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Thursday, August 11, 2005
  online tips- Cutting cost via open source tools
Unlike large organizations with huge information technology (IT) budgets, small and medium-sized (SMBs) have to find ways to implement simple scalable applications as the business grow.

First, they need OT solutions to improve personal level productivity for employees to carry out their tasks. This could mean one employee is dedicated to a personal computer (PC).

The next stage is adopting enterprise solutions in their core businesses which will help SMBs face the challenges of globalization and be more competitive in the market. But adopting enterprise solutions can be a costly affair, and SMBs should look at other alternatives.

One such alternative is adopting open source applications for the core business. There are mature open source applications available.

Companies using open source applications area assured of lower software costs because they do not require licensing fees. (Still, Microsoft claimed that for the long term, implementing a none- standard application, which is open source, means companies will have to pay more and lost money and time for standardizing process).

Other advantages of deploying open source applications are scalability and lower hardware costs.

For example, Linux-based applications and services can often be scaled as the business grows. Moreover, open source applications do not require high-end systems or hardware to execute the same set of tasks as the conventional servers or workstations powered by Windows systems.
There are support groups available for open source applications. Open source support, for an example, is available via online community.

Vendors also provide different levels of support, ranging from free online support to payment-based support.

As for training, there are companies and educations institutions which provide Linux or open source training through certification courses.

SMBs can also consider setting up a support group among themselves. Here, they can set up a lab and charge a minimum fee for SMBs to subscribe to support services.

The other investment option SMBs can look into is outsourcing to hosting vendors who not only offer competitive services, but also simple services such as e-mail.
Once SMBs have implemented such solutions, their infrastructure and data storage would grow gradually. Hence, they need to implement the right data storage technologies and disaster recovery system in their workplace.

In this area, SMBs could leverage Network Appliance’s range of technologies and solutions. One such solution is implementing fiber attached storage like the FAS 200 Series and FAS 3000 Series, which are designed to meet SMBs needs.

These solutions are economical, affordable, and easy to implement and require less maintenance. Moreover, these solutions allow users to access multiple heterogeneous servers.
 


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