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Network pros sound off on open source

Earlier this year, we asked for your input about using open source software and tools for networking tasks. I was thrilled to receive such an overwhelming response from our readership. Here are just a few excerpts:

I think that open source products are very much worthwhile -- not just because they are sometimes free of charge, but also because one is sometimes given control or input into the actual product.
- Isaac Johnson, System Administrator, Nucleus Solutions

I work for the State of California and any purchase takes months, if you can get it approved. Open source does not have these obstacles.
- Joe Jimenez, Technology Services Division, California Dept. of Education

Excuse me, where is the "buck stops here" support? Where are the developer tools?
- Douglas Belford, Infrastructure Service Manager

If you plan to adopt open source software, then evaluate carefully, test thoroughly and have a plan B just in case. Finally, don't just test the usual hardware and software issues -- test the willingness and understanding of the recipient organization to the risks/rewards picture of going in this direction. They must be comfortable going this way -- or else do not go there.
- Vic McKeown, Director, Technical Support, Total Logic Computers

More on this topic

View our learning guide: Open source network tools

We are a small IT support company... We use open source software ourselves, namely Open Office and Linux workstations. Our server and NAS storage are both Linux-based. We have few reliability problems. We recommend a lot of open source software to our clients, as we have found it to be reliable in the main, well supported and without the licensing/activation/upgrade problems so commonly found with other (not just MS) software.
- Les Conn, Plain English Computer Services

It doesn't have as much to do with price as it has to do with security, stability, scalability and utility. When something's reported as a problem in Linux/Unix it is repaired in a very timely manner… I'd rather subsidize RedHat and Novell/SuSE than add to Microsoft's war chest. I know the former are working in my best interest rather than trying to stifle innovation at the altar of monopolization.
- Larry Battis, Hicks Consulting Group

It's easy to see that networking pros are very involved with open source, so we've spent some time compiling a learning guide on some of the most popular open source tools. We'll be adding to the guide over time, so we'd like to hear your input. And, as always, we welcome any questions or comments you may have about our content or the site.

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