451 Research perspectives on OpenStack and Amazon APIs

There’s been an interesting debate on the OpenStack cloud computing project and its API compatibility with Amazon. The discussion and debate over the open source cloud software’s compatibility with cloud leader Amazon’s proprietary APIs was just beginning when the 451 Group released The OpenStack Tipping Point in April. With the advancement of the OpenStack software and community — along with lingering questions about the desired level of compatibility with Amazon’s cloud — the matter is heating up. However, the issue of Amazon cloud compatibility is largely a non-issue.

Enterprise customers are focused on solving their computing and business challenges. They typically center on promptly providing their customers and internal users and divisions with adequate resources and infrastructure; speeding application development and deployment; and avoiding so-called “Shadow IT,” which normally involves use of Amazon’s cloud. Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

I’m not the only one with an opinion around here. My 451 Research colleagues have also weighed in on the matter and 451 Research subscribers can view their argument that Amazon API compatibility may be a fool’s errand.

Microsoft hearts Linux, just not Red Hat

Just when you thought it couldn’t top itself — having contributed Linux kernel code under the GPL, broadly supported Linux alongside Windows with its systems management and other software, and spun off a new subsidiary dedicated to openness, Microsoft showed yet more Linux and open source love recently, adding an impressive Linux lineup to supported software on its Azure cloud.

However, there’s one major Linux player that’s sort of getting left out of the love-fest. It’s enterprise Linux leader Red Hat and its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which has to sit by while other distributions, including RHEL community clone CentOS and market competitors SUSE and Ubuntu, get first-class treatment in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

451 CAOS Links 2011.08.05

Google and Microsoft trade patent claims. Actuate announces Q2 results. And more.

# Google accused Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies of organising a hostile patent campaign against Android. That prompted Microsoft executives to claim that Microsoft invited Google to be involved in the CPTN purchase of Novell’s patents. However, Google explained that joining CPTN might have decreased its ability to defend itself against potential patent claims.

# Actuate announced its Q2 financial results, including BIRT-related license business of $5.3m, up 130% year-over-year.

# Dell and Cloudera announced a combined hardware, software, support and services offering for Apache Hadoop.

# France and Tunisia have signed a joint declaration on governmental cooperation on open source software.

# Mitchell Baker explained the Mozilla Foundation’s Gecko project.

# VisionMobile published a report assessing the relative openness of Android, MeeGo, Linux, Qt, WebKit, Mozilla, Eclipse and Symbian.

# Sandro Groganz published an article on the benefits of the community for partners of open source vendors.

# Twitter announced plans to release its Storm distributed stream processing software as an open source project.

# Georg Greve discussed his perspective on freedom in the cloud.

# MySQL performance specialist Percona celebrated its fifth birthday, now with 50 employees and 1,200 customers.

Contemplating innovation, openness, clouds at OSCON

The annual OSCON conference is and should be about open source, but some different conversations, companies and of course new code all make the show a good milepost to check what is driving open source, what the current debates are, who is winning criticism and praise and what is making open source matter most in enterprise IT.

This year’s OSCON was marked by some new ventures, companies and faces in and around open source. It also became clear after several conversations with vendors, developers and users that the biggest driver of open source software in the enterprise today seems to be innovation. What else would be driving open source? Well, when we asked customers nearly two years ago, the clear, primary driver was cost. Customers and users also rated flexibility as both a top driver of open source adoption and a benefit of open source after adoption. However, even then we saw a significant jump for factors such as performance and reliability when comparing driver of adoption and benefit from adoption. This indicated to us that the reasons for and advantages from open source software were shifting from simply cost-effectiveness and less expensive alternatives to innovative reasons that dealt more with capabilities, functionality. Time and cost will always be big factors, but it has been interesting to watch this transition, and OSCON appears to be a milepost that we’ve reached a point where innovation trumps other factors most of the time. We will be doing more research into open source software and what’s driving it, particularly in cloud computing, later this year.

Another major part of OSCON this year was the discussion and debate about openness in cloud computing. Microsoft introduced the idea of ‘open surface,’ indicating that openness in today’s cloud computing environment is less about source code and open source and more about SLAs, terms of use and contracts. This is an important and valid point and illustrates a question I’ve posed before regarding what is open enough? Still, we see the cloud building and stack components, which are almost completely open source, and it becomes clear that open source is a fundamental part of openness in today’s IT environments.

This is the role of open source software that I discussed when considering it along with open standards, open clouds and open data as the keys to openness in today’s enterprise IT.

