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The use of open source software has become increasingly popular in production environments, as well as in research and software development. One obvious attraction is the low cost of acquisition. Commercial software has a higher initial cost, though it usually has advantages such as support and training. A number of commercial vendors today use open source software as a central component of their product or service, but layer on proprietary components to add value. These companies are called Proprietary Open Source Software (POSS) providers. There's general agreement that software initiatives fit into one of three categories: open source projects (i.e., mySQL, various Linux projects, Nagios, OpenNMS), traditional software vendors (i.e. PacketTrap), and, as mentioned, POSS vendors (i.e. Hyperic, GroundWorkOpen).
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