Jaspersoft and CEO Brian Gentile released download and community figures that suggest increased traction of Jaspersoft’s open source based business intelligence product line.

Jaspersoft has surpassed the 10 million download mark since late 2001. While I’m always weary of download data after the 1 million mark, 10 million downloads place Jaspersoft in rare company amongst open source vendors. Jaspersoft also counts nearly 120,000 registered community members.

Jaspersoft also provided an estimate of its community contributions to open source, through work on the open source JasperReports, iReport, and JasperServer/JasperAnalysis:

“Ohloh.net estimates Jaspersoft and its members have contributed nearly nine million dollars in full-time equivalent engineering investment to these projects.”

I’m somewhat surprised that Jaspersoft’s open source projects only amount to $9 million in engineering investment. Maybe Ohloh.net is only counting the investment since Ohloh.net was founded?

Another interesting data point is the difference between user and customer geographies:

“Jaspersoft’s community includes members in more than 150 countries around the world, with top ten memberships coming from Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Thailand and the United States. Comparatively, in the last year, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and France ranked among the top five countries with the highest commercial adoption of Jaspersoft products.”

Jaspersoft appears to be monetizing usage in western markets today, while at the same time building a usage base in emerging markets which can be monetized in the future.

With Red Hat’s recent interest in Business Intelligence, and Jaspersoft’s traction, one can’t help but wonder what Red Hat is waiting for in this space. Keep in mind that Red Hat has previously invested in Jaspersoft. However, so has SAP. With SAP’s increasing warm stance towards open source, they represent another potential suitor for Jaspersoft. While SAP’s Business Objects division would compete with Jaspersoft, the combination of an open source, open source based and enterprise commercial product line would be interesting from a competitive standpoint. Additionally, Jaspersoft’s usage in emerging markets could be an opportunity to reach a set of customers that SAP may not reach effectively today.

Interesting times ahead.

Follow me on twitter at: SavioRodrigues

PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

Red Hat’s CEO Jim Whitehurst kicked off his third year at Red Hat with a State of the Union address.  In his post, Jim discussed Red Hat’s efforts within the Java community:

“Late last year the Java Community Process (JCP) reached a significant milestone when they approved the specification for the next generation of Enterprise Java; JavaTM Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 (Java EE 6). We believe that the approval of this specification starts a new chapter in the story of Java and we are proud to have contributed and acted in a leadership role in the formation of this standard which aims to make enterprise Java easier to use and more appealing to more developers, while still maintaining the benefits of open standards.”

Craig Muzilla, Vice President of Middleware at Red Hat picked up on the Java thread and wrote a nice post ahead of Oracle’s roadmap presentation on Wednesday.  While many will be following Apple’s every move on Wednesday, those of us in the Java community will be listening to Oracle’s plans for Sun products, including Java.

“As Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison said shortly after the acquisition announcement  in April of last year, Java is “the single most important software asset we have ever acquired.”

We agree with Mr. Ellison’s statement; Java is one of the most important technologies developed and adopted during the past twenty years. It has fostered significant innovation throughout the IT industry and has enabled businesses and governments to operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Java is larger than any single company; we are all part of Java, customers and vendors alike.

We encourage Oracle to fulfill their original proposal and establish an independent governance process for the JCP (Java Community Process). And, finally, we encourage Oracle to continue the tradition of making the technology easily accessible, to vendors and customers alike, to secure its broad adoption and continued strength in the market.”

Craig points out that Oracle was amongst several vendors, including IBM and Red Hat, calling for Sun to make the Java process more open and less susceptible to any one vendor’s influence or control.  While I’d be surprised if Oracle announced an independent governance process for the JCP on Wednesday, I don’t think Oracle will act to damage the Java ecosystem.  Customers and developers have invested too much in Java products over the past decade on the basis of their investment being protected through a multi-vendor community.  The customer backlash would far outstrip any perceived competitive benefit of tightening control over the JCP.  Oracle’s far too smart of a vendor to risk that or encourage non-standard Java usage as we’ve seen with Android.

