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10 Open Source Server Technologies You Need to Know

By Kenneth Hess (Send Email)
Posted Feb 18, 2010


More on Open Source Servers

If you think technologies for open source servers is limited to Linux distributions, think again. Although these software projects pair well with Linux, it isn't an integral part of any of the 10 listed. Software for open source servers no longer refers to Linux-only environments. In fact, open source servers now cross all operating system boundaries, so much so, that Microsoft launched its own open source laboratory called Port 25, and it is a platinum-level sponsor of the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco. To introduce you to 10 hot technologies for open source servers that you need to know, I compiled a diverse list of projects and applications for you to discover and explore. Many of these products are free of cost or close to it.

1. Zenoss

Technology for open source servers is about more than Linux. Here are 10 must-evaluate projects for open source servers in any enterprises considering making the leap.

Zenoss is an open source IT Management suite. You can observe and monitor your entire network using Zenoss. It consists of an alert console, network discovery, performance monitoring, service monitoring and inventory modules. It is enterprise-ready, free, easy to install and maintain, and modular through ZenPacks.

2. Mono

Mono is the open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET technologies. When I first heard of the Mono Project, I didn't know how to put a Microsoft technology into the open source world category, but it has captured the attention of developers and businesses on a worldwide scale. Sponsored by Novell, this technology combines two incompatible worlds (*nix and Microsoft) into a single agile, open source and stable realm. Mono allows you to develop powerful and advanced server-side applications on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows

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3. Apache

The Apache Web Server is the Internet's most popular Web server, and the project everyone associates with apache.org. However, it might surprise you to know that there are more than 70 other projects under the Apache umbrella. Enterprise-level projects include ActiveMQ, Geronimo, SpamAssassin and Tomcat. Although many of the Apache projects relate to Java (e.g., Geronimo and Tomcat), several are stand-alone projects (OFBiz), and a few directly enhance Apache (mod_perl). If you haven't checked out apache.org lately, you should. Apache.org has morphed into more than the just a URL from which you download the Apache Web Server; it's a repository of the most powerful open source software in the world.

4. SugarCRM

If you'd like to use a customer relationship management (CRM) software suite with a disruptive engineering and marketing model, SugarCRM is for you. The SugarCRM team takes a unique approach to enterprise software marketing: You get the product to use, and when you need advanced functionality, you engage SugarCRM for a commercial relationship. The company puts its money and effort into building the product, not marketing or sales efforts. This model has propelled "Sugar" into being the world's leading open source CRM product.

5. Drupal

Content management systems (CMSs) provide a collaborative environment for social networking sites, corporate Web sites, intranets, community portals, e-commerce applications and discussion sites. Drupal is a CMS that allows communities to publish, share and manage a variety of content on a Web server. Communities range from a few users to tens of thousands. Drupal is modular and has dozens of add-ons that enhance its functionality and appeal, such as blogs, forums, newsletters, podcasting, photos, file uploading and downloading, collaborative authoring and e-commerce.

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