GCN Tech Blog

By GCN Staff

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Making a federal case of open source

Welcome to FOSE, Day 1. As you look through your show programs, you'll notice that this year's show puts a significant emphasis on technology education. The word around the GCN newsroom is that the FOSE planners wanted to move considerably beyond the floor show to give government professionals more and better information. The exhibit booths are still important (and we'll be visiting most of them), but all these educational sessions are great to see. (FOSE is put on by GCN's parent company, PostNewsweek Tech Media.)

Scan the educational sessions and, among other themes, you'll see a lot about using open-source software in government, from secure Linux deployments to rolling out a JBoss application server. Much of the thrust behind these sessions is something called the Federal Open Source Alliance, which debuts this year at FOSE.

At its core, this alliance is about marketing solutions to the federal government. It was formed by Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel and Red Hat.

Jim Ganthier, HP's director of defense, intelligence and security solutions, doesn't shy away from that characterization. Talking to us last week about the initiative, he described it as 'joint pursuit,' i.e. three companies chasing government business together.

But there's something in it for you. Ganthier told GCN the alliance could provide federal agencies with several important tools, not the least of which are real-world examples of agencies that have migrated parts of their infrastructure to open-source code. They can also offer reference architectures and other resources.

Does this mean HP, for instance, is turning away from Windows? Not at all, Ganthier said. He told us the alliance was a response to agencies who were asking more about open-source options.

This week, we'll be taking in several of the open source-related educational sessions that HP and its partners are putting on, including a couple interesting ones today about Security Enhanced Linux (10 AM) and MySQL (11:15 AM). Tomorrow you can learn about open-source app servers at the JBoss session (10 AM).

Let us know if you find them useful.

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Mar 07, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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