Automation, devops drive open source deeper in the enterprise

Server provisioning and configuration management and automation are the latest examples of where the tech industry is being driven, largely by open source software. The leading open source server and IT infrastructure automation frameworks, Opscode Chef and Puppet Labs’ Puppet, sit on the leading edge of significant trends under way in enterprise IT — particularly disruption from cloud computing and devops, where application development and IT operations come together for faster, smoother delivery of software and services.

I’ve discussed the importance of open source software in cloud computing and in trends such as devops and polyglot programming. Consistently across all of these trends and the technologies that go with them, there are prominent roles for Chef and Puppet.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.12.16

Topics for this podcast:

*Hadoop roundup
-Cloudera Enterprise Hadoop update
-Hadapt combines Hadoop with db analytics
-Informatica grows its Hadoop work
*HP open sources WebOS
*The GPL fade
*Red Hat acquisition targets

iTunes or direct download (31:41, 5.4MB)

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.11.11

Topics for this podcast:

*Continuent extends MySQL replication to Oracle Database
*CFEngine updates server automation software
*Devops moving mainstream
*Neo Technology integrates with Spring
*451 CAOS report from Hadoop World

iTunes or direct download (26:56, 4.6MB)

Linux-like, devops management moves to enterprise, Windows

Signs that the devops are coming — both in the form of new software engineers and system administrators that are working more closely together for collaboration and in new automation and agile technologies, many of them open source — continue to highlight the movement of continuous integration and continuous management of applications into more mainstream enterprise IT environments. Devops, which refers to the confluence of application development and deployment of applications via IT operations, is spreading beyond Web 2.0, technology and media organizations to some of the same key verticals that have been early adopters of open source software.

One of the most obvious signs that devops is moving to more mainstream enterprise IT — adding users in financial services, insurance, telecom and other key verticals — is the extension of open source server configuration and automation to Windows environments, which are typical alongside Linux in most enterprises. We’ve recently covered this extension in reports on CFEngine, Opscode and Puppet Labs, all of which report demand and traction in mixed Windows-nix environments and in more mainstream enterprises.

Our coverage of CFEngine (451 subscribers) highlights the Norwegian vendor’s latest paid release, CFEngine 3 Nova, features simplified configuration and management along with scalability and the ability to continuously monitor, update and facilitate system self-repair. Other highlights of the release include simplified compliance features and a new GUI dashboard for setting policy and monitoring system health, as well as the state of IT services and systems. As for the added Windows support, the CFEngine 3 Nova update includes new native support for Windows with more fine-grained management of Windows servers and desktops via Windows Registry, Windows Services and Access Control Lists.

We covered some similar extension to management of Windows environments in our recent report on Opscode with Chef (subscribers). Reporting more demand for private Chef, rather than hosted, particularly among large enterprise users with Windows resources and systems to manage, Opscode enhanced these capabilities with new Chef software and cookbooks. Features include deployment and automation of Windows PowerShell task framework, IIS Web server, SQL Server and Windows Services.

We also covered an update from another open source server configuration and automation player: Puppet Labs (subscribers). The company’s of Puppet Enterprise 2.0 was focused less on Windows support, which is nonetheless previewed in its latest software, and more on improving usability and serving orchestration and compliance needs of large enterprises.

All three of these open source software-centered vendors report the transition of devops practices and tools being implemented (sometimes under other monikers such as continuous integration, continuous application management, cloud application management, release management or other) by more mainstream enterprises in financial services, media and others in addition to tech and web-oriented companies you’d expect to be doing devops.

451 CAOS Links 2011.10.28

Sencha raises $15m. Facebook forms Open Compute foundation. And more.

# Sencha raised $15m in series B funding led by Jafco Ventures, previewed its MTML5 cloud platform.

# Facebook announced the formation of a foundation to lead the Open Compute Project, while Red Hat became a member.

# Digium and the Asterisk open source community released Asterisk 10.

# SUSE released an early development snapshot of its OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure offering.

# Internap Network Services claimed to have launched the world’s first commercially available public cloud compute service based on the OpenStack.

# The Linux Foundation announced the consumer electronics Long Term Stable Kernel Initiative.

# Zmanda and Nexenta Systems announced availability of jointly developed and certified back-up solutions.

# BonitaSoft announced the availability of Bonita Open Solution 5.6.

# Black Duck Software announced version 2.0 of its Code Sight source code search engine.

# CFEngine unveiled CFEngine 3 Nova, a new version of its commercial configuration management software.

# The Hudson-CI team described the steps taken to prepare for membership of the Eclipse Foundation.

# Actuate announced BIRT Mobile Business Intelligence for Android devices.

# Red Hat, The Linux Foundation and Canonical published a white paper on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface.

