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Monday, December 8, 2008

Cloud computing to fuel open source explosion

Cloud computing will fuel growth in open source software as companies try to manage costs, according to database heavyweight Ingres.

Tom Berquist, former managing director of financial powerhouses Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and now CFO of open source database firm Ingres, made the prediction last week.

Ingres, the second largest open source company, counts the likes of BAE Systems, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa among its customers.

Berquist said the cloud computing model--of companies' serving applications over the Internet--requires vendors to spend large amounts of cash buying and maintaining servers, telecoms infrastructure and software such as operating systems, Web, application and database servers to support their software as a service (SaaS) operation.

He added because SaaS vendors needed to invest in more hardware and software than traditional software vendors--where applications are sold to customers to install on their own machines--there was a greater drive towards using open source operating systems, Web, application and database servers, as opposed to more expensive commercial alternatives.

Berquist said: "With cloud computing the operating system and the infrastructure is managed and paid for by the vendor rather than by the customer.

"The more we move towards cloud computing, the more that rewards open source because the cloud software vendor can not afford to pay for software for say 25,000 server CPUs.

"They will go towards open source and in many cases self support. People can not afford to spend the money that would be necessary in the old client to server model.

"It can be 10 times cheaper than relying on the commercial guys."

He added that the credit crunch would also fuel adoption of open source software, as it had done during the dot-com crash in the early 2000s.

courtsy: Nick Heath of Silicon.com reported from London.

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