Follow me on twitter at: SavioRodrigues

PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

After my previous post “Cloud to boost proprietary software use?”, Tim Bray questioned whether the pricing comparison of “WebSphere/SUSE vs. JBoss/RHEL on EC2 was a transient anomaly”. JBoss’ Rich Sharples commented that I was comparing apples and oranges.  That was not my intention.  I simply picked the only two application server Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that I could easily find pricing for.  And in retrospect, my intention was not to compare proprietary versus open source pricing in the cloud.  But rather to compare the price differential of proprietary versus open source products in the cloud versus on-premise.

Let me try again with Windows versus Linux.  Specifically, I looked at the price of Windows Server 2008 R2 versus Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on-premise and on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).  I wanted to evaluate how, if at all, the Windows price premium differs on-premise versus in the Amazon cloud.  One can argue that “you need 2 Windows servers to do the work of a RHEL server.” Such an argument has no impact on this analysis.  If you do in fact need 2, or a higher number of Windows servers per RHEL server, this ratio would hold equally well on-premise or on Amazon EC2.

Here’s what I found:

On-premise license:
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition: $2,999
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with 25 Client Access Licenses: $3,999
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Premium Subscription for 1 year: $1,299
Windows price premium: 130% to 208% [See UPDATE below]

Amazon EC2 license on Standard-Small AMI:
Windows Server 2008 R2:  $0.12/hr
Red Hat Enterprise Linux: $0.21/hr plus $19/month per customer
Windows Price premium: -43% [See UPDATE below]

If you’re surprised that the Windows Server AMI is 43 percent less expensive per hour than the RHEL AMI raise you hand [See UPDATE below].

Maybe you think I’ve missed some important or potentially hidden costs for the Windows AMI.  I may have. I’m by no means an operating systems licensing expert.  However, it’s difficult to accept that these costs would add up to Windows being 130% to 208% premium priced versus RHEL on EC2.  Even if I’ve missed a pricing component that doubles the “true” price of a Windows AMI in a production setting, that would roughly put Windows and RHEL at par in terms of EC2 per hour pricing.  That’s a far cry from the 130 percent to 208 percent premium for Windows over RHEL in an on-premise environment.

Hat tip to William Vambenepe for astutely pointing out that the license cost differential between proprietary and open source products narrows in the cloud.

[UPDATE:  2009-12-11 @ 5:45p EST — PLEASE Read]

Based on public & private comments here is some new information for readers:

1] The version of RHEL on EC2 is supported by Red Hat at the Red Hat “Basic Subscription Web support” level.  This includes  2 business day response, and unlimited incidents.  Red Hat charges $349/year for this license.  As previously mentioned the equivalent RHEL AMI (with an equivalent level of support) is $0.21/hr plus $19/month.

2] The version of Windows 2008 offered on EC2 is Microsoft Windows 2008 Datacenter R1 SP2 64-bit. The AMI is not supported as part of the $0.12/hr AMI fee.  However, to receive an equivalent level of support for this AMI as Red Hat offers for the RHEL AMI, customers can purchase the AWS Premium Support at the Silver level.  The AWS Silver Premium level support is $100/month, or the equivalent of $0.14/hr. Alternatively, to receive 24×7 support for this Windows AMI, customers could purchase the AWS Gold Premium level of support for $400/month, or the equivalent of $0.55/hr.

3] The price comparison now becomes:

On-premise license:
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition: $2,999
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Basic Subscription for 1 year: $349
Windows price premium: 759%

Amazon EC2 license on Standard-Small AMI:
Windows Server 2008 R2 ($0.12/hr) with AWS Silver Premium support ($0.14/hr):  $0.26/hr
Windows Server 2008 R2 ($0.12/hr) with AWS Gold Premium support ($0.55/hr):  $0.67/hr
Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Basic Subscription: $0.21/hr plus $19/month per customer
Windows Price premium: 23% to 219%

Key point to take away:
Holding the product version and support level constant across an on-premise license and Amazon EC2 instance, the price premium of Windows vs. RHEL, if X% for on-premise, will be less than X% on the Amazon cloud.  Said differently, the license cost differential between proprietary and open source products narrows in the cloud.

