Ingres: Cloud computing to fuel open-source boom

Software-as-a-service vendors will turn to open source in order to lower the costs incurred by their hardware and software requirements, says the database firm

Cloud computing will fuel growth in open-source software as vendors try to manage costs, according to database firm Ingres.

Tom Berquist, former managing director of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and now chief financial officer of open-source-database firm Ingres, made the prediction last week.

Ingres, the second-largest open-source company, counts the likes of BAE Systems, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa among its customers.

Berquist said the cloud-computing model — where companies serve applications over the internet — requires vendors to spend large amounts of cash buying and maintaining servers, telecoms infrastructure and software — such as operating systems, web, application and database servers — to support their software-as-a-service (SaaS) operation.

He added that, because SaaS vendors need to invest in more hardware and software than traditional software vendors — whose applications are sold to customers to install on their own machines — there is a greater drive towards using open-source operating systems, web, application and database servers, as opposed to more expensive commercial alternatives.

Berquist said: "With cloud computing, the operating system and the infrastructure is managed and paid for by the vendor rather than by the customer."

"The more we move towards cloud computing, the more that rewards open source, because the cloud software vendor can not afford to pay for software for, say, 25,000 server CPUs," he said.

"They will go towards open source and, in many cases, self support. People can not afford to spend the money that would be necessary in the old client to server model. It can be 10 times cheaper than relying on the commercial guys," Berquist added.

He said that the credit crunch would also fuel adoption of open-source software, as it did during the dot-com crash in the early 2000s.


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