There has been a lot of noise around Open Source software lately, but the
buzz this time is not about how Open Source software is better than closed
source software. This time, the buzz is around how to truly use Open Source
software in a business environment. It’s about how to integrate it with the rest
of your setup, and how to use it for the benefit of your organization during the
economic slowdown. In essence, it has a much larger role to play than ever
before. All the fanaticism surrounding Open Source seems to be disappearing to
bring out some really useful solutions to everyone’s problems.
That’s why our Open Source story this time is also very different. It doesn’t
get into a battle of Open Source vs Closed source, nor does it talk purely about
Linux. Rather, it talks about how to use Open Source software to resolve some of
the most practical problems everyone’s facing today.
Our story is broken up into three parts. The first part is about the
feasibility of using Open Source software during the current economic crunch.
We’ve heard a lot of CIOs talk about shifting to it, but does it really make
sense to do so in trying times? To find out, we surveyed 126 CIOs from leading
Indian enterprises, and got some very interesting results.
The second part of our story deals with another practical issue that most
organizations are toiling with today-interoperability. Most organizations today
have a heterogeneous IT infrastructure with multiple Operating Systems,
databases, and applications all running on different platforms. Some of it might
be running on Microsoft technologies, while other parts could be on Open Source
and Linux. For instance, your messaging platform might be on Microsoft Exchange,
while your database is MySQL. While this is done with the good intention of
ensuring that the IT infrastructure has the best and most cost effective
solutions that are around, it has its limitation. The limitation is that of
ensuring you have an integrated environment where different applications can
talk to each other irrespective of the platform they’re on. What if you want to
deploy Joomla content management system on Linux, but your setup is completely
on SQL Server and Active Directory? What if you need to create a C# application,
but you only use Eclipse IDE for software development? What if you want to
introduce an Open Source application like PHPBB in your IT setup, and would like
it to authenticate the users from your Active Directory Services? These are all
practical problems that many organizations might be facing today-that of
bringing together two disparate worlds of Open Source and Windows.
Thankfully, the trend is gradually changing with both sides trying to come
together and offer feasible solutions to users. That’s what we’ve covered in our
interoperability part of the cover story. You’ll find lots of articles on how
Open Source software can work with both Windows and Linux.
Open Source for Enterprises in Tough Times
The last part of the story is of course what most of our readers anxiously
wait for year after year-PCQ Linux 2009. For the past couple of years, we’ve
been focusing on giving serious Linux distros for an enterprise environment.
This year, we decided to be very different. So PCQ Linux 2009 has something for
everybody-be it an enterprise, a working professional, or even a home user.
Basically, we’ve taken away all the complexity associated with PCQ Linux and
made sure that you get more time to play around with all the neat applications
and learn how to use them instead of toiling with the installation and quitting
mid-way with frustration because it has messed up your entire system.
There are four live distros we’ve given with PCQ Linux 2009, which you can
run directly off the DVD. Plus, there’s a ready to use cloud computing virtual
appliance that enterprises can play around with.
Lastly, to give you a true taste of choice, we’ve given two DVDs with this
issue. One has PCQ Linux 2009, while the other has a really good collection of
Open Source and free software on Windows. Both are collector’s editions. Most of
our stories in the pages to follow are based on software provided on these two
DVDs. How’s that for freedom of choice? Have fun!