# Stephen O’Grady responded to suggestions that open source doesn’t innovate.

PuppetConf and the state of devops

It’s been some time now that we’ve been talking about devops, the pushing together of application development and application deployment via IT operations, in the enterprise. To keep up to speed on the trend, 451 CAOS attended PuppetConf, a conference for the Puppet Labs community of IT administrators, developers and industry leaders around the open source Puppet server configuration and automation software. One thing that seems clear, given the talk about agile development and operations, cloud computing, business and culture, our definition of devops continues to be accurate.

Another consistent part of devops that also emerged at PuppetConf last week was the way it tends to introduce additional stakeholders beyond software developers and IT administrators. This might be the web or mobile folks, sales and CRM people, security professionals or others, but it is typically about applying business operations methodology to applications and IT, thus bringing in more of the business minds as well. The introduction of additional stakeholders was also a theme we heard from Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies in his keynote address. Kanies then discussed how the community was working to make Puppet the ‘language of operations,’ which it basically is along with competitors Chef from Opscode and CFEngine when it comes to devops implementations.

There was another interesting point on the PuppetConf stage from DTO Solutions co-founder and President Damon Edwards, who said devops should not be sold as a way to achieve cost savings, but rather as something that will bring return on investment (ROI). This is similar to the shift of open source software drivers we’ve seen in the enterprise, which are sometimes changing from cost savings and time to factors of performance, reliability and innovation.

Later in the conference during his keynote, Eucalyptus Systems CEO Marten Mickos also had some interesting observations concerning devops, which he described as managing the cloud from both sides. One of his points was that developers have the most to learn about operations. While I would agree to some extent, this statement is interesting when considered alongside my contention that most of the change in devops is happening on the IT administrator and operations side. Later in an interview, Mickos elaborated on his devops thinking, indicating the experts who orchestrate applications in cloud computing — both developers and admins — must understand the entire lifecycle and environment. Continuing our comparison of devops to open source, Mickos indicated the open source MySQL database that he helped usher into the enterprise was disrupting old technology, while devops is innovating new technology.

While it remains early days for devops in the case of many enterprise organizations, we continue to see and hear signs that devops practices, technologies, ideas and culture are making their way into more and more mainstream enterprise IT shops. While we expect devops practices to be implemented by many enterprises based on utility and need to leverage cloud computing, we see a higher level of awareness and engagement from leadership and executives than we did with open source software. This means we expect uptake of devops to happen more quickly and to generate more revenue and opportunity.

VC funding for OSS-related vendors in Q2

Venture capital funding for open source software-related vendors declined 32% in the first quarter. According to our preliminary figures, OSS-related vendors raised $96.9m in Q2, compared to $141.5m a year ago.

There were 15 deals in the quarter, 14 with a disclosed deal size, resulting in an average deal size of $6.9m. That compared with 22 in total and 21 disclosed in 2Q10, and an average deal size of $6.7m.

Early stage deals announced in the quarter included $3m for MongoLab and Typesafe, as well as $5m for cfEngine, $5.5m for Bacula Systems, and $6m for SQLStream. Later stage deals included $6.5m for WS02, $9.25m for Datameer, and $20m for OpenX.

The biggest round announced in the quarter was Rockmelt’s $30m round led by Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures and existing investor Andreessen Horowitz. Without that deal, funding in the quarter would have been down considerably on the same quarter last year.

As for the year to date, $176.7m was raised in the first half of 2011, compared to $226.1 in the first half of 2010.

451 CAOS Links 2011.04.05

Cfengine raises funding. Symbian is *not* open source. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and, and daily at
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Cfengine raised NOK 30m ($5.5m) for open source configuration management software play.

# Nokia reiterated that it is not maintaining Symbian as an open source development project.

# Mozilla is folding Mozilla Messaging back into Mozilla Labs.

# SugarCRM acquired Lotus Notes tools provider iExtensions, cozied up to IBM.

# Stack Overflow open-sourced Dapper, its object relational mapper for SQL Server and .NET.

# The Department of Veterans Affairs announced plans to move its VistA EHR system to an open source platform.

# Gorilla Logic updated its open source functional testing tool for iPhone and iPad applications.

# Couchbase announced the release of Membase Server for Mac OS X.

# Simon Phipps discussed the impact that copyright contribution agreements can have on community trust.

# The White House released the source code to its Drupal-based tool.

451 CAOS Links 2011.04.11

Novell-Attachmate deal delayed. Microsoft re-thinks Marketplace license demands. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and, and daily at
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Novell’s sale to Attachmate has been delayed until at least April 12, due to concerns related to patent sale.

# Microsoft said it will allow EPL and MPL applications on its Marketplace app store.

# Savio Rodrigues discussed open source and app stores – where they mix and where they don’t.

# Clustercorp raised $3m from Anthem Venture Partners and Avalon Ventures.

# Red Hat released JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 5.1.

# SourceForge quietly released its underlying code under the Apache license.

# Cfengine and C12G Labs partnered on automatic creation and management of virtualized data center and cloud environments.

