OSS Gains Ground in Survey of IT Pros

Open source software (OSS) is not so much the underdog in the IT world, according survey findings announced by Barracuda Networks, a provider of e-mail and Web security appliances. Barracuda polled 288 IT security professionals and found their preferences to be roughly split on the likelihood of deploying OSS versus proprietary software, particularly for applications with similar functionality.

The OSS option actually had a small lead in the survey results, with 53 percent expressing a preference for open source versus 47 percent opting for commercial solutions.

Survey respondents who favored OSS explained their preference in varying ways. Pricing was seen as the biggest reason to adopt open source, with 80 percent giving that reason. Another reason for favoring open source, for 57 percent, was the availability of a program's source code, allowing the software to be modified or customized on a per-company basis. In addition, 41 percent of those opting for open source said they favored it because of community code review resources.

On the other side, those who preferred to deploy commercial software were mostly (65 percent) motivated by the quality of support provided by the software vendor. Ease of adoption by the company's staff was the reason to adopt commercial solutions for 47 percent. A third reason given by those favoring commercial solutions was automated software updates, cited by 47 percent.

Barracuda Networks' CEO Dean Drako viewed the survey results as indicating a change in attitude among security officials toward OSS.

"The fact that open source software is now viewed on par with commercial software shows the gains it has made in becoming a viable element of business security solutions," he stated in the company's announcement.

About the Author

Will Kraft is a Web designer, technical consultant and freelance writer. He can be reached at Also, check out his blog at


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