Server Farming

Jul 25 2008   10:41PM GMT

Open source gaining ground in the enterprise

Leah Rosin Leah Rosin Profile: Leah Rosin

Active Directory

The open source community gathered this week in Portland, Or., at the 10th annual O’Reilly OSCON. The conference was host to a variety of scintillating speakers that were perfect for the admittedly “geeky” audience. While I was there, everyone was buzzing about Damian Conway’s keynote which was aptly titled: Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming In Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Timespaces…Made Easy! (I just cut-and-pasted that to maintain accuracy). Wednesday morning’s keynotes included a live Tim O’Reilly interview with the developers of MySQL, Michael Widenius and Brian Akers, and a provocative discussion of physical security and what the open source community can do to help. If anyone could be inspired to think about the big problems, the environment at this conference was about as conducive as you can get.

The conference was celebrating its 10th year, and it seemed appropriate to take a look at how well open source is doing in the larger world, especially in enterprise environments. So, on Wednesday, O’Reilly Radar released a new report, Open Source in the Enterprise. The report shows that open source is growing, and found that there were six key drivers. Watch the video below to hear the report’s author, Bernard Golden, CEO of Navica explain these drivers. Golden also explains an uptick in open source recruiting at non-IT companies — a trend that is promising for all the open source programmers out there in their quest for getting some remuneration for their programming work.

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In a time of decreasing budgets, it is no surprise that companies are looking to open source solutions instead of costly licensing fees for a variety of their computing needs. SourceForge announced their 2008 open source award winners on Thursday at OSCON, and the OpenOffice won best project, best project for the enterprise, and best project for education. But when will the enterprise embrace it — or more accurately, when will cost savings outweigh perceived risk? We know what the drivers are, but what do you think is stopping the open source march into the enterprise?

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