Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Open Source Vs SaaS Vs Cloud Computing

In a recent article on Earthweb.com, Bruce Byfield voiced his views in favour of free or open source software, and claimed that he didn't see the point of proprietary network services, cloud computing or software as a service (SaaS). His primary source of contention was the fact that open source software offered the same advantages of network services, if not more. As he claimed: open source software is free, it allows you to use the same software regardless of the type of computer you're running and leaves you free from licensing worries, it reduces support costs and provides centralised bug-fixes and updates. Byfield adds that a chief advantage of open source software is that control resides with the user and not the provider, as is the case with proprietary network services.

As an example of the last mentioned advantage, Byfield cites privacy concerns. He says that although network services have started providing data encryption, open source or free software offers greater control and security, as users can examine the code for weak spots and hidden openings and take steps to make the system more secure.

Byfield believes that one of the chief factors behind clients choosing proprietary services over free or open software is an unwillingness to let go of traditional business practices. He contends that switching to open source would require management levels to rethink their methods of software "procurement" and their relationships with their suppliers. They may believe that a small change in one relationship could have a knock effect and alter all of their relationships down the line, all the way to their consumers. And as has been shown time and again, people, especially those in power, and who like control, are generally very resistant to change.

Byfield, however, continues to believe in the power of open source, and is only too pleased to note that free software services are becoming increasingly aware of the threat posed by network services. As proof he offers the November 2007 release of the third version of the Affero General Public License (AGPL), which basically states that providers of network services are distributors of software and as such are bound by the same requirements as all other distributors who use the GPL.

In addition, many people are starting to visualise how a free license will affect network services and what exactly those services will look like. Whatever the future holds for free software and proprietary network services, many, including Byfield, are glad that at least IT consumers have a choice.

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Open Source Vs SaaS Vs Cloud Computing Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: boeedi

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