Former Oracle Corp president, Ray Lane, has given his backing to SpikeSource Inc, a new company set up by industry veterans to target the opportunity for providing support services around Linux and other open source projects.
Lane is now general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, which has invested an undisclosed amount in Menlo Park, California-based SpikeSource, and has joined its board of directors as chairman.
SpikeSource intends to provide enterprise maintenance and support services for open source software, a market that IDC Corp has predicted to hit $228 million by 2008 in Western Europe alone.
The company was set up by chief executive, Kim Polese, who was formerly president and CEO of Marimba Inc, as well as founder and CTO, Murugan Pal, who was previously CTO at Asera Inc and principal developer at Oracle.
SpikeSource’s integrated open source software stack is currently in alpha testing, with a wider beta test phase scheduled before the end of the year. It is based on the LAMP stack of the Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL database, and PHP, Perl and Python programming languages, as well as Java.
Supported platforms for the integrated stack will be Red Hat Inc’s Enterprise Linux 3, Red Hat 9 and Fedora Core 1, as well as Novell Inc’s SuSE Linux 9. As well as the core LAMP technologies, SpikeSource will also support open source projects such as JBoss, Tomcat, Axis and Hibernate.
The company estimates that there are over 85,000 open source projects on the market with varying quality and capabilities and the company believes that the wide variety and regular updates of these projects, combined with often informal support mechanisms, causes headaches for enterprise IT departments.
By making open source solutions even safer, more reliable and easier to deploy, we will help IT reduce its costs and free itself from problems endemic to traditional vendor relationships, reads the company’s web site introduction.
As well as tested and validated software, SpikeSource will also offer a number of tiered support offerings with immediate access to the SpikeSource development team and support engineers.
SpikeSource is not the only company formed by industry veterans to target the opportunity for open source services. The former head of Microsoft Corp’s Windows business, Brad Silverberg, recently invested in SourceLabs Inc via Ignition Partners. SourceLabs was set up in September by three former BEA Systems Inc executives to provide support and services for open source projects.