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.
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."