We also saw another perspective on open clouds emerge at OSCON, and this time from a more organic source than the Open Cloud Manifesto that emerged from IBM and was received with some skepticism given it was a vendor effort. Instead the Open Cloud Initiative has been formed to lay out not technologies, not standards, but principles intended to keep customers, their software and their data open and free of lock-in, which has crept back up to the top of customers minds, particularly in cloud computing. While it benefits from having some true thought leaders in open source and cloud computing who work for powerful vendors, the OCI is focused on being a non-vendor organization. This is partly why it was set up as a non-profit, according to OCI board director John Mark Walker, who is joined by OCI President and Founder Sam Johnston and fellow directors Rick Clark, Marc Fleischmann, Shanley Kane, Sam Ramji and Simon Wardley, among others.

The OCI intends, with community input, to provide a legal framework for cloud computing vendors and users to come together on requirements that can be applied to products and services in the market. The organization has formed key principles around interoperability, user portability and standards that include copyrights, patents, trademarks and implementations. The idea is to ensure that cloud computing services are open enough for users to move among them without having certain parts of their infrastructure, applications or data locked or silod with a single provider or consortium. It’s an admirable effort and will hopefully add to the pressure to keep cloud computing open.

Time for your cloud gut check

It may be hard for Amazon, any of its users, critics or competitors to find a silver-lining in the recent cloud outage that took major sites offline for significant periods over the last week (ok, the critics and competitors are getting plenty), but I see a real upside for all: this has been our latest cloud computing gut check.

Just as we have seen in the case of open source software forks, dissents and competition, these challenges all represent a form of open source discipline that keeps code, communities and vendors ‘honest’ in the sense they must respond to developer and user demands and must also steer a successful path both organizationally and commercially. So while there is no doubt pain and loss from the Amazon outage, it is also a reminder that what does not kill your cloud computing deployment will only make it stronger.

It’s true, the outage illustrates that users and providers are still figuring out cloud computing, and that there is still much learning to be done. It was interesting to see some companies actually sending out press releases regarding how well they and their teams were able to keep their cloud-based environments going through the outage. Indeed, as highlighted recently by our own Tier 1 analysts Jason Verge and Doug Toombs, a number of heavy Amazon cloud users were able to largely sustain the blow of the outage and keep their clouds aloft, including Neftlix and Zynga. We can probably assume this kind of thing could happen with a private cloud, and if we don’t, we should. Still, the point is that the differentiation of technology and the team to effectively leverage it emerged as a critical differentiator during the Amazon cloud outage.

I believe the technology, tasks, procedures and preparedness that are represented in the winners versus the losers in this centers on ‘devops,’ a term we refer to often that involves the crossing of development, operations and other professionals in modern IT environments that both leverage and provide cloud computing services. Discussion of devops often centers on efficient use of cloud computing resources by both providers and users. Even when we consider ‘no-ops’ or more accurately ‘auto-ops,’ — whereby systems and operations are abstracted for developers and users — there is a definite need for knowledge, skill, experience and process when confronting cloud crashes, particularly on the operations side. Devops also represents a more holistic view of software in its environment(s), which is critical to crisis management and recovery for both Amazon and its users. Certainly Amazon and its partners are working hard to restore all of their cloud services to full functionality, but it is very interesting and encouraging to see customers and users adding in their know-how and talent to offset down servers and avoid downtime. It makes it clear why a large organization such as Facebook would benefit from opening its own datacenters and practices.

From Amazon’s and other providers’ perspectives – the cloud stubbed toe of this week also highlights how communication and reaction are perhaps as critical as the technical aspects of addressing what’s wrong and fixing it. Open source software also provides lessons here, indicating vendors and providers are best served by transparency and openness. What the message boards and Twitterverse are telling us now is that users will accept some degree of downtime and difficulty, but they want straight information on how long and how severely they will be down. Just as vendors face a challenge in fairly yet effectively pricing and charging for cloud computing, it may be difficult to provide guidance on recovery from an outage, but the same rules of PR crisis management apply: don’t over-promise and don’t under-deliver.

So just like a fork, leadership crisis or large, proprietary competitor is supposed to wreck an open source project or vendor, the latest cloud crash will finally stifle this cloud hype, bluster and momentum, right? Not quite. I would argue that just like a good fork, feud or megavendor foray into open source software is actually a strengthening, disciplinary measure, the latest cloud coughing will serve as a necessary gut check on cloud computing, thus helping us avoid a cloud bubble.

DMTF highlights demand for cloud license management relief

The emergence of license management as a primary issue among enterprise cloud computing users, customers and providers was reinforced this week when the DMTF announced its plans to study and address a need for software licensing standards in virtualized and cloud computing IT environments.

We first saw the prominence of license management in today’s enterprise IT when we asked in December 2009 more than 1,700 open source users and customers to rank the sources of cost savings from open source. About 83% said software licenses, meaning royalties, provided cost savings. The next most prominent answer was license management, which was identified by more than 54% of respondents as a source of cost savings from open source. Other sources of cost savings included: maintenance contracts (which is similar and related in regards to this blog post), hardware, support, productivity and development.

