Talk about shooting fish in a barrel.
Shane K Johnson, Technical Marketing Manager at Red Hat wrote a fun little blog post comparing JBoss and IBM WebSphere in terms of total acquisition costs. Of course, it becomes a pretty unfair fight when you sit there comparing an open source product with a proprietary product designed to generate mounds of revenue from clients, but such comparisons are amusing nonetheless, and more importantly, they should get us thinking about exactly what it is that we’re getting from proprietary applications servers: a question that this humble editor still has a hard time answering.
The verdict? The WebSphere Application Network Deployment edition supporting 128 cores would run you about $2,489,000. Running on 256 cores, you'd be looking at a price tag of $5,893,800. And for JBoss EAP? You're only looking at $108,492 and $216,984 respectively. Now that's some serious cost savings.
Of course, IBM insists that the total cost of ownership (TCO) for an IBM product will be much smaller over time. Personally, I've always found these TCO arguments to be bunk. How quickly do you rack up an extra two million dollars in costs using JBoss vs. WebSphere? Heck, just the interest on that money could hire you a full time admin to babysit the JBoss server if you were really that worried about it.
Open Source no longer means Open Scare. With the delta between open source alternatives so large, it's hard to understand why anyone starting anew would even think about embracing a proprietary application server.