Open Source Uptake Driven by Bottom Line

A panel at LinuxCon says interest in open source software at large enterprises is at an all-time high, with cost driving a lot of the uptake.

 By Sean Michael Kerner
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Open source continues finding favor in both large enterprises and small companies. But while the nature and types of deployments may vary wildly, many have at least one thing in common: The bottom line.

Cost savings from Linux and open source has long been a key selling point of the movement. But according to a panel of enterprise users and analysts speaking at the LinuxCon conference, it's a consideration that spans the gamut from massive, multi-million-dollar implementations to far smaller organizations.

By almost any estimate, interest in open source is at an all-time high. Forrester Research analyst Jeffrey Hammond told the audience that over the last twelve months, senior executives from all types of businesses have been asking him about open source.

He also pointed to a recent Forrester survey that asked respondents to rank their software plans, and which found open source topping the list.

"Of the 16 different technologies that we asked about, open source software 'ranked' more important than ESB, ALM, mobile tools and business activity management," Hammond said. "Only one out of every five developers hasn't used open source as part of their development and deployment activities. So it's far more than the majority of developers at this point."

And to Hammond and others on the panel, at least part of the reason comes down to money.

"From a cost perspective, we do see organizations that are saving millions in terms of capital expenses," he said. "Sometimes they see increases in operational expenses, and that is something realistically that you have to deal with."

Hammond pointed to the Sabre travel network as one example, noting that the company has moved to a Linux and open source infrastructure. Doing so has helped it set up a complex system that now runs 32,000 transactions a second while lowering costs, he said.

"They told me that they're pulling out over $100 million in costs out of their organization over the last number of years," Hammond said.

While executives may notice the cost savings, they aren't the ones who are typically the driving forces in bringing open source into the enterprise. Read the rest at InternetNews.com.

This article was originally published on Sep 23, 2009
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