Affordable Open Source Solutions
What Is "Open Source Software"?
Open-source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.
“Source code” is the part of the software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a “program” or “application”—works. Programmers who have access to a computer program’s source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly.
How Can It Help My Business?
Many users prefer open-source software to proprietary software for important, long-term projects. Because programmers publicly distribute the source code for open-source software, users relying on that software for critical tasks can be sure their tools won’t disappear or fall into disrepair if their original creators stop working on them. Additionally, open-source software tends to both incorporate and operate according to open standards.
At Interon, we use and support software that has a zero purchase price but also offers commercial support so you know your business can operate without disruption.
Is "Open Source" Safe?
The term, “open source” leads many people to think the software cannot be trusted. The opposite is true.
Some people prefer open source software because they consider it more secure and stable than proprietary software. Because anyone can view and modify open source software, someone might spot and correct errors or omissions that a program’s original authors might have missed. And because so many programmers can work on a piece of open source software without asking for permission from original authors, they can fix, update, and upgrade open source software more quickly than they can proprietary software
Is Open Source Right For You?
Where would it be used?
Most companies have moved many of their current critical needs to the cloud. The majority of the cloud is run by open source software like “Apache” and “WordPress”.
The largest open-source project in the world is Linux and this powers everything from Facebook servers to the common wristwatch and smart thermostat in your home.
Even though you may have moved critical workloads to the cloud, you probably still need open-source software in your business:
- You need computers to run your business. With Linux ($0), you can run on older machines just a quickly as a brand new computer can run Windows.
- Once you have that computer up and running, now you need an “office suite” of programs to open spreadsheets and other documents. That can be accomplished with LibreOffice ($0).
- Now that you have computers, you need to connect them to the internet. With “PfSense” firewall software running on another old, discarded computer you can see everything you ever wanted to know about how your business is accessing the internet. This firewall software is used by some of the largest companies in the world!
Do other companies use it?
A resounding YES.
Most companies are now using open-source software either because it is free or low cost or because there are no other software packages that do what open-source can do.
Some companies that use it are:
- Charles Schwab. Their entire trading platform is run on Linux servers.
- Facebook. They couldn’t exist without Linux, Apache, and Nginx.
- 500 of the top 500 Supercomputers in the world run Linux.
- The US government is a big advocate of open-source software
- Even Microsoft is taking an active role in creating and using open-source software
- Interon. Yes, we use open-source all day, every day
Whether you are a start-up operating on a shoestring budget or a well-established company looking for better quality software or reduced budgets (or both!), open-source is worth looking at. You will be a leaner, more agile company and your customers will thank you.