Once upon a time CIOs bought into open source solely to achieve dramatic cost savings. Today, Red Hat gave them another reason: superior performance.
Today Red Hat announced that it has broken server performance records with its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 on an IBM System x 3950 M2 running Intel X7460 Xeon processors. Apparently you can have your cake and eat it, too, at least in the open-source world:
In its latest 1M tpmC benchmark, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 outperformed all other operating systems on price performance in the 1M+ range. The Red Hat-based benchmark system delivered 1,200,632 transactions per minute and improved the price performance to $1.99, delivering a 20 percent savings in comparison to competitors. The single system proves its capability to handle substantial transactional workloads with its ability to process over 20,000 transactions per second.
Again, it would be impressive enough to have delivered such market-beating performance, but to provide superior performance at a 20 percent discount...? That's truly noteworthy.
It's also not fair. All those proprietary Unix and Windows vendors have spent good money "creating" and hoarding their IP, only to have some open-source upstart beat them in performance and cost. At some point customers are going to wake up and wonder why they're dumping unnecessary cash into proprietary products that cost too much and deliver too little.
Proprietary software may well be the ultimate, anti-Faustian bargain: sell one's soul (IT independence) and get rubbish in return. With open source and Red Hat, CIOs spend less but get more, and they don't have to sign a deal with Mephistopheles to get it. In troubled financial times, CIOs should have to justify installing anything other than Linux.