Linux and Open Source technologies rule the enterprise segments. There are so many products and projects out there which are rescuing small and medium businesses from legacy software companies.
Every small and medium business has its own peculiar use-cases and there is no one-sized -fits-all in this segment. I chose some tools which can play a pivotal role in your enterprise. These are the top Linux and open source applications for small and medium businesses or even SOHO players.You may be surprised to hear that the entire stack of proprietary technologies can be replaced with those that run on Linux and Open Source. How about beginning 2015 with a fresh stack of vendor neutral, cost effective Linux and open source technologies?
Cloud is a buzzword these days, but when you say “cloud,” it’s hard to pinpoint ‘which cloud’. In layman’s terms cloud simply means your data is stored and processed on a remote system which you can access over a network.You can perform various functions on a cloud. For a business, the most critical area could be remote storage and syncing of data. Cloud makes it extremely easy to access such data on the move by employees of that organization.
Seafile is a secure and open source cloud storage solution for enterprise users. The main focus of the solution is offering advanced support for file syncing, privacy protection and teamwork. One of the greatest features of Seafile, is its extremely easy client side encryption. Seafile’s community edition is available for free which is good enough for an average enterprise user. If you are able to spend money, they have a subscription-based edition which has additional features. Seafile has clients for iOS, Android, Mac OSX, Windows and Linux.
Kolab is certainly emerging as one of the most promising open source technologies. Why is Kolab so important? Let’s admit there are no ‘easy to install and manage’ email or Groupware solutions. Kolab fills the niche very nicely, it’s not only easy to install and manage, but also extremely scalable. Kolab also doubles up as a file server because it can store files also.
If you don’t rely on too many Google services, Kolab can be an extremely cost effective solution for small to big businesses. It’s a community driven project which offers Red Hat-like support via subscription. One notable benefit of Kolab is easy integration with almost every other solution because of the way in which Kolab stores information through APIs and libraries. Since everything is filed on disk, every backup system in the world is capable of backing up a Kolab server perfectly. You can restore that one file to its location, rebuild the IMAP index and then you are ready to go.
As a business you will certainly need a website to showcase your products and services, and be able to interact with clients. WordPress is one of the leading free and open source CMS solutions which is extremely scalable, secure and can be used in different use cases. You can even use WordPress as an e-commerce platform through plugins like WooCommerce. It can be used to spread the word about your business. It enables you to publish case studies, blogs and even client testimonials through one of the easiest to deploy and manage technologies.
Virtual machines are always useful when you want to run different operating systems for different needs – file servers, mail servers, print servers – without having to invest heavily in hardware for each server. There are many solutions including Xen, KVM, VMWare products and Oracle VirtualBox which can be used in enterprise set-up.
If you are looking for a project management solution, you no longer need Microsoft Project. The award-winning ProjectLibre will take care of your project management needs. It’s fully compatible with Microsoft Project 2010, and offers a familiar interface so there is not a steep learning curve for those who are coming from Microsoft Project.
SugarCRM is an absolute leader when it comes to open source CRM solutions. However, recently SugarCRM decided to not release Open Source Community Editions of their latest version which lead to some forks. If you can afford SugarCRM that’s great, but if you are looking for a community-based solution to start off with you may try its fork SuiteCRM which was created to keep the community edition alive.
Odoo is a reputable open source ERP solution formerly known as OpenERP. The recent versions now include website builder, ecommerce, point of sale and business intelligence. Similar to other open source solutions, Odoo is available in two versions – a free of cost community edition and a commercial edition. Beyond these, there are many more open source enterprise tools which will meet your IT needs.
Cobbler is a Linux installation server that enables sysadmins to quickly set-up desired environments. It automates quite a lot of Linux tasks so you don’t have to jump from one hoop to another hoop to deploy Linux systems. It’s an extremely light-weight (around 15K lines of code), Python-based, open source solution which aims to be extremely simple, yet capable of handling small and extremely large scale installations.
There are an abundance of enterprise tools, and Puppet is yet another well-known tool. It’s an automated administrative tool for Linux, Unix, and Windows systems. It can automate many administrative tasks such as adding new users, managing packages, updating configurations, provisioning and patching servers.
Puppet offers integration for major solutions from companies like VMware, Amazon, Cisco, OpenStack, and Eucalyptus (now owned by HP). These are only a few of the many tools available out there. Other notable tools include MariaDB, Zimbra, Jenkins, Hyper HQ, Nahios, etc.
The wealth of Linux and open source cannot be packed into one article. I would encourage you to go explore it yourself. The crux is that you simply do not need proprietary technologies to run your business. You are better off with Linux and open source.