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Building the cloud with open source: Red Hat

AvantiKumar | July 8, 2010
MOSC 2010 in Malaysia shows considerable OSS progress: Red Hat
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 JULY 2010 Open source software (OSS) would help to build a more flexible and stronger platform for cloud computing solutions, according to open source firm Red Hat.

Speaking during the recent MOSC [Malaysia Open Source Conference] 2010, Red Hat director, business and technology solutions Asia Pacific and Japan, Frank Feldmann, said it was a logical move for governments and organisations to consider OSS to help drive cloud computing infrastructures.

According to a recent study by Accenture, Feldmann said in both the United States and the United Kingdom, respondents cited quality and improved reliability as the key benefits to open source programmes. A total of 70 per cent cited improved reliability, and 69 per cent said they are finding better security and bug fixing.

In Malaysia, the number of public sector agencies reported by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) director-general Dato' Mohamad Zabidi Zainal to be adopting and implementing OSS is 691 or 95 per cent, which represents more than a 25-fold increase since the OSS Master Plan was introduced, said Feldmann. The OSS adoption in government agencies has resulted in estimated known savings of US$58.33 million (RM188 million).

There has been significant progress with OSS in Malaysia, he said. MAMPU has said that 53 per cent of the 4,000 software vendors it has listed provide open source services; six years ago, it was zero.

 Microsoft collaboration, growth trajectory

As part of our OSCI [Open SystemC initiative], we marked up 60 partners in Malaysia last year. This number has now grown to 100 companies, said Feldmann. Open source is on a trajectory to become dominant in the next 10 years.

He cited Accenture's global study that indicated two-thirds of organisations expected to increase their investment in OSS in 2010, while almost 40 per cent said they expect to migrate mission-critical software to open source in the next 12 months. Cost is a huge driver. Of the respondents, 71 per cent said they believed they could save in software maintenance costs. They also cited savings in total cost of ownership and development costs.

In addition, collaboration with companies is on the increase, said Feldmann. With x86 machines, Microsoft and Red Hat have signed agreements to work together to meet customer demands as both operating systems are often in use in these scenarios.

These are extraordinary times we live in, he said. Open source is one of the best ways to harvest new ideas. Linux is the biggest software project on the planet with 11,000 new lines of code being added to the Linux kernel every day, which has 11 million lines of code.

"As an example, HTML5, which is an open standard, is an abstract language that has evolved to a medium far beyond just content, said Feldmann. It can now drive full blown applications. This standard will evolve faster into becoming an application delivery mechanism."

"Today, Web 2.0 applications such as wikis, blogs, social software, collaboration means that most companies are not set up to handle the plethora of applications," he said. Better business models based on subscription are more customer-centric. This, coupled with modern architectures that deliver on the promise and potential of technology, is the best way to deliver innovation to the business.


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