Open Source in the enterprise
by Greg Jetter
When I first started using Linux years ago , it was a hackers operating system. Students were the
major users . Microsoft windows ruled the enterprise .
No longer, it is 2014 and open source with Linux leading the way
has reached the top of the enterprise. Especially the Telco industry
where I work now.
Let me explain , you see I find open source free software
everywhere I look in the Wireless/Cell phone industry. It is embedded into
switches , routers , access points and servers of every kind.
do not think modern communications could occur without
Source Software (FOSS) .Not at an affordable price any way. If all proprietary software was used the cost would be so high that
the common man could not afford the service.
Lets Examine the places and usages of FOSS .
Starting at the network level , for monitoring performance of switches, routers and servers there is
Cacti and Zabbix , two widely
used open source free enterprise level
programs. Both written in PHP and using the SNMP protocol to poll
equipment for values , the net-snmp program written in the Perl
scripting language and the FOSS MySql data base for storage. Of
course both Cacti and Zabbix run on the worlds most popular web
server , Apache a FOSS product as well. Naturally a flavour of GNU
Linux is the operating system of choice. and is Used extensively to
power servers as well as embedded into appliances such as routers and
Day to day operational trouble shooting sees the program "Wireshark"
a FOSS packet sniffing tool used
extensively through out the Network operations centrer. Along with many other network tools all which are FOSS programs
used to track Ethernet packets from one place to another.
Every service provider needs some accounting method to bill the user , FreeRadius a
Free open source Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) program, is used to track customers and
their usage of data and air time. It and the FOSS PostgreSQL data
base insure that the company gets paid.
All the major network equipment manufactures like "Cisco" and "Ericson" incorporate FOSS into their offerings to one
degree or another . I have seen the Apache web server and Apache tom cat
Java server along with the Mongo DB offered up in one offering by Cisco
called a "BroadHop" an appliance/server for providing
wireless internet services .
Not surprisingly all of the FOSS software used by major manufactures of networking equipment are tweaked a
little , enough to make them propitiatory and bundled into a half a million dollar box’s under the manufactures brand.
To bad they won't pass the savings along to the consumer
engineering desktop you will find both Linux and Windows O/S's and FOSS
products used in development and design . The terminal program
Puddy on Windows is used for secure shelling
into remote servers as well as telnet sessions into routers and
switches. Secure Shell being a FOSS program as well as a protocol .
I have to admit I enjoy ribbing my fellow co-workers , that if they
were using Linux they could just use a native terminal instead of
having to use an emulator. For development the FOSS Integrated
development environment Eclipse is used for JAVA and other languages. For
Perl scripting I use the Padre IDE
and BlueFish as my HTML web IDE.
Although You will
find FOSS every where you look , it's potential to save the
enterprise even more money is constantly being overlooked . It is
still feared on the desktop even in a highly trained workforce
Ask yourself why Microsoft Office and the associated cost when there is
Libera Office ? Why use proprietary office products
when there are comparable FOSS products that cost you nothing and
that have large active user bases . Corporations need to wise up ,
Proprietary Software is a thing of the past , the major players in
the telco industry have quietly incorporated FOSS into their
offerings. Charging a premium for them I might add. And pocketing the
savings in development cost. Why not your company ?
© 2014 Greg Jetter