Category Archives: Business Process

Can Anyone Get Rich from Open Source?

Open Source Initiative Logo

Can any company make money from Open Source?  The idea of open source work is like charity – it’s a great service for the community, but it won’t make anyone rich like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Larry Ellison.  That thought may be right and wrong.

One example was MySQL. It was not capable of beating, or even competing, with Oracle Database.  However, it was the cheaper (free) solution to run web sites for bloggers (like this one) or SMBs. Since then, Oracle decided to buy MySQL’s Innobase engine because of the large install base. The same with Java which was once touted by Sun Microsystems as the ideal platform for Enterprise open-source language, was acquired by default when the Oracle bought Sun. No doubt, Larry Ellison had a thought that with this many users, there was a potential revenue to be made.

A decade ago, there was a speculation that an open source operating system like Linux is a possible money maker.  Back then, enterprise customers were still mostly invested in Solaris (Sparc) and Windows (x86) OS.  Red Hat was the biggest name in Linux distribution, and they were making money from providing support for it.  Now, IBM saw the Linux adoption kept going up, so it was only logical for IBM to acquire Red Hat, and the growing customer base along with it.

Linux adoption became bigger when Microsoft decided to include Linux as part of Windows 10 distribution, and contributed a large chunk of their code as open source.  The thinking is that contributing to vibrant and open community brings a sort of likeability to giants like Microsoft.  It’s no surprise Microsoft is touted to be a better technology innovator than Apple, Samsung, IBM, or even Google.

Speaking of likeability, or “coolness” factor, another example is Elastic offering a solid product based on Lucene open source search engine. With customers like Uber and SpaceX adopting their (based-on) open source search engine, Elastic is poised to make plenty of revenue.  So much so, they’re gaining competition from Amazon Web Services offering the same solution based on Elasticsearch open source software. The potential revenue is definitely available for the taking.

Can anyone get rich from Open Source?  Absolutely.  As long as there are mass adoptions, rich use cases, growing libraries, and plenty of community experts, open source is now becoming the standard for technology adoption in Enterprise environments.  The most successful companies will succeed in the open source game, only if they can make a compelling product that works really well and be able to support it. The customers are there – just make them happy!

Hype Cycle 2018 For Web Applications

By Jeremykemp at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Technology changes quickly. This is especially true in web development. With companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, or Netflix leading the way, there will always be the “next best thing” every IT professional has to pay attention to. Depending on the size and budget, not all companies can invest in the latest trend of technology. The question always asked: “What can we invest in?” As a guideline, annually Gartner publishes their infamous Hype Cycle, that charts the popularity (or decline) of technology. For those who are on the cutting edge will try to follow anything towards the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”, where the technology is hot. However, the most interesting set are the ones sliding into the “Trough of Disillusionment”. In 2018, those web applications were:

  • Point-of-Decision HTAP
  • Cloud-Native Application Architecture
  • Reactive Programming
  • Microservices
  • Mesh App and Service Architecture
  • Public Web APIs
  • Miniservices

Enterprise has already started to invest in those declining trendy ideas.  However, in order to get to full adoption, IT Professionals have to familiarize with (and embrace) the new technology. It’ll be a difficult journey, but may be worth the investment. At this point, a great deal of material will be available since the concept has been around for a few years already. This is known as the “Slope of Enlightenment”. In order to get started, here are some suggestions on which presentation to listen to:

After listening to the presentations, one can determine the trend and make decisions on where/how to go to get Enterprise environments to the next level. It’ll take more time to get to the “Plateau of Productivity” where value can be realized by streamlining their execution for the long term production use.

Enterprise sure has plenty of work to do!

Are the Russian (Hackers) Still Coming?

The headlines in the news these days are about hackers attempting to infiltrate sites, mostly from Russia or China. The targets are many American sites, both government and private. How does IT Cybersecurity folks know if they’re coming? Going through the application logs for all attempts is a start. However, the best source of knowledge is the first line of defense: the Firewall. So it’s best to have a tool like Elasticsearch to make a readable report on the firewall logs, to figure out which ports are being probed.

It’s imperative any exposed ports are being denied on the firewall side to prevent any successful hack. In a real world example, in the past 7 days, the hackers were scanning for popular vulnerable applications such as telnet, RDP (Windows Remote Desktop), Microsoft SQL, or SMTP.

Thankfully, those ports are being blocked on the firewall. Unfortunately, this does not deter them from trying again and again. Network and system admins must put in the due diligence in controlling access and patching applications. No matter the business requirements, security must take precedence and IT Professionals must have the tools to detect, analyze, and protect.