The Case for Open Source


Are the costs of getting your business on-line too high?

Does the "e" in e-Business look like it really means "Expensive"?

If your answer to this question is a yes, you are probably paying too much for your solution.

Are "low cost" solutions not meeting your expectations?
Many "low cost" solutions are actually expensive solutions with cut corners.

Many solutions available on the market today have cost issues:

Effectively managing the cost of your E-business, is critical to your success.
Venture Capitalists no longer write blank cheques to start-ups to implement state-of-the-art infrastructure with huge costs and no realistic revenues.
Buying "low cost" conventional solutions means your business will be vulnerable to outages, security issues and insufficient scalability to grow.

How can you reduce costs without compromising your business objectives?

Start by breaking down the procurement costs of your E-business solution.
You will find that they generally include these components (excludes site infrastructure, management and human resources):

Component % of Cost
Network Hardware 15%
Server Hardware 30%
Software 35%
Security 10%
Services 10%

Many "low cost" solutions cut corners by not including scalability, robustness and security as an integral part of the solution, to be added in later at an additional cost and downtime.
This is not cost reduction, this is merely postponing the cost and possibly incurring the additional cost of downtime; recovery from an attack; or loss of business.
"Low Cost" may not be "Cost Effective". Cutting costs by trimming network and security budgets will show the least savings while compromising your business objectives.

The network is the central nervous system of your E-business, if it goes down, your business goes down.

An E-business without proper security is like an unlocked car in a bad neighbourhood ... Gone !

Server hardware is one of the two biggest cost components.

Many hardware vendors will be more than happy to sell you their latest, highly-available server platform with multiple CPUs, redundant subsystems, hot swap capability, SAN and RAID storage systems.
Do you need this for all your servers? Actually, you may only need these for high transaction mission critical database or application servers.
Almost all other servers needed for an on-line business can be low value systems that are low cost enough to replicate.
At the same price, a rack full of low cost web servers will perform better and provide better service availability than any multi-processor clustered system.

Software license costs lengthening your ROI period?

License fees grow with your business!

Software is the largest single cost component but its functionality is the whole purpose of any solution.
On the outset, it already seems that there is no way to reduce the cost of software.
Software licensing varies from vendor to vendor either by number of servers, number of users, number of data records or even number of server processors and processor speed!
License fees are typically payments for the right to use, not ownership. On top of that there usually will be additional charges for installation and making it work.

Software licensing is the single biggest cost component

No matter how the licensing works, the common issue is that license fees increase as your business grows.
Keeping your software up-to-date also means having to pay annual maintenance fees, commonly 25% of the license fees.
With many solutions you also pay full license fees for test and development servers!
With escalating costs like these, achieving profitability can be like a dog chasing its tail.
Eliminate these costs, and you break out of this vicious circle of futility.

The way to do this is the Open Source way.

Commercial software is almost always distributed as compiled executable code.
Its source code, the software in its original human readable form is kept secret to protect the proprietary rights of the software vendor.
Open Source means that the software source code is freely available without charge and all are free to use, modify and redistribute the code or derivatives for any purpose.
Examples of Open Source software include:

Many software components in a solution can be replaced with Open Source components.
Potential cost savings? Possibly up to 35% of the total cost, if you can go with a fully Open Source solution, depending on your needs.
An additional benefit is that Open Source software is platform independent and allows you to choose the most cost effective server hardware.
Unlike many commercial software solutions which need specific vendors' hardware, Open Source solutions tend to be less fussy about hardware and this means you can leverage the low prices of commodity hardware.