March 30, 2005 7:12 AM PST

Services start-up gives away open-source bundle

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SourceLabs, a start-up that aims to make money by providing support services for bundles of open-source tools, is offering its first free "stack" of software components.

The company on Wednesday released a package available for download that includes the Apache Web server, the MySQL database and PHP scripting tools, which the company calls an "AMP stack."


Previous coverage
Industry veterans bet
on open-source model

A former Microsoft exec
and other tech bigwigs
fund SourceLabs.

Formed last year, Seattle-based SourceLabs plans to offer corporate customers configuration and maintenance services based on the AMP software.

As part of the package's release, SourceLabs engineers have released the results of a number of tests designed to make the AMP combination better suited for high-end, demanding applications, said Cornelius Willis, the company's vice president of sales and marketing.

For example, during its testing process, the company found that the most cost-effective way to make the Apache Web server perform better is to add bandwidth, Willis said. On the other hand, to improve the performance of the MySQL database, it's better to add memory, he said.

"This stuff is not documented beyond the individual products," Willis said. "It's not really understood for the entire AMP stack."

SourceLabs has certified the combination of products to work well together on Red Hat Linux. It intends to do a similar certification for Windows and create other "stacks" of open-source components, Willis said.

A number of small companies are building their businesses by offering services to support open-source software. Instead of making money on license fees, these companies plan to offer subscription maintenance packages or to charge for custom application development.

Another services company, SpikeSource, is expected to release its own certified package of open-source components in the second quarter.

As previously reported, SpikeSource will offer preconfigured combinations of open-source components that include Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP; one version of the package will also include the JBoss Java application server.

SpikeSource also will release an "asset manager" service that will allow corporate customers to see and track different versions of software installed on a system, as well as an automated update service. The company plans to offer several different product bundles that include both open-source and proprietary software.

 

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