Catch the Open Source wave | SUSE Communities

Catch the Open Source wave


“Software Defined” is a current industry hot topic or annoying buzz phrase, depending on your point of view. If it means anything (and often these buzz words mean absolutely nothing at all), then it articulates the trend to de-couple hardware and software and invest the latter with all the Intellectual Property. At this point, the hardware layer becomes truly commoditised.

If this trend is real, then one thing is clear: Open Source will have a huge part to play in the data centre architectures of the future. The software world is starting to understand that many minds are better at problem solving, innovating and improving than the proprietary models that have dominated to date.

Take storage. A few big companies have had a high old time selling expensive proprietary solutions that lock the customer in to years of forklift upgrades and large bills. The technology is great but is it necessary? The open source Ceph project now copes with Object, Block and File storage and is rapidly surpassing many proprietary storage solutions in functionality.  It scales beyond current testing limits, is self-managing and with an Enterprise version such as SUSE Enterprise Storage, has all the risk mitigation of any traditional solution.

So Open Source can help you to reduce your IT costs, cut your dependency on individual vendors and future-proof your technology decisions. But how do you know you’ve selected the right Open Source project? After all, there could be hundreds out there, some just supported by single individuals. In my opinion, you’re looking for two elements:

  • The project with the widest support, in particular with the backing of a hardened Enterprise version. This will be as thoroughly lab tested as any proprietary software and has full 24×7 support, if needed.
  • You need to ensure that the Enterprise version you choose does not lock you in to any other technologies that you may not want, whether that be hardware or software. Look for the company with the most open approach to partnering and integrating with other solutions. Only by doing this can you ensure that the technology investments you make today are still protected tomorrow.

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