Is open source free as in free speech or free as in free lunch?

Indeed, open source code and packages have disrupted the web and beyond, and are mostly free. Pretty amazing I must add. As a developer, there’s nothing better than an open source package you can mess around with, test, adopt, and deploy. Moreover, you don’t have to ask your manager for any bureaucratic financial approval. Cool! IT and R&D managers smile as it obviously doesn’t increase the expenses, which is kind of cool too.

That said, as remarkably expressed by my colleague Roy in his must read blog, good chances are that open source software (OSS) quickly becomes a double-edged sword. On top of the risks of having no support in production downtime, performance lags, and security vulnerabilities, there is the question of the real costs of OSS:

Should you be spending time to save money or spend money to save time?

Unfortunately, software companies often realize that free open source is, in fact, not cheap, to say the least. Here are some highlights of things to consider in terms of real costs of free OSS:

Cost of open source - copyright Rogue Wave Software

Again, although I urge you to consider the real costs of free OSS, I do understand why companies embrace it. It has a lot of value and many times it comes with extraordinary capabilities. Good examples are the various successful Linux distributions, Magento e-commerce, Drupal CMS, and endless more.

Confused? No reason to be actually.

As mentioned in this article, obviously you can use OSS but you’ll be better off with OSS that is accompanied with commercial support. It is actually your insurance or protection shield. Using PHP? Zend is your best solution in the PHP space and with Zend Server you’re completely backed up. Good chances that you know that by now but there is even more to that. Zend recently announced that with the Rogue Wave umbrella, it can now offer a significantly extended support service that is essential for many companies and should surely be worthwhile in the time/money equation: a full PHP stack support.

Zend Server Plus is a new offering that serves precisely that. It includes support for the popular Ubuntu and CentOS operating systems. On to the database level, you get support for MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB (running on any operating system). Whether you’re using Apache or NGINX, your server is supported on any OS as well. And, of course, on top of that you get Zend Server with enterprise-level long term support for PHP. As you can see, the complete server stack support we offer is not limited to OSS.

“LAMP is one of the most popular software stacks in history, and powers enormous swaths of the internet,” said Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst and Co-founder, RedMonk. “By extending support beyond the Zend product itself to the individual LAMP components, Rogue Wave intends to consolidate issues and make customers lives a lot simpler.”

With Zend Server Plus, using a single support contact, you reduce risk and eventually your real costs. Remember the old saying which will always continue to be true: no free lunch!

More information

The following two tabs change content below.

    Mickey Hoter

    Mickey Hoter is a senior product manager at Zend, a Rogue Wave company. He has 15 years of experience in building web-based products - as a developer, team lead, group manager and product manager. Mickey holds a B.Sc. in Information Systems and an MBA, both from the Technion –the Israeli Institute of Technology. He is passionate about productivity, usability and digital experience, which is why he chose to work for Zend. Outside of the office, Mickey enjoys spending his time with his four children and puts a lot of effort in educating them to love Mother Nature, where most of his hobbies take place.

    About Mickey Hoter

    Mickey Hoter is a senior product manager at Zend, a Rogue Wave company. He has 15 years of experience in building web-based products - as a developer, team lead, group manager and product manager. Mickey holds a B.Sc. in Information Systems and an MBA, both from the Technion –the Israeli Institute of Technology. He is passionate about productivity, usability and digital experience, which is why he chose to work for Zend. Outside of the office, Mickey enjoys spending his time with his four children and puts a lot of effort in educating them to love Mother Nature, where most of his hobbies take place.

    • http://www.hire-php-developers.co.uk Web developer

      Very interesting article. Either the developers can save time by a paid program or they can use the open source software. I think saving the time is better than saving the money.

    • Concerned

      Dear author, you clearly have close to no understanding of OSS which comes to no surprise, since you work for Zend. This is not an article of any sorts, this is blatant advertising for your products which are amazingly enough based on OSS.

    • Anonymous

      It’s MongoDB and not Mongo.