JBoss looks to woo commercial app server users

JBoss on Tuesday will boost efforts to lure users of commercial application servers to its open source alternative. The JBoss Migration Program being unveiled features an assessment to define a migration strategy, an implementation program, and a subscription to the JBoss Application Server. The implementation program could involve partners such as Hewlett-Packard.

"Generally, what we find is companies look to migrate for cost-savings purposes," said Joe McGonnell, director of marketing at JBoss.

The program's initial documentation and tools are primarily focused on migrating users of the BEA Systems WebLogic Server application server but this will be expanded in the short term, McGonnell said. The company also has its sights set on the IBM WebSphere application server.

Although JBoss already has been migrating users, the Migration Program is intended as a more robust effort, according to McGonnell.

One believer in open source application servers is CitiStreet, a global benefits provider that said it moved from WebLogic Server to JBoss.

"We had a need to dramatically increase the hardware resources available to this layer, and do it quickly. Unfortunately, our J2EE middleware vendor at the time had what we considered to be excessive licensing costs in order to support these increased resources," said Barry Strasnick, chief information officer at CitiStreet, in an e-mail response to questions. "We had been monitoring JBoss since its inception, and were at a point where we felt comfortable switching from an expensive, proprietary middleware vendor to the much lower cost, open source-focused JBoss solution."

According to a recent survey, 1,267, or 41 percent, of the 3,061 companies that responded to the survey said they had migrated to JBoss from a commercial application server. The company found that 23 percent of those migrating had moved five or more applications.

The initial assessment component of the JBoss Migration Program costs US$9,000 for a three-day engagement, but prices can vary depending on whether a customer uses JBoss or a partner's service.

JBoss subscription prices start at US$10,000 per year. While the JBoss application server is free, the subscription program provides ongoing technical support. Implementation programs vary based on scope.

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