Still, concerns and cost pains associated with license management are part of a theme that has been resonating among both customers and providers, and I believe it is among the primary drivers of open source in cloud computing. Open source is not only associated with cost savings, it is associated with greater ease and simplicity in licensing. After all, if you’re concerned about figuring out and paying for the cloud computing resources you use instead of taking advantage of those resources, you can always just use the free, unpaid software if it is open source. While there may well be similar licensing headaches awaiting customers of commercial open source software, the fact of the matter is open source does provide more flexibility and open source is no-doubt associated positively with cost savings, license management savings and general user empowerment.

We also discussed the importance of license management and related open source advantages when we highlighted the year 2011 for Linux. In addition, the work of the DMTF and the issue of license management also plays into our recent take on the pillars of openness in today’s enterprise IT landscape.

It also makes sense that license management and keeping track of what you are paying for in cloud computing would be a major concern for customers who need elasticity in pricing and instant ability to scale up or down without calling in the lawyers and accountants each time. Thus, vendors are walking the line between generating as much revenue from their technology and services as possible, but aso providing users and customers the ability to utilize cloud computing resources in a way that matches the technology – with agility, flexibility, speed, scalability and stability. Basically, if you’re gearing up for the tax deadline, or Superbowl or Valentine’s Day or whatever, you don’t have the time or staff for a license audit. At the same time, your cloud computing providers cannot simply allow you to use as much bandwidth and other resources as needed without keeping a tab. Just as the DMTF, we will continue to watch this issue and we are hopeful that the prominence and significance of open source software in today’s enterprise IT drives more open cloud standards, including those for license management.

451 CAOS Links 2011.02.25

UK Govt goes big on open source. DotNetNuke acquires Active Modules. And more.

# This week the UK Government confirmed that it really is serious about open source software adoption. Mark Taylor reported from the UK Cabinet Office’s Open Source System Integrator Forum, while ComputerWeekly rounded up the latest changes to the UK government ‘s strategy for open source.

# DotNetNuke acquired social collaboration solutions provider Active Modules.

# Acunu raised $3.6m in series A funding for its Apache Cassandra-based data storage software.

# Canonical and Banshee agreed to disagree on music store revenue.

# SAP’s HANA appliance runs SUSE Linus Enterprise Server.

# Vaadin released a Vaadin Pro subscription with set of commercial tools, components and support.

# Oracle Technology Network published an article on using Berkeley DB as a NoSQL data store.

# Quest Software is sponsoring the Sudo project.

# LINBIT’s DRBD replication software is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

# Marten Mickos discussed how open source impacts company culture.

# Openbravo introduced “Agile ERP” with Openbravo 3.

# The Chemistry open source implementation of CMIS is now a top level Apache project.

# The first release of Spring Gemfire integration is now generally available.

# Sencha introduced PhiloGL, an open source WebGL framework.

# A project has been started to create a Qt implementation for Android.

# Karmasphere updated its Studio and Analyst development and analytics products for Hadoop.

# Andy Updegrove discussed best practices in open source foundation governance.

# arstechnica explained why Microsoft was right to ban GPL apps from its app store, and why Apple should do the same.

# Yahoo plans to release its internal cloud computing engine using as open source license.

451 CAOS Links 2010.05.18

Alfresco launches Activiti project. Funding for NorthScale and Zend. And more.

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

# Alfresco launched the Apache-licensed Activiti BPM project, led by Tom Baeyens and Joram Barrez.

# NorthScale announced $10m in series B funding, led by the Mayfield Fund, and a new CEO.

# Zend Technologies raised $9m led by Greylock Partners with participation its existing investors.

# Stephen Walli joined the CodePlex Foundation as its technical director.

# Oracle updated MySQL Enterprise with the inclusion of MySQL Enterprise Monitor 2.2.

# Open-Xchange announced Open-Xchange Advanced Server Edition, including Univention Corporate Server.

# Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reported on the return of Linuxcare.

# Red Hat announced that there are now over 500 JBoss certified ISV applications.

# eXo Platform introduced eXo Social 1.0, an enterprise social software package.

# John Mark Walker responded to Savio Rodrigues’ argument that open source won’t prevent cloud lock-in.

# C12G last week announced the release of OpenNebula Enterprise Edition 1.4.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.04.16

Topics for this podcast:

*The latest in VC funding for open source
*VMware’s SpringSource buys cloud messenger Rabbit
*Open source monitoring vendors’ key cloud partnershps
*Oracle moves ahead, back on MySQL, OpenSolaris

iTunes or direct download (25:38, 7MB)

451 CAOS Links 2010.04.06

Absolutely nothing about the iPad. Seriously – nothing at all.

