Open Source Software

It's not just Linux!

No doubt you've heard of the revolution known as the Open Source Movement. Many companies have abandoned complicated and expensive "enterprise" solutions in favor of more agile technologies and processes based on modern languages like Ruby, Python, Perl, and PHP. Internet service providers use the free software because of the low cost and ease of customization. Enthusiasts have been using Linux for years for the same reasons.

Our developers have many years of experience with Linux (from it's beginnings in the early 1990's), and dozens of open source software packages. Our own servers run Linux, Apache, Nginx, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails, and PHP; we use Hadoop for big data analysis; our mail servers run qmail with vpopmail, SpamAssassin, and ClamAV; and we use djbdns for DNS.

Beyond the philosophical and social benefits of open source software, we believe that OSS presents an unassailable value proposition when compared to expensive, buggy, closed-source competitors.

Bugs in OSS are often fixed quickly (if not by the original authors of a software package then by members of the OSS community) and the fixes shared for all to use. Commercial software providers are notorious for being slow to fix bugs (they already sold you the software so there's no revenue generated when producing a fix) even for big clients with hefty maintenance contracts.

OSS is generally a lot easier to customize (since the source is freely available for modification) when an off-the-shelf installation won't do. It doesn't take an army of developers to make changes to existing software (contrary to what some might have you think), and it doesn't have to be expensive to make your software do the job you need done.

And then, of course, there's the cost element. Most OSS packages are free for individual and commercial use, but aren't aimed at the general public so installation and maintenance can be daunting propositions to the novice user. All but the smallest businesses have an IT staff or consultancy to manage their software assets, though, so it's just a matter of finding qualified professionals like those at the Tidewinds Group.

Tidewinds helps maintain a number of open source projects. Our portfolio can be found at

Obligatory name dropping: we leverage solutions from Internap, Amazon AWS, Heroku, Github, Google, Apple, Dell, HP, and other leading cloud and open source services providers.