In The open source story of the year, ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn talks about how the 2005 success of companies like JBoss & Covalent is driving open source into the enterprise with an even bigger impact expected in 2006.
While I agree with Dana and believe that companies like JBoss are driving open source into the mainstream, the use of open source in corporate IT shops is not a new phenomenon. The new part is that management now knows and recognizes the use of open source software. As those of us with system admin backgrounds know, much of the IT infrastructure software (DNS/Bind, etc.) and many of the utilities and programs used by system administrators and developers over the years have been open source software.
The difference now is that open source is moving into applications that have the attention of IT managers / CIOs. Applications like JBoss, MySQL, Apache, Linux and others are helping to bring open source software into the mainstream through their use in more IT organizations and mission critical applications. Interesting piece of trivia: What open source software powers Sabre's mission critical Travelocity service?