Report: Open Source Application Servers Are More Prevalent Than You Think

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 18, 2012

According to research from app monitoring firm New Relic, open source Java application servers own a serious chunk of overall application server usage. In fact, InfoWorld notes that New Relic's data illustrates that the open source solutions are hindering commercial software alternatives. New Relic surveyed a series of enterprises regarding their Java application servers, with respondents ranging from big businesses to online merchants. Here are the numbers the survey turned up.

Silicon Angle is running an infographic that includes New Relic's data, and summarizes the results of the survey:

"Apache Tomcat is used by 54.16 percent of the 1000 enterprise users that participated in the study. It’s followed by Jetty at 16 percent, JBoss with its 9 percent and GlassFish. IBM’s WebSphere came in second from last, ahead of WebLogic’s 0.51 percent cut of the market put by a little more than 1%."

Obviously, the open source solutions are carving out serious market share here, and the other thing that jumps out of the data is how prevalent Apache Tomcat is. If you've followed Apache's solutions at the server level for any length of time, you know that they've been extremely competitive for years. All the way back in 2008, we reported on that trend.

So what's driving the trend toward open source application servers? As InfoWorld reports, based on a discussion with Forrester Research's Jon Rymer, the rise of open languages and development environments is a big contributor:

"Web development is shifting away from Java in favor of languages like Ruby, JavaScript, and PHP, eliminating the need for a Java application server from any provider."

Some enterprises continue to use commercial application servers because of the management environments they include, but it's hard to justify hefty licensing fees when open source alternatives are so competitive.