by CIO Staff

Is Open Source Really Just as Good? Part II

Nov 30, 20052 mins
Open Source

Open source is clearly here to stay, says Michael Jung--but what will be the next enterprise area of innovation?

Many thanks to those of you who commented on my first post, and to the many more of you who sent e-mails giving me some additional food for thought.  Given the volume of e-mails with some similar themes, I thought I’d clarify a few things, in terms of our view of open source and where it is going.  

While I didn’t say it explicitly, when companies like IBM, HP, Novell, Dell and even Sun are driving the adoption, deployment and support of various parts of the LAMP stack in the enterprise, it’s safe to say that the ecosystem for many open source projects is thriving.  Bill Hewitt, Chief Marketing Officer of Novell, said in his e-mail to me, “Companies like Novell have certified over 1,000 applications to run on Linux and provide a worldwide support infrastructure…”  Yes, open source is here to stay.

The more interesting question for those of us in venture is what other open source projects will enjoy the same kind of rapid organic adoption in the enterprise that we’ve witnessed at the OS (Linux), web server (Apache), app server (JBoss) and database (MySQL), and under what timeframe.  Where will it happen next?  Desktop applications?  Enterprise apps?  ERP?  Messaging?  Systems Mgmt?  Virtualization? Networking?  Storage?  Security? (SNORT was a good start.) As we ponder that question and apply it to various parts of the enterprise, the ecosystem consideration looms larger as an investor.

Open source as a phenomenon has fundamentally shifted the nature of the enterprise software industry (and hardware, for that matter).  For this reason, it is a trend that we as venture investors are actively exploring.  Be sure to check here for updates on some of the really interesting start-ups that we’re seeing in the space — ecosystem “pioneers,” so to speak.  One thing to remember about us VCs is that we’re looking to invest in front of the wave…

Of course, if you’ve come across any interesting start-ups that you think we should profile, please feel free to let me know.  Talk to you soon.