The Power and Roi of Open Source

The open source symposium was held at Taj Residency, Bangalore on 17th and 18th October, 2006. The event was conducted by Red Hat, sponsored by AMD and the research data was based on IDC’s research and surveys. The speakers talked about the trends in the industry, the business and revenue model of Red Hat, how open source can be applied to architecture, software, middleware and hardware.

Right now the open source developer participation from APAC region and India in specific is miniscule. They spread some awareness about Red Hat open source platform and threw some light on how to participate in the open source community and how we all can benefit from this model.

According to IDC’s recent research, enterprise adoption of open source has grown manifold; companies worldwide are increasing investment in open source technologies. Today enterprises have started benefiting from the quality, license cost savings and flexibility of open source. Beyond profit margin of open source adoption, there was also discussion about backing open standards, contributions for open source community.

Some of the interesting topics are given in detail below:

The Power of Choice: Open Source Architecture

The long term vision of Open Source Architecture is built on open standards and interoperability. The Open Source architecture delivers a suite of standards based technologies and services, allowing open source and traditional software applications to be co-existed and can be deployed on reliable, secure, scalable and highly performing platforms. To the enterprise, it is the power to assemble and dissemble the architecture, software, middleware, hardware and applications that fulfill the goals of the business.

Open Source Software (OSS):

With OSS, the code is protected by a special license GNU General Public License (GPL) that ensures everyone has access to code. That means no one company can fully own it. You can see the code, change it and learn from it. Bugs are more quickly found and fixed. And when customers don’t like how one vendor is serving them, they can choose another without overhauling their infrastructure. No more technology lock-in. No more monopolies.

The marriage between SOA (Service oriented architecture or software as a service) and OSS though not revolutionary because of the weight of the IT legacy, is surely evolving gradually. The CEO’s and CIO’s are not happy with the vendor lock-in and the tight integration of their architecture and the prize they pay. This problem is very well addressed by SOA and OSS.

The second day was Red Hat Developer Day; it was aimed to bring together Linux developers and users to help grow open source technologies. Red Hat provides a platform for improving development, techniques, tools and standards through the sharing of technical knowledge and expertise. These efforts are to encourage open source development in India. Red Hat is initiating the Red Hat Developer Program, a community development program in India through Red Hat 108. Red Hat 108 is a community of and for open source developers.

The other topics covered are:-


Virtualization means the operating system is isolated from the hardware it’s running on. Several operating systems can run on one machine, and different workloads can be easily combined and moved. With virtualization, you can:

Move workloads from server to server.

Change hardware without retesting software

Allows isolation of failures and control access to data.

Manipulate to maximize processing power and capacity

Have a safe, secure space for testing.

Virtualization technology can help lower costs by optimizing and increasing utilization of computing systems. They declined to comment about the licensing of the operating system. They can charge per operating system (if 3 operating system instances are run on one machine, they can charge for 3 licenses) or per hardware (this is independent of how many operating system you have installed in a pc).

Red Hat’s acquisition of JBoss:

This move is strategically poised to improve the presence of Red Hat in the middleware. They wanted to deliver a full server application stack. JBoss provides a very rich set of applications, J2EE server, portal, development IDE, transaction management etc. This gives Red Hat a middleware stack that beats their competition by thousands of dollars. JBoss makes more sense here and it will become their de facto application server. They will be able to do some really tight integration and give their customers an out-of-the-box J2EE solution that should perform really well. It is still not known whether JBoss will be bundled with Red Hat as of now.


SystemTap, a Red Hat utility allows developers and administrators to write scripts for deep examinations of Dynamic Linux Kernel activities. Data may be filtered, extracted, and summarized quickly to enable diagnoses of complex problems.

JBoss Operations Network (JBoss ON)

JBoss ON is a console based advanced management platform for inventorying, administering, monitoring, and updating JEMS applications. Jboss ON is an agent-based platform that is deployed locally.

The most important JBoss ON Modules are:

Inventory, allows you to catalog IT assets spanning platforms (Linux, HP/UX, Solaris, Windows, AIX), servers (Apache Web Server, Apache Tomcat, JBoss AS), and services (EJB, Message Driven Beans, data sources). Assets can be added manually or auto-discovered providing enhanced visibility over your critical business applications including their versions and dependencies.

Administration provides a single location for performing key control functions such as start, stop, and re-start across the entire JEMS platform. Administration functions can be applied to a single application or across an enterprise cluster. Operations can also be scheduled for later dates, on-demand or on a recurring basis. This module also allows you to roll-back to previous versions if necessary.

Monitoring provides extensive monitoring capabilities for the JEMS platform along with supporting components such as operating systems (Windows, Linux, and UNIX), Apache Tomcat, Apache Web Server and any JEMS-based applications. The Monitoring Module continuously builds and updates a model of behavior of every measurement being collected. This allows you to define alerts relevant to the actual behavior of your infrastructure. Baselines are also utilized to identify out of band problems. This allows you to quickly identify resources within your infrastructure that require attention as well as get a historical view of what was happening at the time of the fault.

JBoss portal:

JBoss Portal has a business friendly open source license that makes it free to download, use, embed, and distribute. JBoss Portal provides a framework for centralized and secure access to applications and information, which fosters collaboration, streamlines business processes, and reduces costs. Since JBoss Portal is based on open standards, it can incorporate components into the Portal as standardized and reusable Portlets.

The symposium also included topics about Red Hat Road Map, Lowering TCO and Increasing ROI with JEMS (JBoss Enterprise Management Suite), Security and ID Management, Red Hat Cluster Suite and Red Hat Global File System.