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Why Collaboration and Co-opetition Are Both Important and Healthy In Open Source

I’ve been called a lot of things during my career, but this is the first time I have ever been called a turkey. Interesting opinion on our efforts to support OpenStack from the guys over at The Virtualization Practice. When we made the decision to join OpenStack, we understood...

’ve been called a lot of things during my career, but this is the first time I have ever been called a turkey. Interesting opinion on our efforts to support OpenStack from the guys over at The Virtualization Practice. When we made the decision to join OpenStack, we understood that some would see it as competitive. Mike has some great points on the Open Source efforts of the project, I think he completely missed the boat on our participation and the value it brings to the customers. I was hoping to clear some of that up in a quick post.

1. Recognizing the success of the Eclipse Foundation, it has been a learned experience in open source that it is better to join the efforts of the community rather than go against the grain, especially when those efforts are focused around building standard platforms and driving interoperability. The Eclipse Foundation was founded and governed by a group of competitors and collaborators focused on:

“building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle.“

In plain English, it was originally built to bring a number of vendors together to build an open source alternative to the proprietary IDE platform from companies like Sun Microsystems, as evidenced in the naming convention of the foundation. The end result, an open source community that brought together competitors like IBM, BEA, CA, etc. as well as collaborators and customers like Nokia with an open focus on standards that had a significant negative impact on the Sun Tools business while creating a positive, vendor neutral platform for customers. The lesson of all this was that when customers, innovators and communities come together, you are in a better position to join the movement than go against the grain. IBM, BEA and CA all created well established, highly profitable businesses based on the Eclipse efforts.

2.OpenStack is an Apache Project. While open source / Apache projects are a great driver in gaining attention and interest from the market, companies looking to deploy and manage either public or private cloud environments are going to look to commercial vendors who can provide 24x7 support, integration within enterprise systems (a cloud can’t be standalone), operationalize the code for production environments, etc. At the end of the day, Rackspace and NASA have their own priorities to their boards and their leaders to focus on their internal cloud efforts and are not going to be in the position to provide 24x7 commercial support to the platform, nor address any of the special needs or requirements from customers. In reality, Apache projects almost always have commercial counterpart focused on taking the technology into a production environment. These are symbiotic relationships, not one that makes the participating entity “worthless” as is pointed out in the article. Think about it, Hadoop doesn’t kill Cloudera, it empowers it. Tomcat didn’t kill the application server businesses of BEA or Sun, it empowered them. Openstack doesn’t kill Cloud.com, but it does wreak havoc on those entities that didn’t participate, as noted in the article.

Cloud.com is committed to bringing the benefits of open source and open standards to cloud computing and truly empowering both service providers and enterprises with a powerful foundation for transforming the way that they deliver and consume IT resources. Key to that commitment is the ability to collaborate with leaders in the cloud computing segment to ensure that we are driving the best customer experience – one that is free from vendor lock-in and based on open standards.

Monday, August 9, 2010 - 11:27
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Guest Saturday, 19 July 2014

Open@Citrix

Citrix supports the open source community via developer support and evangeslism. We have a number of developers and evangelists that participate actively in the open source community in Apache Cloudstack, OpenDaylight, Xen Project and XenServer. We also conduct educational activities via the Build A Cloud events held all over the world. 

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