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Open Source in Federal Government: 2007 Year in Review, Users and Developers Conference Recap

As a follow-up to last year’s panel, Paul Smith, Red Hat’s vice president for Government Sales Operations, will again participate in an open source panel discussion on Federal News Radio’s monthly Federal Executive Forum, discussing 2007 in review. The “Open Source Computing – One Year in Review” program will discuss benefits, best practices and potential for open source in the federal government.



Paul will be joined on the show by Casey Coleman, CIO of the General Services Administration; Robert Carey, CIO of the U.S. Navy; Terry Edwards, CIO of Army Material Command and Andrew Gordon, director of open source solutions with Unisys Federal Systems. Jim Flyzik of the Flyzik Group will serve as the panel’s moderator. The program provides an excellent opportunity to hear the latest on open source in the federal government from industry experts. The show will air on Federal News Radio on Thursday, December 13 at 2 p.m. ET and will be streamed live at www.federalnewsradio.com. Those in the Washington, D.C. area can also listen on the radio at 1050 AM.

Recap of Red Hat Government Users and Developers Conference

Last month, we held the third-annual Red Hat Government Users and Developers Conference at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., where we welcomed more than 300 customers, speakers and partners. In addition to our record attendance, the conference was a success thanks to a great roster of speakers, information breakout sessions and helpful hands-on labs that were overflowing with participants.

Conference attendees shared tips and best practices for open source deployment and openly discussed government IT challenges with their peers. From Trusted Computing with SELinux to open source in health IT, there were a variety of sessions to choose from and plenty of options for learning and collaboration.

In addition to the educational session, Red Hat announced at the conference that we will be pursuing Common Criteria certification for JBoss and MetaMatrix solutions. The Federal Open Source Alliance, of which Red Hat is a founding member, released the results of its “Federal Open Source Referendum,” a report designed to identify current open source adoption rates and trends in the federal government. The survey showed that more than 71 percent of respondents believe their agency could benefit from open source solutions and that more than half of respondents state they are likely to consider open source to consolidate data centers.

We also conducted a survey of conference attendees to get their thoughts on the state of open source in government and find out what they see as the biggest advantages to using open source tools. Respondents were most enthusiastic about the flexibility and cost-saving advantages of open source solutions, with at least 50 percent of respondents ranking each of those as a big advantage. Flexibility was also ranked as the most important benefit of virtualization, and the highest-ranking value expected from the combination of SOA and virtualization. The majority of respondents have plans to expand their use of open source to other areas of the software stack and more than 60 percent of respondents are concerned with the issue of vendor lock-in, demonstrating another area of strength for open source tools.

For additional details on Red Hat in Government, see here.