In our recent webinar, Open source support: The facts behind the myth, Justin Reock, director of support services and I talked about open source software (OSS), our experience with OSS support, and some suggestions on how to be in control of your software.
We kicked off the webinar with a poll to understand which OSS package people attending utilize. Because users were only allowed one answer we can assume this is the most-utilized package. Fifty percent of respondents use Apache Web Server and 25 percent use Apache Tomcat. These results weren’t terribly surprising because Apache is very common in the enterprise, and Apache packages comprise over 30 percent of requests that our OSS support team receives.
To tee up the rest of the webinar, we explained at 5 minutes and 20 seconds that the information we present in our webinar is gathered from our own database, using information from over 34,000 requests. The information in this webinar can’t be found anywhere else.
Open source is changing the technology industry
We discuss how open source is changing the technology industry at 7 minutes and 22 seconds. We limited this list to five items:
1. Organizations leveraging community expertise to accelerate proprietary goals
2. Proprietary software products must support OSS
3. Enterprises grow confidence in OSS use
4. Open source drives analytics and high performance computing
5. Embedded software teams embrace OSS
At 11 minutes at 41 seconds we learn that 54 percent of developers consider availability of technical support when choosing an OSS package.
We then transition into a poll at 19 minutes at 21 seconds, asking who currently supports open source software. The options were: Your own developers, dedicated internal OSS support, internal IT department, contractors, OSS support vendor. Unsurprisingly, 67 percent of respondents said that developers are responsible for OSS support.
Though this isn’t surprising, it can be troubling. Developers have options for OSS support and shouldn’t have to carry the entire burden that comes along with OSS packages. With help from the Rogue Wave Software OSS support team, you can take advantage of our expertise and you’ll receive:
• Tier 4 architects (not junior-level engineers) to support the OSS packages that enterprises rely on.
• Help along your development journey; from build, to continuous integration (CI), to continuous deployment (CD), to monitoring production environments.
• One number to call for all your OSS questions.
Don’t overlooking the challenges that come along with OSS
You may be thinking that developers can handle the support for OSS packages, but you might be overlooking a lot of the challenges that come along with OSS. At 32 minutes and 36 seconds we talk about some of the reasons why people come to us to get OSS support. These reasons include:
• Lack of knowledge or experience for a specific package or version
• Application performance issue and tuning
• Mandated use of package by the customer but little in-house expertise
• Need for fast bug turnarounds in production to meet uptime requirements
• Support redundancy – what happens when key expertise goes on vacation?
• Desire to combine OSS and proprietary code to deliver custom stacks
• Workaround needed for an older version that’s no longer “officially” supported
• Consolidating multiple different versions and OSS processes across the organization
Top five support questions
In addition to reasons people may want support, we also compiled a list of the top five support questions we receive. The list, discussed in detail at 39 minutes and 41 seconds, includes:
1. How do I set up or use a particular function within this package?
2. How does this security update affect me?
3. How do I isolate this bug between the proprietary and open source code in this stack?
4. Which package or version is the best choice for what I want to do?
5. What are the differences between these two versions that apply to me?
How we helped in just nine hours
We demonstrated our success at 42 minutes and 30 seconds, providing the audience with this case study.
With our help, our customer was able to design, implement, test, and deploy a new security process that solved their problem within nine (overnight) hours.
Summing it all up
At 44 minutes and 47 seconds we discovered that the best practices for supporting your OSS are: Be proactive, get smart, stay informed, keep watch, and maintain vigilance. But luckily you don’t have to do it alone.
In order to get support for all OSS packages, from databases and big data, to operating systems, build tools, and middleware, we support the OSS packages that are important to enterprises. At 46 minutes and 40 seconds we explain in detail about our breadth of support and why having all the support you need with the help of only one vendor is crucial.