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Smaller businesses make most use of open source

Six out of 10 Oracle database sites are now running open source operating systems, but adoption is lower among big businesses, new research has revealed.

The  survey of 269 members of the Independent Oracle Users Group, found that open source operating systems, databases and middleware were more prevalent in smaller organisations, with 57% of organisations using some open source products.

Users said cost savings were the main motivation for adopting open source systems.

But big enterprises were less agile and so less able to derive business benefit from access to source code for custom coding or making site specific modifications, the research carried out by Unisphere Research found.

Enterprises were failing to exploit the “open” qualities of open source systems, with just 19% making changes to the source code.

But the survey revealed a lack of support for open source systems. More than a third of respondents said maintenance and support for open source software was becoming “increasingly difficult”, while another third said open source solutions lacked enterprise-grade support.

The research found that most open source deployments were still at the “outside edge” of enterprise applications, such as Web servers or single-function servers, rather than core business applications.

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