With growing support from policy-makers and adoption by the Department of Defense (DoD), Linux has rapidly moved beyond the curious alternative to become the platform of choice for many government agencies.
Now, with open-source adoption moving beyond the infrastructure and up to the application, solution providers that can see beyond the concept of "free" software will be in high demand.
Initially, the federal government adopted open source--mainly at the back end, with Linux being used to run critical applications. But that's changing as more agencies recognize the potential cost savings and flexibility associated with a completely open environment.
"[We] recognized the opportunity for open source early, partnering with Red Hat, MySQL and JBoss as product lines," says Craig Abod, president of Carahsoft Technology. "We're trying to build a public-sector distribution practice focused on [that market], which is more than a cool technology paradigm."