FCOOS Delivers a Rewarding Open Source Experience to its Customers and the Community
FCOOS (Flying Concepts On Open Source) is one of the leading open source based IT infrastructure service providers based in Bengaluru with operations across the world. The company’s core expertise is in IT infrastructure management and it has productised services related to firewalls, email servers, the cloud and VoIP gateways.
Flying Concepts On Open Source
As its name suggests, FCOOS’ core expertise is in open source technologies and open standards. The company believes that its religion is open source, and operates in service domains that are specialised in IT infrastructure.
FCOOS positions itself between the community and its customers. Led by founder, CTO and community coordinator, Sandeep Athiyarth, the company adds value to both the community and its customers by supporting and practising open source models. It contributes to the community financially by sharing nearly 5-10 per cent of the projects, delivering profits in various ways. This comes from either direct contributions, providing training or through various partnership subscriptions. Also, the Bengaluru-based company maintains forums and submits bug reports to the communities that it is directly involved with. Currently, the company is not involved in any development activities but is in the process of building up expertise to contribute on various fronts.
IT infrastructure service delivery models
FCOOS is mainly a team of systems, servers and network administrators. Shrinivas Rao, director of IT infrastructure operations, leads different IT teams that jointly serve three types of delivery models, namely, onsite, visit based and remote.
FCOOS’ resident engineers work on the onsite model, supporting enterprise infrastructure with advanced monitoring tools and remote expert teams. The company also uses modern open source tools to anticipate any issues, take the necessary action when required and adopt proper change management methods.
The visit model is based on support. This is a tailor-made option for small and medium enterprises that do not require an in-house support team to manage their IT infrastructure. FCOOS is also leveraging its remote team, IT infra management team and monitoring tools manned round the clock to power its visit based support.
The third model comprises the end-to-end remote management of IT infrastructure and applications. Here, the remote team by FCOOS is available almost round the clock to govern, administer, manage and monitor. These will be mainly based on open source and some proprietary applications as well. There is a team of engineers certified by companies like Red Hat, Cisco, Checkpoint, Oracle and Microsoft to support various deployments.
Firewall and security services
The firewall service by FCOOS is currently centred on the world’s most trusted and popular open source firewall —pfSense. The company has officially partnered with the pfSense team and Negate. Lead by Nilesh Bosamiya, the firewall team operates as an authorised value reseller of Netgate hardware with pfSense, and it sells and supports its homegrown hardware using the same open source firewall.
Additionally, FCOOS has network auditing and vulnerability scanning services under its security services team. These also come with the open source tools, OpenVAS or Nessus.
Services targeted at the cloud and devOps
FCOOS has a dedicated cloud team supporting customers from across India and abroad. Led by Balaji Murugan, the sales team for cloud services has officially partnered with Amazon Web Services, and receives support directly from an AWS-dedicated sales and technical team.
The AWS-certified team provides support on top of AWS infrastructure with various Web applications like Apache, Tomcat and Node JS. FCOOS also has an expert team focused on MySQL, PostgreSQL and MongoDB administration. It has a considerable customer base with Magneto deployed for various e-commerce sites. The company is an official partner of Docker, and has customers with automation engines with Puppet and Chef.
Partnerships with Elastix and Red Hat
FCOOS is an official partner of Elastix and serves customers across India, improving their ROI by using open source for their voice communication requirements. The company provides migration and support services on top of Elastix-based Asterisk solutions. It is also an authorised Elastix reseller and service provider.
In addition to Elastix, FCOOS has recently started concentrating on Red Hat products and services. The company is considering the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model to let customers pay only for monthly subscriptions, thus avoiding any capital investment.
ERPNext and Bugzilla
Open source is a religion for FCOOS. Recently, it has partnered with ERPNext, another great open source product team and a vibrant community, and started using ERPNext at its own level and proposes to do the same for its customers.
FCOOS has additionally started the migration of Tally and other proprietary ERP systems to ERPNext, which is progressing at a much faster pace than expected. Since the company’s inception, it has partnered with the Bugzilla project and has contributed to it in various ways.
Approach to proprietary software products
FCOOS has a passion for and the expertise in open source. This does not mean that the company opposes proprietary software or closed development models, but respects them as other technology models and considers them to be important options for customers.
When FCOOS takes up any project that involves supporting proprietary software, it quickly begins specialising in those requirements. This ensures value to the customer, who depends only on a single vendor but still enjoys the required support. Still, if there is an option to migrate an application to the relevant open source platform, FCOOS proposes the idea and offers a better ROI to the customer.
Along with delivering open source solutions, FCOOS offers two hosting services. One is the hosted email services with iRedmail, and the second is backup solutions with ownCloud and BackupPC. The company is not into the commodity market of mailboxes. Instead, it provides these services as value addition to its IT infrastructure support customers. Still, the Bengaluru based company is able to match the price of ` 75 per mailbox, which is comparatively low cost. The same goes for its backup services as well.
In the SMB market, there is a lot of confusion about backups and how to take them in the existing IT infrastructure. FCOOS evaluates an SMB’s requirements and takes full responsibility for its backups by providing compute and storage along with services.