SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: The New Paradigm of IT Buying

"Technology should add value to your business, not hold it captive."

With the U.S. economy and IT spending finally appearing to be making a comeback and China and India adopting IT faster than you can say symmetric multiprocessing, why am I predicting layoffs?

I'm not predicting layoffs so much as a shift from vendors and service providers who don't support the integration of open source and commercial systems. You see, I lead somewhat of a sheltered life - I usually speak with people in the open source field, the IT professionals who drink the proverbial Kool-Aid. They already have IT plans that encompass open source operating systems, such as Linux and other systems, and software that adhere to open standards. However, as I try to expand my horizons, I'm finding more people who use vendors that are not interested in supporting open standards or interacting with community-developed open source software. They claim this puts them at risk because open systems are often untested.

I'll let you in on a little secret: even the commercial tested solutions often aren't all they're cracked up to be; even worse, if there is a problem, you are at the mercy of the vendors as they dictate when they will be fixing bugs and adding features. Are you paying them for that? Here's a novel idea: What if we moved software to a performance-based model where you pay your vendor based on the level at which the software meets your needs? That would be a nice change. How about a tool that claims to increase your knowledge worker productivity and actually does so. Rather than charging royalties, they simply split the savings with you over the useful life of the product. If it works, it might be more profitable for the vendor and it will yield greater savings to the technology consumer.

The reason I find the complaints of those hemmed in by their vendors so offensive is that as they complain about their woes, they continue to put themselves in harms way. Why would you ever sign up for a product, service, or piece of hardware that locks you into a long-use cycle and potentially has you following decisions mandated by your vendor rather than your business. I am aware that there are certain tools out there that are necessary for certain industries (e.g., medical, and manufacturing) and require specialization, but what about other types of industries where needs can be met by a multitude of solutions. I can't emphasize this enough in the office suites; the release of OpenOffice.org 2.0 may have come and gone as has StarOffice 8.0 by the time you read this and with these new releases I expect that even more people will find an alternative to Microsoft's Office Suite.

The new paradigm of IT buying will be one where you buy services rather than licenses or at least support entitlements to IT products, and office suites are just one area of that. Also when looking for these gems I can see big opportunities in the following areas:

  • Databases: As we accumulate more and more data, especially as a result of e-commerce and other computer-related transactions, more businesses will have a need for databases, however, the per-seat access license model is not attractive to me. Consider looking at MySQL (www.mysql.org) or PostgresSQL (www.postgres.org), especially where the data needs to be stored, but advanced database features are lost on many users. If you need help, you can turn to vendors MySQL AB (www.mysql.com) or EnterpriseDB (www.enterprisedb.com) for support.
  • File and Print Services: Perhaps my biggest gripe is with the file and print services model that requires client access licensing. Does the server require any more support or attention from the vendor whether it serves one user or 100? Is there more value added by incremental user additions? I have a hard time believing there is. So why be charged as if there were? Consider Samba (www.samba.org) running on one of the many flavors of Linux; you can still use a Windows desktop because Samba accepts connections from Windows, no CALs required.
  • Content Management Systems: Doing business on the Web is a critical part of commerce for even small businesses, as is having the ability for data to flow from the enterprise to the end user. This can be facilitated by user-friendly content management systems or complex Web applications that require the ability to provide services based on business logic. Consider the small to medium business, for example, Joomla! (www.joomla.org), or complex enterprise applications, for example, JBoss (www.jboss.com) - both are open source and have large and successful user bases, and once again there are commercial support venues for these software packages.
If you've read any of my previous editorials, you may envision me as a "bible-thumping" preacher of sorts. The message that you need to start taking away from our publication, beyond the success stories of Linux and product updates, is that not all commercial software is evil and not all open source software is untested, and that you should look for solutions that are not apt to lock you into future decisions that limit your choice of vendors. Technology should add value to your business, not hold it captive.

More Stories By Mark R. Hinkle

Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.