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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-07-23 Print this article Print

The survey also found that the United States is leading the adoption of open source globally, which is being driven by corporate America, which wants better value. But the situation is different in Europe, where open-source adoption is largely being driven by governments looking for better value for their citizens, he said. The research shows that this push is being driven by the French, Spanish, German and Italian governments, while the U.K. government came in sixth in the study.
"This suggests that the British government is not pushing open source and is far more Microsoft-centric. So this indicates that there is a big difference between the U.S. and Europe," he said.
Howells noted that since the survey was driven by the enterprise and the findings were specific to those companies—both in the United States and Europe—it does not necessarily reflect what is going on elsewhere in the market. Some enterprises that migrated off Windows servers and onto Linux are moving back. Click here to read more. "We live on top of the stack, and if you look at the LAMP [Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP] stack, there is a lot of activity on top of that with things like Alfresco and the CRM [customer relationship management] players. So we wanted to know what kind of mixed stack we needed to support as there are a lot of combinations there. We also knew that it wasnt just open-source stacks, as users could be running on Windows, Oracle, with JBoss and Alfresco," he said. Customers signing up to join the Alfresco Content Community were asked a series of questions about how they evaluated, tested and deployed both open-source and proprietary software along with Alfrescos enterprise content management system. They were also asked for their preferences regarding operating systems, application servers, databases, browsers and portals so as to gain insight into how these companies evaluate and deploy open-source and legacy proprietary software stacks in the enterprise. "We found that there is a clear leader at each level of the open-source stack most of the time, but there is also a growing trend for organizations to adopt a mixed stack, combining both open-source and proprietary software to enable use of best-of-breed components," Howells said, noting that organizations want to maintain flexibility within the stack. Regarding application servers, the data indicated that enterprises prefer open-source Tomcat or JBoss over the leading proprietary offerings from Sun Microsystems, IBM and BEA Systems, even in production environments. JBoss is adopting a Fedora-like model. Read more here. On the database front, users said they test and deploy primarily on MySQL, with PostgreSQL "a surprisingly close second," while Oracle was the most popular among the proprietary databases. "To access the Alfresco ECM repository, users preferred browsers over portals, with Firefox the most popular choice among different browsers. When users selected a portal preference, 80 percent chose Liferay or JBoss Portal," Howells said. Red Hat Exchange delivers preconfigured, fully integrated solution stacks for 14 business applications. Learn more here. New members are continuously joining the Alfresco community and answering the survey questions, so the company plans to update the open-source barometer report every six months, and Howells will blog about the updates on a regular basis. 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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