HP Launches Open Source Governance Initiative

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"We've seen a critical mass of questions out of the industry, and increasing need for us to begin this discussion and make some contributions to moving open source forward," says Doug Small, HP's worldwide marketing director for open source and Linux. "We think the time is right to do this as open source becomes more pervasive."

The two sites, FOSSology.org and FOSSBazaar.org, each offer different tools for companies looking to develop a satisfactory strategy for governing open source software. FOSSology is a free, downloadable toolset designed to help users address deployment issues like FOSS acquisition, tracking and licensing. FOSSBazaar is a source for businesses to join discussion groups, read white papers and educate themselves on the implications of using open source software.

Small says he hopes VARs will use these tools to create new opportunities for their companies and their clients. "The combination allows a channel partner to get both the tools and the best practice to bring solutions to those customers," he says. "[VARs] can now get these resources and build a practice around it."

FOSSology and FOSSBazaar are the accumulation of seven years of effort by HP, which found it needed a system of governance for the deployment of open source projects within the company. Small says he feels open source community is gaining considerable traction and says it reflects a maturation of the open source market beyond Linux.

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"As customers get more comfortable with open source they deploy it more," he says. "I think resellers who are advanced in open source are going to take a look at these sites and find the basis for some interesting service opportunities."