# HP CEO said every PC shipped by HP starting next year will include WebOS, as well as Windows.

# Ingres launched SkySafe, a new cloud-based managed database service.

# Ubuntu Netbook Edition is being folded into Ubuntu.

# Panasonic joined the Linux Foundation.

451 CAOS Links 2010.11.09

The ASF threatens to withdraw from the JCP. The demise of the Symbian Foundation. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and, and daily at
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# The Apache Software Foundation said it will terminate its relationship with the JCP if its rights are not upheld.

# The Symbian Foundation is no more. It will transition to become a licensing operation for the Symbian OS.

# Gluster raised $8.5m series B funding from Index Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.

# Garnett & Helfrich Capital acquired CA’s last remaining 20% equity stake in Ingres.

# InfraDNA and CloudBees are joining forces.

# WANdisco launched Subversion MultiSite 4.0.

# Engine Yard claimed AppCloud application deployments from 1,500 customers.

# Nuxeo released Nuxeo Enterprise Platform version 5.4 and the new Nuxeo Marketplace.

# Sauce Labs introduced a new Sauce OnDemand test suite for Zimbra.

# CfEngine released Nova 2.0.

# RockMelt is a new social browser based on Chromium.

# The Register reported that Oracle will deliver free and paid versions of OpenJDK.

# Percona offered a commitment to MySQL users.

# Glyn Moody asked ‘could free software exist without copyright?’ and Richard Stallman answers.

451 CAOS Links 2009.01.09

EMC buys some, but not all, of SourceLabs. Cfengine launches data center automation software. Open source and TCO. Measuring corporate contributions to open source. And more.

Official announcements
Self-repairing Data Center Automation solution released Cfengine

Acquia Joins Red Hat Exchange Bringing Social Publishing Expertise to the Open Source Ecosystem Acquia

DotNetNuke Moves to CodePlex DotNetNuke

The BitRock Network Service Improves Product Development and Support, Gains Momentum BitRock

AccesStream Announces Beta Release of its Open Source Identity Access Management Solution AccesStream

Roaring Penguin Software And GroundWork Open Source Deliver Solution Providers Easier Monitoring And Management Of Anti-Spam Appliances GroundWork

CohesiveFT Adds the Kernel-based Virtual Machine Format to its Automated Elastic Server Platform CohesiveFT

MuleSource Partners With FastConnect to Meet Rising Demand in France MuleSource

Extentech Inc. Announces Open Source Multi-Platform Alternative to Sharepoint Extentech

LinMin Introduces Bare Metal Provisioning 5.3 with One-Click Provisioning Role Creation and Support for the latest Linux Releases from Red Hat, Novell, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE and CentOS LinMin

DSS, Inc., Announces Open Source Version of vxVistA EHR Framework, Joins Open Health Tools Foundation

News articles
Measuring Corporate Contributions to an Open Source Project Joe Brockmeier,

EMC buys some parts of SourceLabs Colin Barker,

Consortium tackles cloud computing standards Jon Brodkin, Network World

Marketcetera readies open source trading platform Computer Business Review

Vietnam to widely use open source software VietNamNet Bridge

Palm needs Nova to shine Ryan Kim, San Francisco Gate Chronicle

The state of free software TechRadar

Surf Google Earth With Wii Balance Board Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek

Managing open source adoption in your IT organization Bob Sutor

Open source and the total cost of ownership dilemma Savio Rodrigues, InfoWorld

Open Source TCO: Total Cost of Ownership and the Fermat’s Theorem Roberto Galoppini

Great things afoot in the MySQL community Don MacAskill, SmugMug

Bob Muglia and open source at Microsoft Savio Rodrigues, InfoWorld

Cisco: Serving Up Open Source? The VAR Guy

As the UIQ Platform Opens, UIQ Closes Kristin Shoemaker, OStatic

Open Source trends in 2009 – what’s new? Matthew Langham, The Silent Penguin

The difference a year makes Savio Rodrigues, InfoWorld

Why Dell Won’t Buy Red Hat The VAR Guy

Integrated Revised 2010 Goals Mitchell Baker

Refocusing on our mission SJ Klein, OLPC

Will More iPhone Apps go Open Source? Frederic Lardinois, ReadWriteWeb

Podcast: Novell Chief Marketing Officer Talks SUSE Linux (And More) The VAR Guy
“In this episode, Novell Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon responds to five key questions about the company’s SUSE Linux strategies, broader software efforts and partner initiatives.”

Free For All BBC Radio 4’s In Business
Maybe there are better ways of doing business than charging users for goods and services. But is it really profitable to give products away? Peter Day hears from two advocates of business models that turn conventional wisdom on its head. Apologies in advance if this is not available outside the UK.