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Open Source Spreads Its Wings in Enterprise

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Charles Brenner entered the open-source realm several years ago the way most others do: rolling out Linux in an effort to save a few dollars.

"We started a couple of years ago, having been introduced through Linux and then Apache and then kind of up through the stack," said Brenner, vice president of the Boston-based Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, a unit of Fidelity Investments. "Then we wanted to see if we could leverage the power of open source for a higher level of different applications. The rationale? We came to the table around the idea of saving money-just the simple stuff, no license fee."

But Brenner, who has emerged as a champion of open-source software in enterprise IT, said he's since learned that, beyond cost, "there are tremendous advantages for a company like us in working with that model." Thanks to increased competition among open-source providers, large and small, and the evolution of the open-source development business, Brenner and others have more and better choices, along with improved support and innovation as they seek relief from burdensome licensing costs.

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