HP Promotes Open Source Software Governance with New Initiative
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced a software governance initiative to help companies address the legal, financial and security risks faced when adopting free and open source software (FOSS).
“Companies adopting free and open source software will save money and improve their ability to operate, but they need to understand the license requirements of the programs they use and adopt appropriate governance measures to ensure proper compliance”
Underlying this community-based initiative is a major contribution from HP’s research and development efforts to help effectively manage open source as part of an overall enterprise IT plan. This intellectual property contribution is based on seven years of internal development and includes processes, policies and tools.
Traditional corporate policies for managing software assets are often inadequate to address the unique characteristics of free and open source software. During a recent customer engagement, for example, HP discovered three times as many FOSS licenses as the client originally thought it held – 75 versus 25. This left the customer with a choice: implement governance policies to allow the safe use of FOSS or replace the software at an estimated cost of $80 million.
To help enterprise customers mitigate these kinds of risks and realize the full business benefits of free and open source software, HP has introduced FOSSology (http://www.fossology.org) and FOSSBazaar (http://www.fossbazaar.org) – the industry’s first open source initiatives dedicated to these goals.
“Companies adopting free and open source software will save money and improve their ability to operate, but they need to understand the license requirements of the programs they use and adopt appropriate governance measures to ensure proper compliance,” said Eben Moglen, founding director, Software Freedom Law Center. “The principle of ‘share and share alike’ requires governance measures different than those for the protection of proprietary assets, but not more burdensome. Resources like those HP announced today can help businesses understand how to make using free and open source software in a compliant manner very simple, effective and profitable.”
FOSSology is based on the tools HP uses to effectively manage its own use of free and open source software. It is designed to help users address deployment issues such as the acquisition, tracking and licensing of FOSS. FOSSology’s flexible and open architecture framework, along with detection agents, can help users discover FOSS and related licenses within their own organizations. This toolset is free and downloadable from FOSSology.org for immediate use under the General Public License (GPL) version two.
FOSSBazaar makes HP’s expertise freely available to the software community as part of a collaborative effort with industry-leading software vendors and The Linux Foundation. Coverity, DLA Piper, Google, Novell, Olliance Group, OpenLogic and SourceForge have joined HP to offer online resources, educational documentation and community interaction to address FOSS business issues and promote best FOSS governance practices.
“The FOSS governance initiative allows HP to share the insight gained from its own experiences managing open source software with other enterprises and the broader FOSS community,” said Christine Martino, vice president, Open Source and Linux Organization, HP. “As the No. 1 provider of Linux-based systems for nine years straight,(1) HP’s leadership around this initiative underscores its commitment to address the challenge of managing open source software proliferation, while reducing barriers to adoption.”
HP Open Source Health Check
Customers can extend and complement the content available from FOSSBazaar with new HP services called the HP Open Source Heath Check (http://www.hp.com/go/oshealthcheck), which also was announced as part of the FOSS initiative. In addition to creating a snapshot of current FOSS usage, the services assist customers with analyzing FOSS management and reducing the risk associated with it.
HP Open Source Heath Check includes:
The HP Open Source Health Check complements HP’s rich portfolio of FOSS-related services, which help customers to take advantage of the benefits of FOSS in their IT environments.
HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers – from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world’s largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $104.3 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Oct. 31, 2007. More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.
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(1) Per IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, November 2007, HP (combined with Compaq) ranks No. 1 in worldwide Linux server factory revenue and unit shipments since 1998.
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