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1 In 3 IT Shops Uses Combo Proprietary, Open Source Software

Open source is playing an increasingly integral role in the area of business intelligence and data warehousing, a new report shows.

Open source software continues its steady creep into IT shops. A survey of 1,000 users by Talend, a provider of open source data integration software, shows that users are increasingly using the technology to complement its proprietary products.

About 35% of survey respondents said they use a combination of proprietary and open source software. Explaining the reasons behind their decision, many said they gravitated to open source solutions when proprietary products could no longer solve the problem they were initially deployed to fix, or when the cost of a commercial solution was prohibitive.

In those instances where mission-critical data needs to travel from one server application to another, for instance, such as where data flows from an ERP system to a CRM system, open source is playing an increasingly integral role.

Another area where open source is being melded with proprietary system is business intelligence. Some 61.5% of those surveyed said they are now deploying open source solutions in cases where extract, transform, and load (ETL) for BI and data warehousing.

Projects involving data loading and data integration are the second and third most popular for integrating open source with proprietary offerings.

Besides expecting to benefit from open source's lower costs, users surveyed also expected the software to perform at least as well as the proprietary software it was replacing or working with hand in hand.

They said usability and performance were the most important aspects of an open source solution. The overall price tag of open source software, including associated costs for technical support, wasn't a major consideration for the majority of respondents.

But when it comes to business-critical applications, guaranteed response times is a clear priority. The vast majority of survey respondents said they expected technical support models to be commensurate with similar services offered by professional IT organizations.

Some 85% of respondents said they would be willing to go to the open source community first for support over a dedicated service. Of that number, about 65% said they'd also be willing to participate in the open source community in terms of offering support for others.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of data center strategies. Download the report here (registration required).

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