We’re hearing more from vendors about how new features, functionality, rewrites and releases are being driven by customers — by their direct experience using the software and competing in their various industries. We’re also hearing from customers and users, including the enterprise market, that increasingly they are involved and thus empowered in open source software communities.
OpenStack, which turned 4 years old this summer, began as a twinkle in Scott Sanchez’s eyes. He was determined to turn the fledgling Infrastructure as a Service platform he helped create into a thriving resource for public and private clouds. OpenStack is an open source project. Its technology consists of a series of interrelated projects for managing public and private cloud operations.
The OpenStack project continues to be something of a lightning rod and also something of a dichotomy in the industry. On one hand, it has drawn the involvement of hundreds of supporting vendors and more than 17,000 individual members. It ranks highly among priorities, particularly for private clouds. Yet critics are quick to point out issues, such as installation and implementation difficulties.
Scarcely two months have passed since Red Hat announced plans to acquire open source storage company Inktank, but already the union has produced results: Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2, which made its debut Wednesday. Ceph is a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. “Our goal is to do for storage what Linux did for servers,” said Red Hat’s Ross Turk.
Red Hat is famous for focusing squarely on a market and technology and building success from there, as it did with Linux. However, the company increasingly has diverged from its roots and historical laser focus on the enterprise x86 server market. The overarching theme and identity of Red Hat is still open source software, but the main driver for the company clearly is now cloud computing.
Red Hat on Tuesday rolled out Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the latest major release of the company’s flagship Linux platform, six months after the software’s beta version made its debut. Among the key new features included in the release are KVM virtualization technology, an improved installation experience, Active Directory/Identity Management integration, and Linux containers.
Software developers routinely use open source components to boost productivity and improve the quality of their code. The problem for enterprises is that companies using open source must properly manage it and comply with its licensing, as with any third-party code. That becomes difficult to do when corporate leaders do not know their computer systems are running open source code.
Red Hat on Tuesday unveiled Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6, an open source business process management suite that combines business process management, business rules management and complex event processing technologies in a single product offering. JBoss BPM Suite 6 includes all the capabilities of the next version of Red Hat’s business rules platform, JBoss BRMS 6.
Red Hat and Hortonworks on Monday announced a strategic alliance to integrate their product lines, as well as undertake joint go-to-market initiatives and offer collaborative customer support. By tightly integrating the enterprise Apache Hadoop platform with open hybrid cloud technologies, they aim to enable data-driven applications that help enterprises more quickly draw value from Big Data.
Red Hat on Wednesday launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 into beta. RHEL 7 incorporates several changes, including a move from Oracle’s MySQL to the open source MariaDB, the adoption of the XFS file system, and improvements in various areas, including storage and file size. The changes seem to indicate the company is ramping up its efforts to compete in the virtualization market.
Microsoft will stop security support for Windows XP this coming April, meaning that more than a few remaining users of the long-standing OS need to come up with an alternative plan. Almost a third of desktop computers still run Windows XP, according to Net Applications. More than 15 percent of midsize and large enterprises will still have Windows XP running on at least 10 percent of their PCs after support ends.
Enterprise software vendors want you to believe that they can customize their software to fit your company’s particular needs. That promise is also one of open source software’s chief claims to fame. So is the make-it-your-way vendor promise a better option than what the open source community offers? No solution involving tailoring versus customizing business software is really free.
When open source software was still getting established in the enterprise five years ago or so, there was a lot of discussion about so-called open core ripoffs. The concern was that anyone and everyone was proclaiming an association with open source software, even if most or all of their products were proprietary. Today, a similar debate has arisen about devops.
Vendor lock-in has been such a standard part of enterprise IT over the years that it often goes unnoticed and unquestioned. Recently, however, that lock-in mentality has followed enterprises to the clouds. One might not think that vendor lock-in would exist for those who use open source software or open cloud solutions. Think again.
One of the big attractions behind the growing popularity of open source software is the ability to get it and use it for free. In a world of ever-rising costs in pretty much every other aspect of business and life, "free" is an offer that’s increasingly difficult to refuse. Support is one area, however, where "free" may not be all it seems — particularly for enterprises.
Discuss the merits of the many competing desktop Linux distributions out there, and you could fill several hours with heated debate. Turn the conversation to enterprise server distros, however, and the room can become quiet very quickly. The fact is, those on the hunt for the best or easiest or cheapest enterprise Linux distro have far fewer choices.
We may not see or hear much about open source in the latest cloud or Big Data offerings, but it’s playing a significant role in the most disruptive trends in enterprise IT. Just as we’ve seen with open source in cloud computing, it is an integral part of trends that currently are disrupting consumer and enterprise IT markets, including hybrid cloud computing, automation and devops, and Big Data.
Server-side Linux has been pushing into the enterprise for some years now, and 42 percent of respondents to a survey conducted on behalf of Linux vendor SUSE said it was either their primary server OS or one of their top server platforms. Perhaps more importantly, Linux is extending its reach beyond its traditional areas of supercomputing, Web servers, Internet hosting and application development.
For many database practitioners, Hadoop is turning the tables on the relational database model. The rise of Big Data is driving what some see as a much-needed change in the platforms that process the massive infusions of aggregated raw data. Take for example, Cloudera founder and Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson. His open source company harnesses Apache Hadoop-based software and services.
Hybrid cloud technology is garnering much attention of late — whether for cutting-edge development and the continuous integration and release processes achieved through devops, or for traditional enterprise-proven approaches to infrastructure and applications. There’s more to hybrid clouds than hype. The growth outlook for all types of cloud computing is strong.