Typically, the most reliable, secure and efficient software is usually under an open license and not owned by a company. Open source software was developed with the source code freely available to the public. It may be a unique way of developing software, but it is surprisingly common and effective. It can be downloaded by anyone, and the necessary changes can be made with the hope that any improvements made by individuals will be committed back to the main source tree, thereby benefitting everyone by the modifications.
The commercial replacement cost of free software is high and to deploy a commercial solution it would be necessary to trim back for a significant buy. Not all of the benefits of open source software deployment are in the form of cost savings. Most of the benefits are is in terms of capabilities gained. Some of the other benefits are
Open source allows anyone to examine software for security flaws. The incessant and broad peer-review enabled by publicly available source code enhances security through the identification and elimination of flaws that can be missed. Gartner, recommends the open source Apache Web server as a more secure alternative to closed source Internet Information servers. The availability of source code also facilitates in-depth security reviews and audits by government customers.
With open source software consumers needn't wait years to deploy a solution. Open source software is predominantly apposite for inter-agency collaboration, rapid prototyping and experimentation and can be “test driven” prior to procurement. Both known and unanticipated users can be swiftly provisioned.
As open source is peer reviewed software, it is more reliable. The infrastructure of the Internet is largely composed of open-source programs such as DNS, send mail, Apache and languages such as HTML and Perl. They have proven to be both reliable and robust under the most strenuous conditions, like the fast growth of the Internet.
Open source software is often developed through community forums and collaborative. Developers volunteer their time and expertise, and are coordinated by fewer paid programmers. The lower overhead costs translates into substantial savings, as does the fact that open source software typically does not have a per-seat licensing cost. According to Gartner, open source is even more attractive to businesses during tough economic times.
Lower virus vulnerability
Traditionally, an open source OS's have fared better than other operating systems. A virus infection on a network server can be devastating in terms of data loss, down time, and staff time required for reconstruction. Open source servers that are less vulnerable to virus infections provide cost savings in terms of diminished liability in these areas.
Open Source Software may not provide a solution for every computing requirement, but it is a well established part of the computing ecosystem that plays a critical role in Internet and business infrastructure that enables companies to access expert resources and components that accelerate software product development and release processes.
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