[ /UPDATE]

Follow me on twitter at: SavioRodrigues

PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

See update at the bottom of this post.Based on public & private comments here is some new information for readers:

1] The version of RHEL on EC2 is supported by Red Hat.  The support level is: “Basic Subscription Web support, 2 business day response, and unlimited incidents”.  Red Hat charges $349/year for this license.  As previously mentioned the equivalent RHEL AMI is $0.21/hr plus $19/month.

2] The version of Windows 2008 offered on EC2 is Microsoft Windows 2008 Datacenter R1 SP2 64-bit. The AMI is not supported as part of the $0.12/hr AMI fee.  However, to receive an equivalent level of support for this AMI as Red Hat offers for the RHEL AMI, customers can purchase the AWS Premium Support at the Silver level.  The Silver level support is $100/month, or $0.14/hr.

3] The price comparison now becomes:

On-premise license:
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition: $2,999
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Basic Subscription for 1 year: $349
Windows price premium: 759%

Amazon EC2 license on Standard-Small AMI:

Windows Server 2008 R2 ($0.12/hr) with AWS Silver Premium support ($0.14/hr):  $0.26/hr
Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Basic Subscription: $0.21/hr plus $19/month per customer
Windows Price premium: 23%

Earlier this week OpenLogic announced commercial support for CentOS, a Linux distribution derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).  The CentOS distribution is ostensibly RHEL source code with Red Hat’s branding and artwork removed.

Some asked if OpenLogic was “stabbing Red Hat in the back”.  OpenLogic positioned the move, not unexpectedly, as healthy competition.  OpenLogic’s Kim Weins explained that OpenLogic customers have been asking OpenLogic to provide Linux support for some time now.

“We do have a value-based approach for OSS support – customers want OSS support, but want it cheaper.

How, if at all, will OpenLogic’s support for CentOS impact Red Hat’s revenue?

Well, Red Hat has already proven itself in the face of Oracle offering a Linux distro based on RHEL.  Novell also offers low-cost RHEL support for up to 3 years during a migration from RHEL to Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.  And yet, Red Hat’s Linux revenue is growing in the 20 percent year-to-year range; very respectable, especially in today’s economic climate.

For some customers, the OpenLogic CentOS offering becomes a negotiation tactic with Red Hat.  But customers already had the option of using Oracle Unbreakable Linux (OUL) during Red Hat negotiations.  And well, Red Hat still sports a 20 percent plus growth rate.

Then there are joint OpenLogic and Red Hat customers.  Based solely on Red Hat’s market share, I’d guesstimate that a large portion, upwards of 70 percent, of joint OpenLogic and Red Hat customers are using RHEL today.  These joint customers will begin to think seriously about their RHEL investments.  Some will begin by categorizing their RHEL deployments into “mission critical” and “less than mission critical”.  RHEL will remain the operating system of choice for the former, while CentOS could begin to displace RHEL in the latter.

The more interesting consideration is how RHEL customers unfamiliar with OpenLogic will react to this news.  Some RHEL customers were surely looking to reduce operating system costs by using CentOS over RHEL.  Until now, there hasn’t been a well established CentOS support option.  For instance, the “Commercial Support” page on centos.org reads:

“This Section or Page is coming soon. This page is a holder for Content that is not yet available for publication.”

While OpenLogic isn’t a market gorilla, they are definitely an established open source support vendor.  Additionally, by now, RHEL customers, and their management chains, are no longer concerned about the “risk of using Linux in the data center”. As such, the price premium for the enterprise Linux market leader, RHEL, is no longer the sacred cow.  Comfort with RHEL and Linux opens up the discussion of moving some workload from RHEL to CentOS in search of lower costs.  Matt Asay pointed out that Orbitz and others are running mission critical applications on CentOS.  While these customers are a thorn in Red Hat’s side, they represent a very small portion of Red Hat’s customer base.

It’ll be interesting to check back in with OpenLogic in 6 months.  Who knows, maybe OpenLogic’s success will make it an attractive acquisition target, maybe even for Red Hat?

