The Two Open Sources

Published: June 11th, 2008

This last month I have encountered a common misunderstanding pertaining to Linux and open source. Many representatives of corporate entities equate open source, and Linux for that matter, with the dvds you find taped to magazines in your local bookstore.

They’re right. But there’s another open source. That’s the Linux and set of applications that are hardened and delivered as part of an enterprise scale distribution. What’s the difference?

It’s all about supportability. Commercial grade linux and open source have established roadmaps, have comprehensive support infrastructures behind them and are stable releases that are updated on a regular but not rapid interval.

Community distros typically have new releases every six months or so, and often see significant updates each week. We get to see amazing innovation in the community distros but you’d have to be wacky to run your business on them. That’s what commercial grade distros are for.

So please do give Linux and open source a try. Please also recognize that the commercial and community distributions are built with different design goals and different audiences in mind. Both bring you freedom of choice and amazing capability.

Until next time, peace.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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