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Open Source Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, William Schmarzo

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GTC East 2007 – Business & Technology for Government

It’s been awhile since I traveled to Albany. And, this time of the year, seeing the leaves changing colors along the Hudson was absolutely spectacular. This is the 19th year for the event, obviously highlighting New York’s leading-edge efforts at studying emerging technology and its implication for government.

I had the honor of presenting a seminar session entitled “Open Source – Ready for Prime Time?” I co-presented with Ross Brunson, one of the solutions experts at Novell. My pitch focused on how big open source has grown in government, how we got here, and what hurdles remain impeding even faster growth ... including discussing how the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) is working to drive interoperability standards across open solutions. If you’d like a copy of my presentation, just comment here and I’ll send it to you.

As I walked the show floor, it seemed like all the big players in government were at this show, but one company that surprised me was Apple. They were there not to showcase the iPhone (nor were they particularly interested in my complaint of receiving only a $100 store credit when they dropped the price of the iPhone by $200). Apple was there showing off a server … what looked like a bunch of 2U-3U blades in a small rack. The rep indicated that this had been somewhat of a stealth product for Apple. So, an Apple server, presumably tuned and configured with government-related applications. It will be interested to see what sort of traction they get.

Another honor for me was receiving (along with RedHat) an award at the show for “Best Solution” for our New York State Courts’ Family Case Management System. Shown in the photo is (L to R) Mary Sharp, Unisys GOIS; Dr. Melody Mayberry-Stewart, NYS CIO, Joseph Lynch, Unisys Account Executive and also Advisory Board member for GTC; Naren Paten, Unisys Sales Executive Head for NY, and Garry Russell, Unisys sales executive. [Click on the photo to see a much clearer version.] As the state migrated to RedHat’s JBoss application server, some issues remained with web service enablement. According to Project Manager Carol Champitto and Technical Services Manager Jason Hill, the system is the court system’s most mission-critical application, processing close to 700,000 cases per year. Once we completed our efforts, the new JBoss cluster was comparable to the previous proprietary solution in terms of performance and scalability, but with much faster build and deployment cycles. Furthermore, by migrating to open source software, New York State Courts saved tax payers over $75,000 annually in maintenance fees and $500,000 in licensing fees over time.

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