75% companies encounter problems on using FOSS
The absence of enterprise-grade support for free and open-source software (FOSS) is becoming the biggest concern for business users of this software, according to a recent survey by data-centre automation company Univa. The survey revealed that 75 per cent of the respondents have experienced a problem using FOSS, although three fourth of the business users are using open source technology and 64 per cent of respondents were even prepared to pay for supported open-source software.
The survey noted that the key problem enterprises are experiencing with FOSS is the lack of stability. Most of them stated either the applications crashing or they are not functioning properly. Twenty-five per cent said stability as the biggest reason to pay for better quality.
According to Gary Tyreman, CEO, Univa lack of a vendor standing behind most open source products has been a long-standing issue. Ironically, the absence of the kinds of support one would get from companies like Microsoft does not seem to have been a barrier to the use of FOSS in business. Some companies have attempted to spin up stand-alone FOSS support, but the numbers are scant.
Tyreman explained that SpikeSource made much of providing tested and supported integrations of Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python, but the company struggled and its assets were eventually swallowed by Black Duck. “What does seem to have worked is when the distributors of open-source code have supported their own work. For example, today, we have Linux companies maintaining their Linux distros: MySQL is supported by Oracle, and PHP is supported through a packaged distro from Zend - which was co-founded by PHP core contributors,” he said.
In some cases however, companies have preferred to leave the problem of support to their in-house IT department, enjoying the openness and freedom of the APIs, but allowing many of the details to fall through the cracks, summed up Tyreman.
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