Governments are embracing open source software to manage their data centers, says John Punzak, who is senior national sales director of state and local government/education at Raleigh, N.C-based Red Hat. The company is a supplier of open source software. It offers Red Hat Enterprise Linux, an operating system used in data centers. The firm serves government customers in a variety of applications.

Open source software refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community.

Traditional proprietary software products are typically offered under an End User License Agreement (EULA) that includes hefty license fees. Open source solutions (including Red Hat) are offered under a subscription-based service-level agreement (SLA). The subscription usually covers certifications, technical support and other kinds of assistance.

Data center managers are using his firm’s infrastructure-as-a-service offering, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for OpenStack, says Punzak. OpenStack is an open source infrastructure as a service (IaaS) initiative for creating and managing large groups of virtual private servers in a cloud-computing environment.

The product serves a number of functions, says Punzak. “It helps large data centers that want to efficiently consolidate their own operations. It also enables data center managers to connect their operations with public cloud providers such as Amazon and Google.”

Other products that Red Hat offers include:

-- Red Hat JBoss Middleware, which is the infrastructure behind the scenes in data centers. The product makes systems connect and move data.
It is a family of cloud-friendly, enterprise-grade products that help enterprises innovate quickly. It helps accelerate application development, deployment, and performance, and automate business processes across physical, virtual, mobile, and cloud environments.

--OpenShift by Red Hat, which is a platform-as-a-service offering.

In the video, Red Hat’s John Punzak outlines some of the ways governments are using open source software as they move to the cloud.


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