SpikeSource to Unveil New Products, Updates to Open-Source Stacks

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-04-04 Print this article Print

The company is also expected to launch its ISV and open-source developer programs, which include an ISV testing and certification service.

SpikeSource Inc., an open-source IT services company, has developed a solution for what it says is one of the biggest problems facing open-source technology adoption by large enterprises today: the lack of uniform integration, certification, testing and support for that software. SpikeSource, of Redwood City, Calif., will use the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco this week to announce the production availability of seven pre-configured SpikeSource Core Stacks as well as its related customer subscription service, which provides updates to certified open-source stacks.
It will also launch its ISV and open-source developer programs, which include an ISV testing and certification service.
SpikeSource is already testing and validating a number of components from ISVs and open-source providers, including Apache Axis, Apache Geronimo, Business Objects, JBoss, Lucene, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Pramati, Sleepycat Software and SugarCRM, across various operating system platforms. On Tuesday, the company will also detail partnerships with companies like Novell, Red Hat, Black Duck, Cognizant, Intel, Sun Microsystems, JBoss and MySQL, as well as the launch of its Information Services, which is a knowledge base and a set of tools to help companies figure out what open source to use and how to implement it in their environment, CEO Kim Polese, told eWeek in an interview ahead of the launch. SpikeSource, which was established two years ago by Ray Lane, the general partner of venture capital firm KPCB (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers), and Murugan Pal, the former CTO of Asera, is funded by KPCB, Intel and Fidelity Ventures and now employs some 40 staff in three countries, Polese said. The seven stacks incorporate 63 open-source components running on six platforms, including Red Hat Linux and Novells SuSE Linux as well as Microsoft Windows, with support for Suns Solaris and other Linux distributions planned going forward. The stacks also support six programming languages and associated services, she said, and the betas are available for free download. "The objective of the company is to provide a vendor-neutral solution for open source for enterprises so they can choose which distribution they want to run and which open-source components. We want to provide them choice and flexibility across the operating system, the database, the application server and other categories," she said. The company was solving the problem of interoperability, which was the biggest issue companies faced in using open source in enterprise production. Once companies had embraced open source and implemented this in a production environment, they were typically running dozens of components and had a versioning problem as those components were constantly changing and evolving, Polese said. "Their IT staff are consumed by scouring for patches and features and downloading those and then incorporating them into an integrated installation process. That takes an enormous amount of time, and thats the problem we are setting up to solve for these companies, offloading that task for them," Polese said. Microsoft Corp. has also been pushing the issue of interoperability and Windows "superiority" to open source software in that regard. Click here to read more about Microsoft tackling interoperability. In fact, earlier this year, Bill Gates, Microsofts chairman and chief software architect, sent an executive e-mail to customers and partners titled "Building Software That Is Interoperable By Design." Next Page: Attracting clients.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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