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The top 10 reasons you need to know more about open source software

  
  
  

When discussing the pros and cons of open source software (OSS), most people will immediately list legal or security risks with OSS as huge cons. But the truth is the risks are no different than using commercial software. If you violate a commercial license or if the commercial software you use has a security flaw (and we all know commercial software is full of security issues) than the same could be said about commercial software in general. But the truth is you have to be smart about OSS. You have to understand why it’s important to know where it came from, how it’s licensed, and how to use it to lower your risks, just like you do with commercial software.

The Best-In-Class Open Source Policy

  
  
  

In the time that I have spent with OpenLogic, I have worked with companies across many industries, and with companies ranging from a handful of developers to thousands of developers. One thing they have in common is that they typically have some type of open source policy, some far more developed than others.

Four Reasons I Like Developing with Open Source Code

  
  
  

I have been a developer for a number of years (yes, it’s a large-ish number) and I’ve worked on teams that have developed software on commercial platforms, on teams that have used a mixture of open source and commercial components, and on teams that have used primarily open source. Overall, I’ve developed (no pun intended) a preference for using open source tools and components whenever it’s feasible.  Here are some of the reasons why I prefer to develop with open source code:

4 Hard Lessons Learned From Implementing Software Customizations

  
  
  

As a COO, and former CFO, I’ve been in charge of my fair share of commercial and open source software projects over the years.  A couple of the projects I was directly in charge of the design of features, while others I held responsibility to sign off and approve at a high level.   Some projects were minor, while others involved full-scale customizations between an accounting application and a CRM application, with a front-end web interface.  Although the custom implementation worked great, and if I might say were pretty ingenious, there were definitely some valuable lessons I’ve learned over the years the hard way, that can be valuable to others in the same situation.

An Enterprise Apache Tomcat Clustering Guide

  
  
  

 

This post is part 2 of a 3 part blog series that will look at leveraging Apache Tomcat clustering, in order to increase your system’s availability.  

An In-Depth Look at Tomcat’s Clustering Mechanisms

  
  
  

Evaluating An OSS Database: The 9 Advantages MySQL Provides You With

  
  
  

When most people think "open source database," the first name that comes to mind is MySQL. This relational database management system (RDBMS) has been around for 17 years, and in that time it has become intimately associated with the open source ecosystem, notably as a component of the LAMP stack used to build solid web platforms - the Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL database, and PHP. But MySQL also serves as the back end for prominent projects such as WordPress and MythTV, and it's used by enterprise customers such as Facebook, Sears, and BBC News.

Windows Azure and CentOS: How the OpenLogic Expert Community Works

  
  
  

Yesterday we had the pleasure of attending the “Meet Windows Azure” launch party, along with a number of other Azure partners in San Francisco.   

Supporting CentOS In The Cloud With Windows Azure

  
  
  

Open source is all about choice. Over the years, OpenLogic has grown and thrived in part because our mission is centered around giving that choice to corporations —the flexibility to choose the best open-source tools for any job, as well as the support they need to confidently deploy and maintain open source across the network.

JBoss, Tomcat, Apache----Oh My!

  
  
  

JBoss, Tomcat & Apache are 3 of the most popular open source packages being used in the enterprise and have been for quite a while.  Enterprises tend to have a high level of comfort using them in their development and other non-production environments.  But as soon as you bring up the idea of open source software in production a funny thing happens.  You can hear brakes squealing, sirens going off, and see panic set in with business leaders in your company.  Then the questions start.  What if it breaks?  Who is on the hook at 2 am?  Is it secure?  Is it as good as commercial software?  What about indemnification?

Now, your head is spinning too.  Take a deep breath and let me explain the answers to those questions.

What if it breaks?  Who is on the hook at 2am?
Purchasing SLA technical support from a third party vendor means that if you have problems or something breaks you can call them.  Most production support provides a 1 hour response time and a 72 hour work around time, even at 2am.

Is it secure?
Open Source Software isn’t any less secure than commercial software.  In fact because it is open and has more eyes on it at any given time, security vulnerabilities can be caught much sooner.  Our support team also routinely looks at each package we support and cross references it with the National Security Vulnerabilities Database.  We know the same day that a vulnerability is found and notify our customers.

Is it as good as commercial software?
If you mean is the technology as advanced?  The answer is often that it is more advanced.  Open Source Software communities don’t rest on their laurels.  They are constantly writing code to enhance their project.  They track and fix bugs.  With the increased number of eyes on a package, development happens quickly.  And since OSS communities are a meritocracy you can rest assured that individuals who are contributing and committing code are top notch developers!

What about indemnification?
This will vary by vendor.  Some vendors don’t offer indemnification and many others do.

Now what are you waiting for?  Tell your manager you want to use OSS in production and tuck a copy of this blog in your back pocket to answer all of the questions before they're even asked.



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