Feeds

Microsoft drops open-source birthday gift with FAST

Lucidly imaginative?

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

As birthdays go, it's not a bad present. Microsoft's decision to sacrifice FAST's Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) development on Linux and Unix for Windows potentially gives open-source search providers like Lucid Imagination a free pass.

In announcing the news Monday, FAST chief technology officer Bjørn Olstad was clearly cognizant of the implications of the move. Olstad tried to preempt the potential customer hemorrhage with a standard commitment to interoperability with Linux and Unix and vague references to some "hosted solutions."

"Many of our customers run FAST ESP on Linux and Unix today, and we recognize that our future focus on Windows means change," Olstad wrote. Microsoft is giving you until 2018 to stick with the existing versions of ESP - the date when extended support ends.

Olstad is right to be concerned. Customers interested in open-source search are moving to Apache Software Foundation's (ASF's) Lucene and Solr, and Lucid has spend the first year of its life charging people to provide support along with consulting to get the move right.

Hammer time

On Tuesday. Lucid's chief executive Eric Gries claimed 80 per cent of the FAST's customer base ran on Linux or Unix, and Microsoft's decision will simply mean those who'd been previously unsure, concerned about the future under Microsoft, or interested in using an open-source architecture like Lucene or Solr will now move elsewhere.

"This news is the final nail in the coffin," Gries said of FAST. "I'm puzzled by the thinking at Microsoft. But for us it definitely helps. Customers who were on the fence thinking about staying with FAST and Linux and moving to Solr - their decision is very clear."

Lucid counts those who've moved to Lucid or Solr in the last year as Fortune 500s that don't want be tied to a single company's roadmap or paying expensive licensing fees. Microsoft's plan with FAST is to integrate the search capabilities into Office and SharePoint 2010. Since January 2009, Lucid has picked up Ford, Nike, Sears, and Macy's.

Lucid's average annual subscription charge is $30,000, which gives customers pre-integration and support for these ASF-based projects. It targets those who like open-source but don't want to get their hands dirty and that want the comfort of having somebody to call or help build their system. Lucid's services include updates and sweeps of customers' installations to look for bottlenecks and check the accuracy of the data.

There are other alternatives to those who don't want to become dependent on Window, Office, or SharePoint or be locked into a single vendor such as Microsoft or even rival Oracle that offers its Secure Enterprise Search. These options include Google's Search Appliance and also Sphinx.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Closed Google

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.