Companies can't use free software?

Well, I just forced everyone to use Nextcloud instead of Dropbox and Google Drive. People did not like it as first but the quickly realized how good it was.

We also moved from skype, teams and slack to matrix.
I am glad that matrix-synapse is so easy to install nowadays!

  • 6
    Great! In the company where I work they were thinking to switch to Mattermost, but I don't know how it ended...
  • 6
    Mattermost is just the worst. Used it at several clients and it's truly lowest common denominator software; a slack clone riddled with memory leaks in the client, screensharing has you deferring to zoom or WebEx; no snippet support/only codefences with no ootb dialect support, uses tons of server resources, non-message search is non-functional/plugins eat the expense of a dedicated elasticsearch cluster.

    It's a world of pain and failure.
  • 1
    Well done! Does Matrix include a visio/call feature, or do you use something else? (e.g. Jitsi)
  • 1
    The company i work use free software to almost everything
  • 5
    I can't get my employer to use completely free (libre & gratis) software everywhere, but at least we're moving to less SaaS, more self-hosted.

    No more external image resizing, just a container with imagemagick. No more external pub/sub pipeline, just Redis and Kafka containers. No more paid documentation wiki, just a git repo with markdown files.

    The savings on hosting things yourself are pretty significant, even if there's still the hosting costs or even license costs on closed source products.

    Tiered SaaS products can be an easy "let's worry about that later" solution for small startups, but pretty much all of them are severely overpriced eating a percentage of your revenue as your company grows -- sooner or later you realize that they are like risky loans with slick sales pitches, and eventually you'll get a $50k overusage bill from one of them.
  • 4
    Also, as soon as a company has more than 15-20 full time developers employed, in-house development of tools should become a serious consideration.

    We developed our own solutions for a few problems where the SaaS option was expensive/limiting and open source didn't exist yet -- and we attracted about 10 developers who wanted to work for our company just because of "community presence".
  • 0
    Some countries are worse: here in Austria the government licensed MS and Adobe tools for all employees and students of all universities. Guess what everyone is using now?
  • 0
    That's interesting. We are evaluating both matrix-synapse and mattermost as replacement for slack.

    Everybody, please share your thoughts and experiences. Thanks!
  • 2
    @bittersweet what about the time and cost of employee hours and expertise needed to manage the self hosted infrastructure?
  • 3

    There's certainly a tipping point, it depends on future growth prospects as well.

    A 5-dev mobile app studio with stable revenue might of course be better off running on free-tier SaaS platforms.

    When you have a startup with rapid growth ambitions, you get to a point (at 15-20 devs I'd say) where you might look for a dedicated devops/sysadmin employee.

    For us, at 150 devs, having 3 devops employees paid for itself rather quickly. We went from $35k/m VPS to a $4k/m kubernetes cluster, from a $1200/m SaaS CI/CD pipeline to a few custom built selfhosted containers billed at $40-80/m, image processing dropped from about $1k to $150 by just running a container from docker hub, APM on a selfhosted Elastic cluster instead of AppDynamics saves us another $3k, etc.

    Yeah, it costs some money — but there's also returns.

    Plus, when the company grows you really start noticing the awesomeness of the "if you don't like it, change it"-principle from open source.
  • 1
    My company got a new CTO and now we're on a free software kick. Lotta C# devs are finding themselves writing java.
  • 0
    I never knew something existed which is similar to slack. Thanks will be using it form now.
  • 0
    @SortOfTested thank you for warning me, this will be more than useful
  • 1
    We selfhost using NextCloud. Gotta say, it's probably due to poor configuration, but I keep running into trouble with it. Broken UI and functions not working, specifically. But again, I suspect our setup is just not completed properly.
  • 1
    We really do not want to host and maintain services that are not part of the core business. For instance something as seemingly simple as mail requires constant monitoring and spam filter attention. We could hire people to do it but a service dedicated to this problem will be better and we don't mind paying for it or that it is proprietary as long as we can migrate easily to another provider/service.

    Riot [matrix] and nextcloud do look fun though!
  • 1
    Maybe it changed in the last few years but matrix worked horribly for us. Messages didn’t send, errors here and there, slack cost more but was more reliable.
  • 0

    In most cases that is because a missconfiguration in your homeserver.
  • 0
    What's the synapse resource usage like? Have you federated it with other servers as well?

    I'm tempted to install my own and use it for some small projects, but I've read lots of horror stories about its excessive resource usage and all I have is a small vps with 2 cores and 2gb of ram (and other stuff already running on it).
  • 1
    It alls boils down to how many users and how many servers and rooms you federate and is a member of.
Add Comment