Enterprises have increasingly embraced open source as a part of their technology portfolio. Despite the growth, some leaders are still hesitant about “officially” endorsing open source options. There are fewer support options, more unknowns and an almost complete absence of magic quadrant style analysts’ reports to guide decision-making. Open source solutions provider OpenLogic may be changing that. The firm has released a new, detailed finding about enterprise open source trends in 2011.

Open Source Projects with the Most Enterprise Swagger

OpenLogic ‘s research focused on three categories of open source software:

  • web and application servers
  • application frameworks
  • databases and big data.

For the software, the firm analyzed eight metrics over a two year period -- January 2010 to November 2010 and January 2011 to November 2011 -- using public data, data from its own tools and user feedback from over 250 global companies to evaluate if enterprise adoption was trending up, staying level or trending down. Key data sources included:

  • Public data -- Google Search volumes
  • OpenLogic tool data -- search volumes, views of packages, downloads, requests within corporations to use the project and matches against the project during scans
  • Support contracts

After the data was analyzed clear patterns emerged about how enterprises were using open source. The following projects showed the biggest gains in 2011 over 2010:

  • HBase, a distributed, column-oriented database system built on top of Hadoop.
  • Node.js, a platform for writing highly scalable Internet applications in Javascript.
  • nginx, a high concurrency, low memory usage web server and reverse proxy.
  • Hadoop, a framework for distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers.
  • Rails, a highly scalable web application framework.

OpenLogic also evaluated each of the three categories and categorized projects as “trending up” (up across most or all metrics), “trending level” (up and down on a roughly equal number of metrics), or “trending down” (down across all or most metrics). 

The Application Server/Web Server category:

  • Trending Up: Node.js and nginx
  • Trending Level: Tomcat and Apache HTTP Server
  • Trending Down: JBoss and GlassFish

The Frameworks category:

  • Trending Up: Rails
  • Trending Level: Spring, Grails, Struts
  • Trending down: (none)

The Databases and Big Data Category:

  • Trending Up: HBase, Hadoop, MongoDB
  • Trending Level: MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • Trending Down: CouchDB

Overall Ranking of the Selected 16 Open Source Projects By Percentage Growth:

  1. HBase
  2. Node.js
  3. nginx
  4. Hadoop
  5. Rails
  6. MongoDB
  7. Tomcat
  8. MySQL
  9. Apache
  10. Spring
  11. PostgreSQL(tie) /Grails (tie)
  12. Struts
  13. JBoss
  14. GlassFish
  15. CouchDB

Finding Out More

Interestingly, there is no actual report that details these OpenLogic findings. However, the company is conducting an hour-long webinar on January 18 at 2:00PM ET that examines the results of the research. Registration is free.

As open source continues to become more a part of the norm for enterprise environments, we will likely see more firms like OpenLogic emerge to offer services comparable to those provided by traditional platform vendors. We also likely see major analyst firms begin to look more critically at open source software as a part of their market analysis. This level of enterprise maturity will be critical if open source is to become just another software option.