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Massachusetts' Bold Steps To Open Source - page 3

Open Source and Open Standards

  • September 30, 2003
  • By Rob Reilly

Since the initiative to look at Open Source Software has just gotten started, Kriss said no decisions have been made yet as to software distributions, hardware, or even what technology would be most appropriate for each business need.

He said that server applications would probably be looked at first. For example, Apache might be considered for a Web server, Sendmail for a mail server, and MySQL to do a database application. Of course, several vendors and operating systems could fill the bill for those jobs, as well. He made it clear that his organization has not committed to any particular option, yet.

"It's just too early," he said, referring to what software and hardware might be used.

Kriss noted that Linux might be considered for desktops at some point in the future. Currently, deploying desktops was not his highest priority.

Security was an area of great interest, when it came to selecting the right tool for the job. While Open Source Software has a decent track record for security, Kriss said that "There is no panacea for security." The people side of security was equally as important as the system side. Optimizing processes and procedures will go hand in hand with optimizing system security.

The Administration and Finance organization is just beginning the process of getting connected to the Open Source community. Kriss is working hard on telling the world that they are interested. He hopes to start productive dialogs with the Open Source community in the near future.

The fact that the Boston area is home to solid high-end universities, such as MIT, Harvard, and Boston College, should give Kriss' department ample opportunity for some high-powered collaboration. He said that even though Boston has had its share of rough times in the high tech sector, the intellectual talent still resides in the area.

Kriss reflected, "All the boats are still there, only the tide has gone out."

This could be good news for the area, though, because he predicts that there will heavy use of outside vendors for many of the new projects.

Rob Reilly (aka: "Dr. Torque") is a Senior Technology Consultant, whose work includes Linux, business systems integration and R&D work for various clients. Rob's articles appear on LinuxToday.com and in PC Update Magazine. He frequently gives talks on his experience in the high technology, manufacturing and utilities industries. He is always 'on-the-lookout' for stories and projects that focus on Linux, business and new technology. Send him a note or visit his web site at http://home.earthlink.net/~robreilly.

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