SpikeSource to Launch Made-to-Order Stacks

SpikeSource Core stack features more than 70 components that can be integrated to make stacks for different users' specific needs.

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SpikeSource Monday announced a new strategy of providing made-to-order open-source stacks of software fully configured and tested for enterprise customers.

Kim Polese, CEO of the Redwood City, Calif., company, said SpikeSource Inc., an open-source IT services company, will enable developers to choose from pre-built stacks to use or to order their own. Polese said the SpikeSource Core stack features more than 70 components that can be integrated to make stacks for different users specific needs. SpikeSource made its announcement at the OSCON (OReilly Open Source Convention) in Portland, Ore., on Monday. The offering is available at SpikeSource.com.

"Were providing made-to-order stacks to enable companies to dynamically configure systems on the fly," Polese said. "Today, we offer several pre-configured stacks on our site, but this will let people have it their way."

/zimages/2/28571.gifSpikeSource announces new products. Click here to read more.

Joaquin Ruiz, vice president of product management at SpikeSource, said "a lot of enterprises want it their way—like they have a specific Web service or database, etc., they need; they have specific needs. They want made-to-order capabilities. There are hundreds of parameters available to use in a specific stack."

SpikeSource automatically assembles the selected components, and all dependent components, and configures them into a fully integrated and certified open-source stack, said Nick Halsey, a vice president at the company.

Polese said SpikeSources "automation is what allows us to scale. The architecture allows us to automate the addition of components. What our engineering team has been working on is the automation of this capability."

Added Polese: "Our strength is to test broadly and also to test open-source and proprietary components."

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead more here about stacks and open-source growth.

SpikeSource includes a Network Installer for ease of installation and a Configuration Manager that makes future stack and component reconfigurations easier, the company said. Using SpikeSources integrated stacks can save days or weeks of time spent integrating and configuring individual components and testing for overall interoperability, the company said.

In addition, SpikeSource does extensive interoperability testing to make sure all the components in the stacks work well together and that the stacks perform properly, Polese said. SpikeSource performs more than 27,000 tests across six language runtimes and multiple operating systems, each time code changes, Halsey said. SpikeSource monitors open-source projects to track the bugs, fixes and security patches in each component, the company said.

In addition, SpikeSource announced newly added support for Red Hat Linux v.4 and SuSE Linux Professional 9.2, which complements the companys support for Fedora Core 3, Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.3, and SuSE Linux Professional 9.1. And SpikeSource also has added support for additional open-source components such as PostgreSQL, phpPgAdmin, pgsql JDBC drivers, Xalan and Xerces to its list of supported components, the company said.

Each component is fully integrated into the SpikeSource Core stack and made available as part of a preconfigured stack or as an option for installation as part of a made-to-order stack.

Moreover, the SpikeSource open-source stacks are updated quarterly for free or on an as-needed basis for customers of SpikeSource Update Services, Halsey said. SpikeSource Update Services are automated updates to the components, the company said.

In addition, SpikeSource is co-sponsoring the BRR (Business Readiness Ratings) program to rate open-source software according to "business readiness" along the categories of functionality, usability, security and scalability, Halsey said.

The BRR is a community initiative led by the Carnegie Mellon University West Center for Open Source Investigation. SpikeSource, Intel and OReilly CodeZoo are sponsors. The initial phase of the project is currently in effect and involves a public comment period. The ultimate goal of the project is to help users determine whether open-source software they are looking at is mature enough to adopt, Halsey said.

"This is to give companies a trusted source to make sure the open-source software they are willing to use is mature enough for their uses," he said.

"The feedback weve gotten is there is a vast ocean of projects out there and many are overlapping," Ruiz said. "And the Business Readiness Rating gives you a head start."

Meanwhile, to encourage testing of open-source software, SpikeSource has launched its Participatory Testing Contest, through which the company will award more than $20,000 in prize money to the eligible Open-Source Projects that most increase the amount of test code coverage for their projects in 2005, Halsey said. The contest will run from Aug. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2005.

"We have seen some companies have set up their own internal open-source testing, but theyre looking to offload that to a third party," Polese said.

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