Free isn’t Free
It is easy to understand the appeal of Open Source tools. After all, immediate gratification, community and a “free” price are certainly attention-getting for many developers. But IT Ops teams and their managers need to be careful to consider all of the costs when choosing free software such as open source versions of Puppet or Chef (especially if they are operating in large scale, mixed Linux and Windows environments).
Hidden Cost Drivers
The hidden cost drivers behind open source include the considerable time and effort in writing and maintaining scripts to deliver enterprise level support, reporting, performance and scale. These unpredictable development and maintenance costs bloat your total cost of ownership, significantly extend your time to value, inhibit an Agile implementation and destroy the ROI that made “free” so attractive in the first place.