Welcome!

Linux Authors: Nikita Ivanov, Greg Ness, Adrian Bridgwater, Carmen Gonzalez, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Linux

Linux: Article

Following in Linux's Footsteps

How open source Java technology is shaking up the market

Is open source and the commoditization of certain technologies cannibalizing software license revenue? Possibly, but many argue that this market dynamic stimulates many vendors to accelerate innovation and to create new technologies and applications. And, while this market dynamic can be disruptive, it creates a roaring buyer's market for IT decision makers.

Nowhere is the case for this more apparent than in the middleware and application server sectors. Falling prices and a maturing market are also resulting in consolidation among the vendors. At the same time, open source alternatives, combined with tightening IT budgets, are changing the application server software market.

The Times - They Are A-Changin'

The Internet and open source make it possible to economically produce and distribute software. This is especially true with middleware, where stable standards are defined and open source is both a high-quality way of implementing these standards and an excellent way to achieve true definitions of the standards. Of course, the consumers of open source benefit from the low cost. Proprietary vendors are grappling with the commoditization of infrastructure software that today is firmly entrenched as a large, macro-economic force.

In the case of application server technology, some other key factors are accelerating its commoditization, including the Java 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform. This standard has been widely accepted by multiple application servers, which levels the playing field among vendors and makes portability of applications relatively straightforward.

In addition, Linux has played the role of a big brother, paving the way for young newcomers. Little brothers and sisters usually get to drive the car sooner or stay out later - the older sibling greases the wheel and makes life easier for them. So, the adoption of open source middleware is going much faster than Linux since the pathway has already been cleared and the open source OS has already been embraced by mainstream enterprises.

Where It's Successful

On the server side, combining open source with Java has pushed the limits of what modern middleware technology can do. JBoss, a Java-based, open source application server that has achieved 4 million downloads since 2001 so far, is a popular application server for companies that want a high-quality, cost-effective platform for developing scalable, secure Web applications.

This is also happening on the database front. According to an August 2003 brief by Forrester Research's Ted Schadler, with the open source database MySQL "....nipping at the heels of commercial databases, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sybase will ramp up their already busy research teams."

Furthermore, SAP has recently handed its SAPDB database software to the open source development community and keeps 100 developers working on the software. Anyone can download the database from the SAP Web site, and the company provides support for its ERP software customers who are using the database.

In fact, MySQL AB now offers MaxDB. MaxDB is the result of an alliance between MySQL and SAP to jointly develop and market an enterprise open source database.

Free, high-quality products like this are changing the competitive landscape. Two years ago there were 30 application server vendors; today there are less than 10 proprietary vendors and only 4 have significant market share. At this rate, JBoss may become to application servers what Apache is to Web servers - a dominant open source platform in critical IT infrastructure and a deciding force in promoting open standards on the Internet.

What's a Commercial Vendor to Do?

Increased competition from both commercial and open source companies is pushing everyone to continue innovating and improving their technology. As a result, many vendors are now trying to differentiate themselves by adding extensions to their application servers. Although, according to Gartner's 2003 Enterprise Application Server Magic Quadrant, "The mainstream majority of enterprise projects will succeed equally well using an application server, embedded into a larger framework of tools, applications, or infrastructure technologies."

Other industry experts predict the emergence of specialized application servers dedicated to presenting data-base information to a variety of handheld devices, for example. Some are even rethinking the traditional practice of tying software licenses to mandatory service.

The Net-Net

The consumer, a discriminating IT buyer in a down market, is tired of multiple startups and even established vendors putting out the same technology and noise. As a result, the IT buyer is increasingly looking to open source products. At the same time, many proprietary vendors, losing market share due to the commoditization of such technologies are redirecting R&D into new Web services, integration, and portal technology, which ultimately may also benefit end users as well.

Like the Internet itself, the modern enterprise now increasingly relies on successful open source projects. Plus, the commoditization of operating systems, compilers, and servers is only the beginning. Many forms of infra-structure software can benefit from the open source model. Even non-proprietary business software likely to have a large user base may soon be ripe for commoditization too.

Ultimately, all this new thinking and ingenuity gives consumers increased choices, better products and services, and more cost-effective ways for building cutting-edge IT infrastructures and the next wave of distributed applications.

More Stories By Bob Bickel

As Executive Vice President at JBoss, Inc., Bob is responsible for strategy, corporate development and partnerships. Prior to founding Bickel Advisory Services, he was the General Manager of the HP Middleware Division. Before joining HP, Bickel was executive vice president of products for Bluestone Software Inc., acquired by HP in January 2001. Bickel was one of the original creators who brought Bluestone's application server technology to the marketplace and a reputation for product excellence. Before Bluestone, Bickel spent eleven years at Digital Equipment Corporation. Bickel holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Bucknell University and a master's degree in business administration in finance from Temple University. Bob also serves as an advisor or board member to Arjuna, Apax Partners, Baker Capital, Bristol Technologies, JBoss, Inc., Metaverse, ProductSoft, Sembleware, and Solstice Software.

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
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...