Getting Your Company In Open Source Shape

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

The holiday decorations are now (hopefully) put away, and fond memories of merriment from the past month or so are behind us.  All that remains now is the time-honored tradition of the New Year’s Resolution. This should not surprise most of you, but the perennial favorite is usually a combination of ‘lose weight, eat healthier, get in better shape.’  Pondering my own resolutions to continue on a healthier path got me thinking about what it means to get your company in ‘Open Source Shape.’

There are many parallels to successfully getting yourself in better physical shape and getting your company started on the right foot to more successful and productive use of open source.  Let’s take a look at a few of these examples below,  pulling some lessons from the exercise world that you can apply in your enterprise.

Running shoes

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Migration planning using JBoss Cake

by Emily Brand (Red Hat)

Starting research on how to migrate your applications to JBoss can be an overwhelming process. Taking the migration in small steps will help manage expectations and increase the success of the effort. The major steps for planning include creating a project management office, completing a current state analysis, and creating a diagram specifying how applications interface with each other throughout your organization. With that information in hand you are ready to create a project plan and begin the migration.

Create a Project Management Office (PMO)
Decide which project managers will be the overall leads of the project. If you are missing resources that are capable of project managing, Red Hat Consulting can help augment your PMO and train your project managers for migrations.

The PMO will handle scheduling by creating a project plan. The project plan should originally be a high level document specifying the list of applications and the project start and end date. Managing and mitigating risks is the number one goal of the project manager. The PMO will also be in charge of holding individuals accountable for sticking to the project plan after achieving buy-in as well as coordinating communication throughout all of the necessary parties including infrastructure, database, and application teams.

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Five top tips for the journey to cloud

by Malcolm Herbert (Red Hat)

The post below originally appeared here on November 22, 2012.

A comparison between enterprise IT and public cloud computing dramatically highlights the benefits of moving to cloud.

Application deployment times can shrink from weeks in the traditional data centre to minutes in a cloud data centre; new application development time accelerates from years to weeks (or months at most); cost per virtual machine plummets from dollars to cents; server administrator ratios can explode from 20:1 to 300:1; while efficiency increases, with resource utilisation soaring from 20% to 75%.

With measurable benefits like these, it’s no wonder that IDC expects that by 2015 the majority of the enterprise market will require integrated hybrid cloud management capabilities (Source: IDC Cloud Management Study, 2011 Survey).

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Migration strategy 2.0: Plan a services-focused approach for greatest success

by Thomas Crowe (Red Hat)

As an experienced IT professional, chances are you’ve been involved with a migration of some sort. Whether it’s a simple migration, such as moving static data to another node or a highly complex migration across datacenters, all successful migrations have one thing in common – rock solid planning. Migrations that are attempted without the requisite planning can be fraught with peril, and end up with disastrous consequences

Ultimately, users, our customers, do not really care if a given server is up or down. They care whether they can access a specific application, such as email, a web site, or data. It is the service that users care about, and it is the service in which migration planning needs to be focused.

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Business value of open source software

by Satish Irrinki (Red Hat)

It’s a truism that adopting open source software (OSS) reduces costs, but that’s not all. Let’s make a deeper dive into the business value of adopting OSS and uncover how the adoption provides immense value at multiple levels of an organization. The value proposition for OSS can be attributed to three groups within an organization – Technical Buyers, Business Buyers, and Economic Buyers.

Technical Buyers
Technical buyers can be best described as the line managers who are operating under stringent budgets to do more with fewer resources. As a result they aim to reduce costs and increase efficiencies within their operating units. In a bid to increase their resources utilizations, the technical buyers seek to increase reliability and flexibility in their operations. To achieve these goals they use systems that are reliable, adhere to standard specifications, and low in cost.

The high level of collaboration and contribution within the OSS development model accelerates the number of features that typical open source software provides. Availability of source code allows the adopters to make custom changes and tailor the software for specific needs. The ability to reuse software components across the organization (develop once and use within multiple systems) reduces the unit cost of development. These virtues of OSS mesh well with the goals of technical buyers and make OSS a viable option when making technology decisions.

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The evolution of operational efficiency

by Larry Spangler (Red Hat)

Lately, I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of buzz about “operational efficiency.” As some see it, Operational Efficiency is basically the idea of doing more with less–if you can define and follow processes you can achieve repeatable outcomes with reduced error. Automate that, and you have a means to extend the reach of the individual IT operator while decreasing the effort and time required to build systems. It’s a straightforward value proposition that Red Hat has been touting and delivering for years with standardized operating environments (SOEs) and management tools like Red Hat Network Satellite and JBoss Operations Network.

But there’s evolution afoot here from the classic “operational” sense to one that is more expansive and higher purposed. The basics of SOE and management tools are now being used not only to define and develop repeatable infrastructure, they’re being leveraged with other tools like virtualization, IaaS, and PaaS to deliver on-demand capabilities. The key being that the focus is shifting from how to get the most out of your resource investment, to how to effectively and efficiently instantiate, use, and release systems for true on-demand capabilities.

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Keep Calm and Innersource On

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

“Open source is scary!”

“How can something ‘open’ be secure?”

“Won’t using open source in my products mean I have to give away my IP?”

These are all examples from real-world conversations with both external and internal stakeholders during my career as a developer and consultant.  There are many more such examples, which I previously built into a blog titled Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source.  The good news is that with the emergence of Linux, Apache, JBoss and other important open source technologies, we don’t hear these kinds of things as often.  The bad news is, there are still quite a few industries and companies where these fears are the norm.

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Open source adoption in the public sector

by Satish Irrinki (Red Hat)

Open source adoption within public sector is no longer just theoretical – agencies across federal, state, and local governments have adopted open source software for a wide variety of computing tasks. In fact, new guidelines for software selection mandate that open source software be given equal consideration while making technology decisions. This is mostly because there are intrinsic characteristics of open source software that align with the long-term IT adoption trends within the public sector. Of course, open source’s obvious cost savings and economic value are significant drivers to adoption as well.

The 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT, a guideline released by the White House, clearly focuses on driving IT strategy forward with an emphasis on open source’s intrinsic characteristics — interoperability and portability. Adopting open source software perfectly meets these goals, while fostering innovation, reducing redundancy, and providing immense economic benefit to society.

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