Chapter 10: Software in Flux: Partly Cloudy and Sometimes Free
- open source software: software that is free and where anyone can look at
and potentially modify the code.
- Cloud computing: replacing computing services with services provided over
- Software as a services (Saas): a form of cloud computing where a firm
subscribes to a third-party software and receives a service that is delivered
- Virtualization: a type of software that allows a single computer to function
as if it were several different computers, each running its own operating
system and software.
- Linux: an open source software operating system.
- OSS is free irt downloads, but also free as in anyone can look at the source
cofe, change it, and redistribute it.
- Reasons for choosing open source products over commercial alternatives:
o Cost --- save money using OSS
o Reliability – the more people who look at a program’s code, the
greater the likelihood that an error will be caught and corrected –
harnessing the power of many people
o Security --- with many eyes looking at the code, the security
vulnerabilities of open source products come to light more quickly
and can be addressed with greater speed and reliability
o Scalability – run on everything, from cheap commodity hardware to
high-end supercomputing w/out having to significantly rewrite code.
o Agility and time to market
- Just about every type of commercial product has an open source equivalent
- Open source is a 60 billion dollar industry, but has a disproportionate impact
on the trillion-dollar IT market.
- How do vendors make money on open source?
o Selling support and consulting services
- Linux is not found on a lot of desktop computers – not as easy to install as
Windows, very complex, and such a small number of users makes third party
firms disinclined to make apps for it.
- But in developing nations, the cost of Windows can be daunting –
o Microsoft has begun offering low cost versions in these nations b/c
they realize that if a generation grows up on open source they might
prefer it to Windows.
- Risks of open source
o Some products difficult to install and maintain – higher total cost of
o Legal exposure
o Licensing standards - Clouding computing: replacing computing resource (hardware or software)
with services provided over the Internet.
o 1. Software as a service (Saas)– where a firm subscribes to a third-
party software-replacing service that is delivered online
o 2. Utility computing – where an organization develops its own
systems, but runs them over the Internet on someone else’s hardware.
- Private clouds: pools of computing resources that reside inside an
organization and that can be served up for specific tasks as need
- Software as a Service: you can get the bulk of your computing done through
your Web browser.
o Made available by a third party online
o Firms can dramatically lower costs w/ care of their information
o SaaS earn money via a usage-based pricing model
o Better than making the huge risk of buying a new software – you can
reduce your payment/use per month
o Highly scalable
o Vendors sign a service level agreement with their customers to ensure
a guaranteed uptime and define their ability to meet demand spikes.
o Cuts distribution costs