IT Management Slideshow: 10 Areas Where Open Source is Open for Business

By Bob Violino  |  Posted 01-29-2009

10 Areas Where Open Source is Open for Business

10 Areas Where Open Source is Open for Business The recession is helping to drive home the fact that open source is enterprise-ready in a lot of areas. Flexible pricing and mature products make the once-exotic software ready for prime time.

10 Areas Where Open Source is Open for Business

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Operating systems. Since the introduction of the first Linux release in 1994, the open source operating system has grown steadily. According to research from Gartner Inc. in May 2008, it was the fastest-growing server operating system.

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Customer Resource Management (CRM). Open source CRM projects are growing in number. A few of the most popular offerings in the market are SugarCRM, SplendidCRM, ConcourseSuite and Hipergate.

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Some organizations are moving from expensive commercial ERP offerings to emerging open source projects such as Compiere, Openbravo, PostBooks and JFire.

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Mobile computing and communications. Open source is moving rapidly into mobile technologies. One factor promoting the growth of mobile open source is the increasing momentum of the LiMo Foundation, a group of companies creating a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices.

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Business Intelligence. Open source BI projects include BIRT, an Eclipse-based reporting system for Web applications, and the Pentaho BI Suite, which provides BI capabilities such as query and reporting, interactive analysis and dashboards.

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Application development. Industry research shows that the most common deployments of open source happen within the application development and deployment layer of the software stack. The leading open source application development effort is Eclipse.

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Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony. Among the companies offering open source VoIP products are Digium, Fonality and Bluesocket, and open source VoIP projects include Asterisk, CallWeaver (formerly OpenPBX) and SipXecs.

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Web browsers. By far the most popular open source Web browser is Mozilla Firefox, which was developed by the Mozilla Foundation in 2004. As of January 2009, Firefox accounted for 21% of the overall browser usage share, according to Net Applications.

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Virtualization. With open source virtualization software, organizations can implement virtualization with a lower total cost of ownership. Among the more popular open source offerings is the Xen hypervisor, a virtualization technology that supports operating systems such as Windows and Linux.

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Security. Companies considering open source for some of their IT security functions have plenty of products to choose from. Among the better known offerings are Nessus, a vulnerability scanner, Snort, an intrusion detection system, and Open SSL, a toolkit that uses the Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security protocols.

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