Open source enables government to slash IT bills: Memset


With the government’s open source procurement mandate already in place, whereby public sector organisations have to demonstrate that they have included open source choices within their procurement activities, Memset has been able to demonstrate the real cost savings that can be realised when using open source.

For example, the cloud costs for a public sector organisation looking to deploy a typical high-traffic web application serving content to public citizens across 35 virtual machines, using an IaaS vendor who doesn’t use open source, will be faced with over 40% of the cost being made up of VMWare licensing fees.

Whereas, using open source alternatives, such as Xen instead of VMWare, the costs can be considerably lower. In fact, in this example above, by using an accredited open source alternative, the exact same service can be delivered by Memset for nearly £140K less over a three year period.

“With the UK government’s £200m spend on Microsoft licensing since 2010 proving to be the headline example of the huge cost of software licences to the UK public sector, we can prove that there are further savings that can be achieved from the infrastructure side of things as well,” said Robin Pape, Memset’s public sector advisor.

Open source enables government departments to not only slash their IT bills, but the technology can be leveraged to achieve better scalability, reliability, agility and security for their unique business needs. Further, public sector organisations can avoid vendor lock-in by using open standards.

Early adopter local authorities in the UK, such as Staffordshire, Surrey and Sheffield councils have all used Memset to evaluate open source as part of their acquisition decisions.

“We want to educate and raise awareness of the benefits of open source – but more importantly we want public sector organisations to know that just because they are using VMWare or other proprietary software for their infrastructure, this shouldn’t stop them from migrating, and that the cost savings are large enough to consider making the move to an open source alternative like Xen,” concluded Pape.

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