Development of the Open Source Software Market: Global Initiatives in Russia


Development of the Open Source Software Market: Global Initiatives in Russia
On 8 October 2008 at the Russian Open Source Summit — ROSS-RU — companies Red Hat, VDEL and I.T. Co. announced a series of new projects aimed at the development of the open source software market in Russia.

1.Russian Fedora

Red Hat, VDEL and Solomatin Russian National Institute of Scientific Research in Automation of Non-industrial Sector Management (Solomatin Institute) announced the startup of new joint program — Russian Fedora, aimed to support the Open Source Software Community.

Goals of Russian Fedora Program:
  • unite the Russian developers and users of OSS, establish a “center of attraction” for new OSS users
  • turn Fedora distribution software into “ Fedora in a box” oriented at the Russian users
  • help the Russian developers to exert a greater influence on the global OSS development
  • reinforce the image of the Russian OSS development community as one of the global leaders.
As part of the Russian Fedora project Red Hat will supply the necessary framework, hand over its technologies and know-how in organization of OSS development and integration with the global community’s developments. In addition Red Hat will establish interaction between the Russian developers and its own development centers abroad. VDEL will be responsible for cooperation with the Russian community and the project organization issues.

A development center will be created at Solomatin Institute that will become the technological core of the project.It will also work on development of a new generation of protected MCBC distribution packages (based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux) for handling of confidential government information.

Since the Russian Fedora program is more of an organizational than technical project, the full-scale rollout may be possible only after establishment of feedback from the Russian community of OSS users and developers. That is why the program rollout is scheduled for December of 2008.

2. Software United: VDEL Unites OSS and the Best of IBM Software

VDEL announces IBM and Red Hat supported program — Software United, the goal of which is to offer the Open Source community Microsoft-free full-featured software development environment.

Participants of Software United program will get the complete set of tools to develop applications based on Lotus, Tivoli, Informix and DB2 under Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).Subsequently VDEL together with IBM and Red Hat will certify applications created within the Software United framework, and promote them in the global market.

Also, to provide maintenance and first level support VDEL will create a partnership network. The support centers will be certified by VDEL to guarantee that their staff is sufficiently proficient in Red Hat and IBM technologies. The second level support will be provided directly by Software United, the third level support — by developers.

The Software United platform will be supplemented by 1 or 3 years of support.

Software United includes the following releases:

Desktop United is a platform for workstations based on RHEL and IBM software. Desktop United is not a new independent product, but rather a guarantee of support for any application regardless of a user location. Open Referent, the first product based on this platform, is the Lotus Notes application utilizing advantages of RHEL. Purchasing a Desktop United product, customer can be sure that the solution includes all the necessary licenses and subscriptions, 30 days of over-the-phone support, and support over the Internet for the remaining term.

ServeUnited is a server platform based on RHEL and IBM software.It lets the developers concentrate on their own solutions, simplifies and accelerates the new products marketing. ServeUnited includes all the necessary licenses and subscriptions, phone and Internet support. Just as Desktop United, ServeUnited is not a new product, but rather a guarantee that the proposed integrated solution was thoroughly tested and provided with support from the leading companies. The goal of ServeUnited is to assure that a piece of software developed on the other end of the world will not turn out to be just another software box on the shelf, but rather a steady working part of integrated solution with excellent cost to performance ratio.

OpenMAS (Open Modular Applications and Solutions) is a platform for exchange of applications and their components between developers on Java that uses uniform standards to describe application components and methods of their integration with other solutions. Software United provides the consistency of standards, and is responsible for testing of application stability and availability of proper documentation. Moreover, Software United checks application interfaces and their specifications for compliance with applicable standards to make sure the application can be used as part of integrated solution that meets the customer requirements.
VDEL announces the beginning of work with developers and integrators that are going to join the program as partners in development of solutions and their support.

VDEL also announces that the Otkrytyi Kod Company (Minsk, Byelorussia) became the first partner of Software United in maintenance and support. Otkrytyi Kod already uses Software United and Open Referent to create first integrated solution that would meet the requirements of the current Byelorussia IT security regulations. The first implementations are planned for December of 2008.

Wide scale rollout of Software United program that will let even small partners take full advantage of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and IBM software, will take place in November.

3. The First Results of ROSEP Program

The Russian Open Source Education Program (ROSEP) is aimed at solving the problem with shortage of OSS implementation and administration specialists. Within the framework of this program universities will be able to give students highly demanded open software specialization practically without any initial costs — all the Red Hat-certified study materials will be provided by I.T. Academy and its partners. ROSEP relies on the standards of Red Hat education programs and aims at training of developers, administrators and users of Red Hat Enterprise Linux — the most popular commercial distribution — in universities and training centers.

The program offers the universities minimal cost of participation. After completion of courses and passing of exams students of Russian universities can gain the status of Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) that will significantly increase their value in the labor market.Subsequently the program will be expanded, letting universities offer training in other highly demanded OSS-based products.

Such Russian universities as MEPHI, Bauman MSTU and SSSEU (Saratov) have already joined the program. I.T. Academy is currently signing agreements on participation in the program with NNSU (Nizhniy Novgorod) and Far-East Technical University (Vladivostok).

Students of these universities can begin learning the RHEL OS using materials specially developed for university education. The required RHEL licenses will be given them pursuant to the signed agreements free of charge. The education management system lets teachers easily track students’ progress using tests and practical lab assignment, control the material mastery rate.

Program ROSEP is spiking interest in universities all over the country. Participation in the program requires good competency of the teaching staff, so I.T. Academy is holding introductory course for university lecturers wishing to participate in the program.

Development of ROSEP implicates introduction of new courses and curriculums according to demand of the first participating universities.

The Russian ROSEP program website will be launched in the nearest future. All students and teachers thus will be able to get the best study materials. Hopefully soon we will see a database of vacancies making it possible for the specialists with RHCT certificates and employers to find each other. Every student can check whether his or her university participates in ROSEP. Applications for participation in the program are currently being accepted by e-mail: rosep@it.ru or academy@it.ru.

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