Attracting clients

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

SpikeSource has already landed one enterprise client, investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, which is working with SpikeSource to support the banks testing and deployment of new and existing applications. The bank has signed up for SpikeSources subscription and enterprise support services.
"Platform independence is fundamental to our open-source strategy, and SpikeSource is an important part of helping us achieve that. The SpikeSource solution enables our engineering teams to focus on client-facing initiatives with the confidence that the banks environments have been tested and certified and are free of interoperability issues," JP Rangaswami, the global CIO at Dresdner, said in a statement.
Each of the seven stacks has been tested and validated and includes add-on functional features that have been designed for faster implementation and easy application management. By automating the complex process of stack testing, SpikeSource is able to run 22,000 tests nightly to ensure that interoperability issues are identified and upgrades and patches are integrated. These core stacks have been in development for more than a year and have been available in open public beta since last December. "We have spent some 18 months developing a fully automated test bed for open-source component interoperability testing, and we now run more than 22,000 tests nightly. Hundreds of people have downloaded the stack during the public beta period, and thousands are accessing the results," Polese said. "Each of these core stacks that will be released typically involves optimizing 272 parameters distributed across 189 configuration files and 63 components to yield seven pre-configured stacks for developing applications in Java, PHP, Perl, Python C and C++," she said, adding that network and client installers will be available for both pre-configured and custom stacks. To read more about open-source infrastructure software development, click here. SpikeSource will also offer four different levels of technical support. Each support level includes a subscription update service and access to the SpikeSearch online knowledge base, and is available as a three-month or annual subscription. The annual fee starts at under $1,000 and increases to some $25,000 for Gold support. SpikeSource will also announce that it is contributing both software projects and standardized interfaces contributions to the open-source community. On the software front, it is donating the SAM (SpikeSource Asset Manager), an open-source, cross-platform framework for identifying and reporting locally installed open-source components. It probes for components commonly found in a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack and can find multiple versions that are installed in a local disk, query an RPM (RedHat Package Manager) database or operating systems repository, and listen to standard ports and indicate which components are running. It operates as a standalone tool and does not send any information to SpikeSource, Polese said. SpikeSource will also donate an inventory management tool, PHPCoverage, which is an application that gives code coverage analysis while testing software developed in PHP. The company is also handing over the code for the Test Upload Interface and the Test Results Publication to facilitate the development of standard test information metadata and test result sharing in the open-source community. There was good demand for SpikeSources products and solutions from enterprises using open source in production environments, Polese said. "They are telling us that they have several staff doing nothing but looking for bug fixes, certifying and implementing these. "They are also having trouble controlling the use of open source as it does not go through a procurement process and there is no inventory and no control over what comes in. They want help with this, and we can provide that," she said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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


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