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HP Promotes Open Source Software Governance with New Initiative


HP today announced a software governance initiative to help companies address the legal, financial and security risks faced when adopting free and open source software (FOSS).

Underlying this community-based initiative is a major contribution from HP’s research and development efforts to help effectively manage open source as part of an overall enterprise IT plan. This intellectual property contribution is based on seven years of internal development and includes processes, policies and tools.

Traditional corporate policies for managing software assets are often inadequate to address the unique characteristics of free and open source software. During a recent customer engagement, for example, HP discovered three times as many FOSS licenses as the client originally thought it held – 75 versus 25. This left the customer with a choice: implement governance policies to allow the safe use of FOSS or replace the software at an estimated cost of $80 million.

To help enterprise customers mitigate these kinds of risks and realize the full business benefits of free and open source software, HP has introduced FOSSology and FOSSBazaar – the industry’s first open source initiatives dedicated to these goals.

“Companies adopting free and open source software will save money and improve their ability to operate, but they need to understand the license requirements of the programs they use and adopt appropriate governance measures to ensure proper compliance,” said Eben Moglen, founding director, Software Freedom Law Center. “The principle of ‘share and share alike’ requires governance measures different than those for the protection of proprietary assets, but not more burdensome. Resources like those HP announced today can help businesses understand how to make using free and open source software in a compliant manner very simple, effective and profitable.”

FOSSology is based on the tools HP uses to effectively manage its own use of free and open source software. It is designed to help users address deployment issues such as the acquisition, tracking and licensing of FOSS. FOSSology’s flexible and open architecture framework, along with detection agents, can help users discover FOSS and related licenses within their own organizations. This toolset is free and downloadable from for immediate use under the General Public License (GPL) version two.

FOSSBazaar makes HP’s expertise freely available to the software community as part of a collaborative effort with industry-leading software vendors and The Linux Foundation. Coverity, DLA Piper, Google, Novell, Olliance Group, OpenLogic and SourceForge have joined HP to offer online resources, educational documentation and community interaction to address FOSS business issues and promote best FOSS governance practices.

“The FOSS governance initiative allows HP to share the insight gained from its own experiences managing open source software with other enterprises and the broader FOSS community,” said Christine Martino, vice president, Open Source and Linux Organization, HP. “As the No. 1 provider of Linux-based systems for nine years straight,(1) HP’s leadership around this initiative underscores its commitment to address the challenge of managing open source software proliferation, while reducing barriers to adoption.”

HP Open Source Health Check

Customers can extend and complement the content available from FOSSBazaar with new HP services called the HP Open Source Heath Check, which also was announced as part of the FOSS initiative. In addition to creating a snapshot of current FOSS usage, the services assist customers with analyzing FOSS management and reducing the risk associated with it.

HP Open Source Heath Check includes:

* Open Source Management (Governance) Workshop guides cross-organizational audiences through issues managing open source in the enterprise;
* Open Source Exploration Service uses the HP FOSSology tool to discover open source components in legacy applications;
* Open Source Governance Assessment Service provides a gap analysis of existing open source management practices and industry best practices, with recommendations to address the gaps;
* Open Source Total Cost of Ownership Analysis Service uses an HP-developed model to assess the cost benefits of moving to FOSS.

The HP Open Source Health Check complements HP’s rich portfolio of FOSS-related services, which help customers to take advantage of the benefits of FOSS in their IT environments.

More information is available at, and More information on open source and Linux at HP is available at


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