ConAgra Foods saves thousands using Covalent Technologies Enterprise Ready Server

Tomcat from Covalent was both easier to manage and was significantly less costly than the other solutions. Covalent Technologies' solutions were tens of thousands of dollars less expensive.


I had an opportunity to ask Matt Reagan, Sr. System and Network Administrator, ConAgra Foods, Inc., a few questions about how his organization is using tools from Covalent Technologies.

Please tell me who you are and a bit about your organization?

Matt is a Senior System and Network Administrator for ConAgra Foods.  ConAgra Foods is a retail and consumer foods provider. They also have a portfolio of commercial products that are often used by restaurants.

What does your organization do that needs what Covalent Technologies offers?

ConAgra Foods hosts over 100 consumer oriented Web sites. For the most part, they're "brochureware." There are a couple of eCommerce sites as well.  Their datacenter is about 15 miles away from the company's headquarters.

What products were considered before Covalent Technologies products were selected?

In the Java space, they had been running on J-run and Weblogic. They also considered IBM's WebSphere and Covalent Technologies Enterprise Ready Server. They evaluated  features versus costs for software and management.

Why was Covalent Technologies product selected over the competition?

Tomcat from Covalent was both easier to manage and was significantly less costly than the other solutions. Covalent Technologies' solutions were tens of thousands of dollars less expensive.

What tangible benefits has your organization gotten from the deployment of Covalent Technologies products?

ConAgra Foods believes in making all applications a container. Covalent's Tomcat makes it possible to deploy a single set of binaries to multiple systems. Individual servers are started up with unique configuration files. This approached lowered the costs of development and deployment. Changes can be made once and then deployed on servers as needed.

Do you have any advice for others who may be facing similar challenges?

Matt suggests bringing in each product and testing it separately.  Many times, ConAgra had discovered that the vendor description of product capabilities didn't match what appeared in ConAgra's evaluation.

He also strongly recommends the Covalent Technologies support group. He believes that they are excellent.

A bit about Covalent Technologies

Covalent Technologies describes itself as "The Enterprise Open Source Company." It presents its products and services in the following way.

  • Covalent is the Leading Provider of Support and Services for Apache Software Foundation Open Source Projects, Namely Tomcat, Geronimo, Roller, Axis, & Apache, the World's Leading Web Server (62% global Web server market share according to the April 2006 Web Server Survey conducted by Netcraft)
  • Covalent is One of the Few Sources of Full Commercial Support for Apache, Axis, Roller, Geronimo & Tomcat on a Global Basis
  • Covalent Currently Supports More Than 50% of Fortune 500 and 20% of Global 2000 Companies
  • Covalent offers full commercial support for the following products

  • Apache HTTP Web Server
  • Apache Tomcat J2SE Server
  • Apache Axis Web Services Framework
  • Apache Geronimo J2EE Container
  • Apache Roller Blog Server
  • Apache Modules - mod_ftp, mod_snmp, mod_proxy, mod_ssl, mod_perl, and others

Snapshot Analysis

Covalent Technologies is focused on providing a commercial support for some of the leading open source tools for creating Web-based applications.  Quite often organizations select the tools that Covalent supports based upon the fact that they're freely available on the network and only later decide that they need full support services on the tools, such as Apache, Tomcat, Axis, etc. When they seek out this level of support, these organizations typically subscribe to a service contract with Covalent.


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