Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

In part 1 I debunked the "OSS is bad for the economy myth". In part2 I showed six different models for OSS support. In this third and final post on debunking OSS myths, I will address these two statements:

  • OSS products are second rate ("created in the garage" mentality)
  • OSS can't be good because it is free
There are many OSS products that are highly reliable and run the systems of very successful companies and web sites that have millions of users. Just look at some the names of highest traffic web sites ranked by Alexa that use the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python, or Perl) stack (the link next to the website shows their underlying architecture):
  1. Yahoo (LAMP)
  2. Google (LAMP)
  3. Youtube (LAMP)
  4. Windows Live (Win)
  5. MSN (Win)
  6. MySpace (Win)
  7. Wikipedia (LAMP)
  8. Facebook (LAMP)
  9. Blogger.com (LAMP)
  10. Yahoo JP (LAMP)
Go to this link to look up the architecture of your favorite sites.

Other major companies using LAMP are Amazon, Disney, Boeing to name a few. Read this article called How Linux saved Amazon millions to see the real value in open source software. Twitter is another site that is growing like crazy. Look at the OSS that it uses:
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Erlang
  • MySQL
  • Mongrel - hybrid Ruby/C HTTP server designed to be small, fast, and secure
  • Munin
  • Nagios
  • Google Analytics
  • AWStats - real-time logfile analyzer
  • Memcached
  • But major websites aren't the only ones leveraging OSS. Most of the major technology companies have an open source strategy now. How about this list (click on the links to see each company's Open Source page):

    All of these companies are using OSS along side their own products to drive costs down. Most non-Microsoft development these days leverage a ton of open source tools. Look at the tools in the J2EE stack:
    • JBoss
    • Tomcat
    • Struts
    • Hibernate
    • Spring
    • PHP
    • Perl
    • Python and more
    So much for the comments "Free means crap" or the ignorant "garbage.com" comments. These tools are the real deal. Are there crappy OSS products? Sure, but no different then the crappy proprietary products. Even Microsoft is starting to pay attention to Open Source. Although they are doing because OSS is a threat while the other companies are leveraging it as a competitive advantage.

    So this concludes my 3-part series on debunking OSS myths. Anytime you hear the myths or FUD be spewed by those who refuse to acknowledge reality or just have not done their homework, please forward them these articles so they can learn what most of the rest of the world already know.


    1. Anonymous  

      Alexa.com is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. It is a website which provides information on traffic levels for websites. The Alexa rank is measured according to the amount of users who’ve visited a website with the Alexa toolbar installed. Alexa toolbar is an application developed by Alexa Internet. Its primary use is to measure website statistics. This toolbar collects as well as gives some valuable information. Once you install it, the Alexa toolbar monitors all your surfing and collects information about what domains you visit. They use this data to rank web sites. The traffic rank they assign to websites is based on 3 months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of other users and is a combined measure of page views and users. Webmasters, advertisers and ad networks use your blog’s Alexa rank as a gauge to determine the worth of a link on your website. If you depend on link or site selling as a form of monetization you’ll definitely want to increase your Alexa rank, because it’ll increase your bargaining power when it comes to ad pricing.

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