Open Source Power For Small Business In 2014

Carla Schroder | Small Business Computing | January 22, 2014

The biggest impact that open source software offers small business in 2014 takes place in the cloud. Open source software powers the cloud—where you can take advantage of both hosted software and services, and hosted IT infrastructure (e.g., servers). We're already used to hosted services such as Web and mail hosting. They're convenient and cheap, and they prevent headaches.

What about running your small business without buying or maintaining a roomful of your own servers? Do you dream of not having to recruit and retain good tech talent? Can you run your shop with no on-premises servers at all—simply plug into some kind of hosted turnkey IT-in-a-box, and just buy smartphones, tablets, and PCs? The answer to all of these questions is yes…and no.

Cloud Services Defined

We're in the midst of a genuine tech revolution thanks to cloud technologies, which are possible because of open source software such as OpenStack and OpenShift, and Linux vendors like Red Hat and SUSE. The cloud makes it possible for hosting providers to offer more services than ever. Cloud services fall into three basic levels: