced by end users who they self-identify in market. Most people like to showcase their accomplishments and share their knowledge (look at the blog phenomenon), and because the development of a piece of software that's useful and well written is something to be proud of, people usually share it. Then, when someone else sees the value of the pet project, he or she is likely to not only use it, but also share improvements that can benefit the original author and the additional contributor. Clearly, it's a more efficient practice than commercial models. Red Hat and Novell, for example, both fund development of the Linux kernel by paying the salaries of developers. They each focus on adding value in other areas as well, like testing and other quality assurance measures, efficient delivery of a commercial version operating system, and technical support. After all, there's little incremental value between the two base operating systems. It is a much more efficient model than say, commercial Unix, where each vendor duplicates efforts in areas that add very little incremental value.
In other industries - especially businesses that have similar needs and whose competitive advantages are based on assets unrelated to information technology infrastructure - shared development can help the whole industry. Unlike commercial software, open source software is driven from the bottom up, which means it's not typically developed by independent software vendors (ISVs) and then distributed. However, we are starting to see that happening, as well as more and more software vendors turning over their software to the open source community, just like database vendor Ingres has done. Some do it because they don't want to maintain the software, but the smart ISVs know that innovation comes from the end user. Mature products can receive new life from the open source vendor community and adapt to an ever-changing IT landscape.
Invariably, leading commercial software in a variety of software segments will be challenged by open source markets. The following are current trends I believe will outlive the fad moniker:
- Virtualization: It's what's hot right now, but there's no slowdown in sight. Over the past ten years, our thirst for faster computers drove the industry to provide blazingly fast chips that sipped more power and threw off a lot more heat. Now, those efforts are being penalized by data centers that can't meet electrical and cooling needs. Virtualization allows consolidation and higher utilization on Linux servers. Commercial software vendor VMware (an EMC company) was one of the fastest-growing software companies in the past five years. The Xen project, a hypervisor, which is a piece of software that allows multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on the same server, is the open source alternative to VMware. Open source virtualization is being advocated by more than just Linux users. Even Microsoft has announced they will be supporting Xen even though it might be competitive with their Microsoft Virtual Server.
- Open source systems management: Systems management is an established software sector used pervasively across many industries that have been paying dearly for expensive seat licenses and up-front royalties. New monitoring companies like Zenoss (www.zenoss.com), GroundWork Open Source (www.groundworkopensource.com), and Hyperic (www.hyperic.com) are offering subscription-based monitoring products that offer very similar products at attractive pricing models. Some of these projects use the same open source projects to build their commercial offerings. Because they are sharing the burden of development, they don't have to fund all the R&D on their own, and they can bring products to market quickly and inexpensively, which enables competition with the Big 4 management vendors (HP, CA, IBM, and BMC).
- Open source business intelligence and planning software: This is more of a prediction than a trend, but it's one of the next sectors to be challenged by upstart open source projects that are replacing traditional enterprise software vendors. It's an industry ripe for open source: long-established vendors who have a broad customer base and a need for customization. Pentaho (www.pentaho.com), an open source business intelligence platform, will start to challenge companies like Business Objects, SAS, and Hyperion. In Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), the open source company Compiere (www.compiere.com) is going to challenge industry leader, SAP. Both companies will offer a competitive price and an easily integrated solution that will be a viable option to the entrenched vendors.
|Ajay D. Desai 10/18/06 01:57:40 AM EDT|
Concept of open source is commercially not viable. Creator of source code want recurring revenues from the work done once.
|Laura DiFiore 10/16/06 12:20:48 AM EDT|
I've been using free, open-source software for at least 15 years now. The overwhelming majority of software on my computer is freeware. The company I work for recently switched from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice not only because of the price (free!) but because it is smaller, more stable, and provides better compatibility with other document formats than MS Office does. The decision was, without doubt, forced by the extremely high cost of upgrading to Microsoft's latest version. By deciding to switch to OpenOffice, our company saved at least $22,000 in software costs for this year.
|factpoint 10/15/06 02:21:08 PM EDT|
Free and open-source software is good for you and for the world. This is the best Windows software that we know of.No adware, no spyware, just good software. View link: http://digg.com/software/Open_Source_Windows_2
|Sid Boyce 10/14/06 07:31:50 PM EDT|
Most of the naysayers are too afraid of the prospects and deploy their arguments more as a wish that some day soon the old familiar paradigm will survive intact. If you have followed reactions from some who are amongst the staunchest supporters of Open Source, you will have seen the initial hostile dismissal, followed by increasingly mellow statements and finally the volt-face. Very early on I asked a number of them to write an article a year hence and I would remind them of the first one they wrote - I have never been disappointed, it took one writer just 10 months. Of course, the proponents of the old proprietary order are still there, perhaps never to be convinced - they have too much at stake to change their views, King Canute characters standing resolute against the oncoming tide, to be washed away and their words with them. My manager who tried giving me a hard time when I switched away from Windows to Linux at least had the humility years later to admit that he thought I was going out on to a slender branch which was already consigned to falling. I was even introduced to one of our customers as a "Linux Bigot" by one of our salesmen who had been asked by the customer to have someone give them some information on installing Linux on their mainframe. The undying truth is that whatever and however harsh the criticisms, Open Source developers keep writing code undaunted. My guess is they had a forlorn hope that the developers would realise they were on to a loser and redeploy their efforts back to proprietary code writing or to sitting in front of TV sets with cold beers instead. At best most developers were disdainfully regarded as college student type amateur software writers incapable of producing anything of quality, at least nothing that sould match the professional standards of proprietary products. Here in the UK, we were even called users of Boys Own Unix, a disparaging simile of a once very popular "Boys Own Comic" that has long ceased publication.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 11, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 405
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 11, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 436
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
Feb. 11, 2016 01:45 PM EST
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
Feb. 11, 2016 01:45 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 11, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 435
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 11, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 205
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
Feb. 11, 2016 12:00 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Feb. 11, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 244
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
Feb. 11, 2016 11:30 AM EST
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 11, 2016 11:00 AM EST Reads: 121
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
Feb. 11, 2016 10:15 AM EST
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 11, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 394
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 11, 2016 09:15 AM EST Reads: 199
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Feb. 11, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 107
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 11, 2016 06:45 AM EST Reads: 442
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
Feb. 11, 2016 05:00 AM EST
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 11, 2016 01:15 AM EST Reads: 213
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Feb. 11, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 235
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Feb. 10, 2016 11:45 PM EST Reads: 118
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 10, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 629