Open source operating systems such as Linux have become a crucial element of software development and innovation, even for tech giants such as Google and Facebook, says Redhat CEO James Whitehurst.
"An interesting thing happened during the Web 2.0 era, when large web IT users like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, etc. started using open source to drive their infrastructure," said Whitehurst. "Because they're large and because they're technically sophisticated, they started building their own features. Open source basically has become a place where user-driven innovation happens in software."
Small- and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from a shift towards open source development as well, but they face unique challenges, Whitehurst added. These include having to choose between over a million open source tool projects, while they usually find that making the switch from proprietary software tools is not has difficult as many enterprises initially fear.
More importantly, small-to medium-sized enterprises may be challenged by testing updates to older versions of Linux that run enterprise applications such as SAP, while third parties, such as Redhat, can provide these services.