There is a growing trend toward open source in college and university IT infrastructures, according to research from Gartner. internetnews.com reports higher education institutions are turning to open source "in more areas than ever before." Gartner analyst Jan-Martin Lowendahl, who is quoted in the piece, says:
It is obvious that in shared global community needs, open source is really taking off.
He points to e-learning systems Moodle and Sakai as examples of open source solutions that are taking off, or are about to take off, now that they offer the same functionality and, in Moodle's case, support as comparable proprietary systems.
Another area of higher education in which open source appears to be gaining ground is IT and network monitoring. GroundWork, a San Francisco-based provider of open source IT monitoring software and services, last week announced that it has 18 new university and college customers. GroundWork's senior marketing director, David Dennis, told internetnews.com:
We're seeing an evolution in how people are using open source tools in university environments. Some of the challenges are becoming commensurate with what you see in commercial environments.
According to GroundWork, some of those challenges include coordinating campus-wide monitoring, providing enterprise-class monitoring at a lower cost, and allowing customization to meet unique needs of each customer.