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Server wars: Open-source Java vs Weblogic and WebSphere

A new survey suggests that proprietary Java application servers are losing to open source in the cloud age.

Open source Java is winning in the cloud
Open source Java is winning in the cloud
New Relic

Open source is winning the Java application-server war in the age of the cloud, according to a new survey.

Web application performance company New Relic released results of its recent study on commercial vs. open-source Java application server usage among enterprises. The result: open source is winning by an overwhelming margin when it comes to web applications.

New Relic surveyed 1,000 customers to get some data on the state of open-source in business today. According to the results, over 80 percent of enterprise users across five main industries (business software, consumer internet, ecommerce, gaming, and social web) are using open source Java app servers like Apache TomCat, Jboss, jetty:// and GlassFish, over commercial Java servers from Oracle and IBM.

The big move by enterprises from legacy vendors to open-source corresponds to a survey last year of 600 IT professionals regarding their sentiment on Oracle's control of open-source projects Java and MySQL. At the time, 42 percent of those surveyed believe that open-source would stagnate under Oracle's control.

Overall, it's not surprising that users who are deploying their applications to the cloud are more likely to use open source, if for no other reason than that licensing is far simpler. Additionally, there are Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) available for most open source stacks, making it very easy to choose open source over a traditionally licensed application server.