How has your company’s journey been from the starting point? How do you envisage your present and future endeavors to bring
We started talking to Red Hat,
There was a huge degree of awareness about Linux because Indians are very proactive on technology and have Unix skills. We needed to get people to appreciate Linux from an enterprise standpoint. Only if we get appreciation, will there be adoption. So we really worked on appreciation, in terms of large projects and proof-of-concept, building lighthouse cases, skills in migration, etc. We did a number of things that required a lot of investment from a people’s perspective as well as customers’ perspective. We held road shows, seminars, etc, across the country and all this was focused on enterprises. We were very clearly focused on the fact that we needed enterprise customers to get on the bandwagon if we wanted Linux to grow.
We see adoption taking off in a big way today. Rarely do we come across enterprises today that do not have some sort of Linux strategy in place. The more proactive and aggressive ones have an entire strategy on Linux. The less aggressive ones are starting out small but looking to grow their Linux strategy. So we find that Linux is rapidly getting acceptance at the enterprise level.
In the initial phase, we focused on acquiring critical mass and now we are expanding our reach to address requirements across the country. Red Hat is now working on creating an open source ecosystem by partnering with ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) to get more applications built or ported to Linux, we are working with the community in localising Linux and other open source software to the major Indian languages and working on popularising the use of open source software in education, government and industry.
Though Linux is low cost, there has been a common opinion among Linux users that it is difficult to install, it takes time to learn and there are more commands to be written to get a small job done. Keeping all these in mind, why do you feel an organisation/person should switch from Microsoft to Red Hat?
The Graphical User Interfaces for Linux and leading open source applications are as good as that of proprietary software. Users who are coming from the proprietary software world will get familiar with Linux within a day or two.
On the system administration side, system admins familiar with Unix can easily pick up Linux skills. Linux is one of the most popular server platforms for web servers, mail servers etc so the availability of these skill sets is growing daily.
Organisations across the world are switching to Linux because of reliability, affordability, security, manageability and the fact that Linux is less prone to viruses.
Linux is also known to have the lack of support for maintenance. Has there been any development in improving this issue?
What is your view on the way the use of
Most of the major educational institutions in
How much, do you feel, Red Hat has played a role in the
Many of the leading open source developers work with Red Hat. The Fedora project which, is supported by Red Hat is one of the leading open source distributions. Red Hat
What is the kind of market for Linux/OSS in India/Asia?
We believe that the market potential is huge and untapped. For example, there are 120,000 schools in
In e-Government, there is a huge requirement for the Indian government to reach out to a billion plus citizens and
The usage of IT in
How can the developing countries use
Localisation is a key area where open source can play a major role. In open source, everyone has the freedom to modify the source code and tailor it to his/her requirements. At a recent localisation workshop that was sponsored by Red Hat
In what ways does
The philosophy of
Is Red Hat safe to be used by the governments? What measures are you adopting to ensure the security?
Many defence departments in
Linux was chosen as the platform for this work because its growing success and open development environment provided an opportunity to demonstrate that the security enhancement functionality can be successful in a mainstream operating system. Red Hat is incorporating features of the same in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
What are the cost-benefits of developing an independent software using Linux as an operating system?
Linux is predicted to be one of the most popular server operating systems over the next few years. Application developers therefore get a platform that reaches the largest number of users when they develop applications on Linux.
The demand is also being driven by users. Since Linux can run on commodity hardware, many users are demanding that applications that run on expensive hardware platforms and proprietary operating systems be rewritten to run on Linux. This enables them to lower the cost that customers pay for their solutions and helps ISVs expand their market reach.
Can you share with us more about the localised versions you offer? What other steps are you taking to make Linux more acceptable?
The next release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux will have support for Hindi, Bengali, Gujrati, Punjabi and Tamil. Red Hat has also acquired and released, under the GNU General Public License, high quality fonts in these languages. High quality fonts were a crying need felt by the Open Source community for the last several years and the fonts released by Red Hat finally fulfill this need.