Follow me on twitter at: SavioRodrigues

PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

News that paravirtual drivers for Windows on KVM have been released by Red Hat isn’t, and shouldn’t be a big deal.

In the virtualization wars, it is clear that every hypervisor will strive to support Windows and Linux guest operating systems at the very least. Yes, it was news when Microsoft added drivers to the Linux kernel to help Windows Hyper-V better manage Linux guest operating systems. But this was more about the GPL code contribution and the following controversy.

Second, it doesn’t look like the KVM drivers for Windows are ready for prime time. Even the original blog post from Hadyn Solomon states:

“Paravirtual block drivers for windows has been very low key and known to be unstable.”

He goes on to ask:

“With Redhat expecting to release it’s Enterprise 5.4 version in September , maybe they’ve got windows paravirtual block drivers in working order?”

Who wants to bet that the stability, or lack thereof, of the Windows drivers is the reason that Red Hat has been “low key” about the work? There is virtually no way that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, due out in September, will have working, enterprise ready Windows paravirtual block drivers. Will that change in the future? Absolutely. Will it be news then? Sure, because it’ll mean that Red Hat isn’t happy to just be a guest in a Windows world.  Fight! Fight! Fight! ;-)

Follow me on twitter at: SavioRodrigues

PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

A tweet informed me that Red Hat had added 600 employees in Fiscal 2008 and anticipated growing its employee base in 2009.  I was curious about the roles that Red Hat is looking to staff.

I pulled the openings by Red Hat’s job categories.  Some jobs fall into multiple categories.  As of yesterday there were 157 openings, but I count 200 when searching category by category.

I grouped the openings into high level job functions:

Sales and marketing openings represent 27% of the total.  Engineering represents 34% of openings while Support and Services represent 22% of openings.  The remaining 17% of openings are in “Shared Function” such as accounting, HR, finance, legal and internal IS/IT departments.

Red Had shows us that as open source vendors mature, attention must be paid to growing talent across the company.  It’s not an easy task for companies (open source or not!) that have typically been engineering led and focused.  But it’s required.

Follow me on twitter at: SavioRodrigues

Just saw this story on Slashdot which made me think of this post from Marc Fleury.

The Slashdot story questions what/where is the official MySQL tree:

“…With Monty Widenius having left Sun and forked off MySQL for MariaDB, and Brian Aker running the Drizzle fork inside of Sun, where is the official MySQL tree? …. Smugmug’s Don MacAskhill, who is the keynote at the upcoming MySQL Conference, has commented that he is now using the Percona version of MySQL, and is no longer relying on Sun’s.”

In researching a future post I came across this quote from Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz via Marc Fleury’s blog:

“A: First, the personalities involved. Let’s just say that integrating Marten Mickos into a company might be easier than assimilating a few of the JBoss personalities. Marten is a joy to work with and will make this integration work.”

Thinking about JBoss and MySQL today, I can’t help buy chuckle at the quote.  Both JBoss and MySQL have seen their executives leave the acquiring company.  However, for all the “JBoss personalities” out there, not one of them has forked the JBoss code in an attempt to compete against Red Hat.  Not yet at least (you never know what Roy will do ;-).

I truly wonder why.

Maybe JBoss developers are contractually prevented from doing so or have financial incentives not to fork JBoss?  But if so, why wasn’t the MySQL team put under similar legal restrictions and/or incentive plans?

Maybe Red Hat’s history with open source provided for an easier transition than Sun did?  I don’t buy this considering the initial challenges at Red Hat.  Every acquisition has its road bumps, Sun’s challenges with MySQL are no different.

Maybe there were plenty of open source application server choices (Tomcat, Geronimo, Jetty, GlassFish) out there, so the likelihood of a fork gaining traction is too minimal to bother with the effort?  I’m not convinced by this argument; EnterpriseDB/PostgreSQL, Ingres and JavaDB provide enough choice, as do Cloud databases that seem to pop up weekly.

Maybe, as Schwartz foretold, it all came down to the people and the “personalities”, on both sides of the deal

What do you think?