Removing proprietary boundaries and allowing developers to collaborate, debate, compromise and inspire each other is a key benefit of open-source networking. Gartner forecasts that open-source technology will be included in 85% of all commercial software packages by 2015, and 95% of mainstream IT organizations will leverage some element of OSS.
For decades, customers have been sold proprietary combinations of servers, data storage, networking and software. Now, these same customers want systems that can be arranged in different ways, combining open-source software with off-the-shelf hardware and their own in-house legacy systems. This mix-and-match approach promises advantages in speed, cost and innovation.
The traditional, one-vendor, proprietary solution is transitioning to solutions involving many suppliers. As with any market, this offers customers with significant cost savings and performance optimization. The challenge now shifts to the successful integration of systems from those many suppliers. Fortunately, the server and PC market have provided a template to handle such integration with new open sourced hardware, open source software and relevant standards to tie it all together.
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