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OpenX is an open source ad serving platform and advertising marketplace that helps publishers manage and optimize their advertising networks, as well as sell their advertising space to advertisers via the OpenX Market. With a growing user base of 50,000 publishers, OpenX may help Microsoft grow their contextual ad serving business. Fully story on Reuters [reuters.com].
[edited by: martinibuster at 7:44 pm (utc) on Nov. 2, 2009]
As for your claim of those that afford VPS not using Open Source, that is totally ridiculous.
It is, but...here's the thing. Because openx is free, particularly on the hosted side, a large part of the users are people who are low end, but attracted because its free. So, in fact, many of them (and same with standalone) won't spend money on proper serving, because they don't actually have a real business.
Even paying $100 a month for adserving is nothing for any half serious business, but that's not the clientele that openx has attracted (another problem with their business model).
Everything about openx is "low end". THat's why it works so far. Anyone with major reliance on ad serving goes to another option because openx is useless for complex stuff, and is too unreliable to base a real business upon it
So, because openx users are "low end", they won't pay for a vps. And they'll be happy with ad serving outages, days without stats access. openmarket failures and hijacking via ads, etc. If you make, let's say $500 based on adserving, would you go cheap with openx?
You are having outages because your hosting provider detected that your account is using too many server resources.
You are using too many server resources because you are serving too many ads.
If you are serving too many ads and you are not making money enough to cover your hosting costs, that is solely a business problem.
Any ad server, not just OpenX, will take you a lot of server resources once you start serving too many ads.
You can perform some optimizations in shared hosting account but you will still be limited in the number of ads you can serve before you take more server resources than your hosting companies allows. There are no miracles.
Of course, if you know what you are doing, you will be able to perform some optimization tricks even in shared hosting.
The problem is that many users do not have enough knowledge to configure applications and servers to make them be efficient resource-wise. So, for those, hosted solutions are better, independently if they are free, because they do not have to learn anything too technical.
This is a common business model of many Open Source companies, not just OpenX, but also Wordpress.com among many others. Being Open Source no longer matter for those users because they will not take any direct benefit of that.