Open source software use grows
There are many business advantages of vendor-supported open source software over proprietary software, such as greater business flexibility due to no vendor lock-in and better business support.
Jan-Jan van der Vyver, MD of Linux Warehouse, says this is a key finding of the ITWeb-Linux Warehouse Open Source Survey, which ran on ITWeb Online for a fortnight in September, attracting 192 responses.
Almost half (45.99%) of survey respondents rated vendor-supported open source software the same as proprietary software, while 31.55% rated open source software better and 7.49% rated it worse.
The survey also found that most organisations (44.39%) are not using vendor-supported open source software, while 36.96% are, with the rest unsure.
"This trend is changing as we speak," says Shannon Moodley, GM of Linux Warehouse. "While South Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of vendor-supported open source software adoption, adoption is growing fast. Our figures show an average year-on-year growth in excess of 50% over the last three years for the vendor channels we represent."
It was discovered that more than half of respondents (54.34%) would consider using vendor-supported open source software for database and storage applications. The next-highest consideration was for operating systems (52.02%), followed by backup and recovery.
Van der Vyver explains: "In most proprietary storage offerings, traditional storage is deployed. This dictates what must be done in your enterprise to accommodate storage arrays and racks; this limits choice and flexibility, as well as costs."
He continues: "The frustration brings about change, thus the demand for vendor-supported open source storage applications. Customers willing to consider using vendor-supported open source databases are driven by the knowledge that there is an alternative out there."
It also emerged that the majority of respondents (67.63%) are using Linux, followed by MySQL at 47.40% and Vyatta at 3.47%.
Lack of experience emerged as the top reason preventing organisations from using vendor-supported open source software (47.98%), followed by complexity of the product (44.51%).
To overcome this, Van der Vyver advises: "Vendors, through our resellers, offer those who are keen to experience the product a proof of concept. In some offerings, there are even three-month trials that show the full benefits; thereafter, organisations are able to make informed choices."