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

# Glyn Moody and The H reported on IBM’s use of pledged patents in its spat with TurboHercules.

# Advice on licensing Eclipse plug-ins using the GPL (or not) from the FSF and Eclipse Foundation.

# Open Invention Network added Ooma as a licensee.

# Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst called for more openness in automobiles: why Toyota should go open source.

# Zenoss began beta testing monitoring for clouds deployed on the Cisco Unified Computing System.

# WANdisco delivered certified Subversion binaries and support.

# Brian Proffitt wondered whether Oracle’s Solaris licensing change might actually be good for OpenSolaris.

# Miguel de Icaza argued that for open source to win, “we do not need Microsoft, Apple or proprietary software to lose”.

# Songbird decided to discontinue support for the Linux version.

# Please, no more ‘Open Source Company’, pleaded Ian Skerrett.

# Stephen O’Grady discussed forking, the future of open source, and Github.

# The VAR Guy reported that Red Hat is preparing a private cloud pitch for Wall Street.

# Nuxeo CEO Eric Barroca provided his thoughts on the open core licensing model.

# Miriam Tuerk interviewed Larry Augustin on the intersection of open source and cloud.

# Krishnan Subramanian discussed making money with open source, asking “does it matter”?

451 CAOS Links 2010.04.01

Novell owns Unix copyrights. Red Hat updates RHEL. And more.

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

# A Utah jury confirmed that Novell owns the Unix copyrights. Groklaw reported on what happens next.

# ZDNet asked “Why doesn’t IBM just buy Novell already?”

# Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 added features designed to operate across physical, virtual and cloud deployments.

# The Register reported that Microsoft has appointed a GM of open source. (We’re assuming this isn’t a lame April Fools’ joke, and hope not, because this sounds like a positive move in Redmond).

# Brian Prentice maintained that open core is the emperor’s new clothes, prompting Pentaho’s James Dixon to speculate that Gartner and The 451 Group are confused about open core. (Our response is here.

# GigaOm asked “Who’s Making Money From Open Source in the Cloud?”

# GroundWork Open Source launched a new Ubuntu-powered virtual appliance for IT monitoring.

# Blogging innovation published misconceptions about transactional open innovation.

# OpenX teamed up with Orange to challenge Google’s DoubleClick in the European ad exchange market.

# SGI released Altix UV 10, a new high performance quad-socket Linux server.

451 CAOS Links 2010.03.16

Pre-OSBC special: VMware goes NoSQL. Magento raises $22.5m. Nuxeo triples customer count. And more.

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

# VMware hired Salvatore Sanfilippo, and added his Redis database to its cloud infrastructure portfolio.

# Varien/Magento Commerce raised a $22.5m equity funding round.

# Nuxeo tripled its customers base and 285% revenue growth in 2009.

# IBM selected Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to power its new development and test cloud computing service.

# Novell noted that IBM’s new development and test cloud supports SUSE Linux Enterprise, as well as Red Hat.

# NorthScale launched its supported distribution of memcached and started beta testing its Membase key value store and also confirmed that it raised $5m in series A funding from Accel and North Bridge.

# The Eclipse Foundation published the results of the 2010 Eclipse board election.

# WANdisco hired the lead developer for TortoiseSVN, the Subversion client for Windows.

# BitNami released Ubuntu-based virtual appliances for all of the BitNami-packaged applications.

# Black Duck figures indicate healthy growth in the number of open source mobile projects, particularly for Android.

# The latest version of Open-Xchange’s Groupware offers integrated VoIP.

# Likewise Software’s authentication software is to be included with VMware vSphere.

# Linux.com published a Q&A with Matt Asay on Canonical, Ubuntu, Linux and skiing soundtracks.

# Mandriva Enterprise Server 5.1 is now available.

# Tim Bray confirmed that he has joined Google as Developer Advocate, with a focus is Android.

# OpenLogic launched a new M&A Open Source Audit Service for companies involved in mergers and acquisitions.

On the fall and rise of the GNU GPL

In preparation for my presentation at OSBC tomorrow I’ve been looking back at some of the key trends that influenced the commercial open source landscape in 2009. One of those is the decline in the use of the GNU GPL as a proportion of all open source projects.

The decline was highlighted by figures from Black Duck Software in June 2009, which indicated a 5% decline in the use of the GPL, compared to the previous year.

At the time that reduction was put down to the move to Web applications and cloud computing, where the reciprocity of the GPL does not come in to play.

Looking at those figures again, and comparing them with the latest Black Duck numbers, I’m not convinced the answer is that simple. 50.06% of projects tracked by Black Duck in June 2009 were using the GPLv2, and that percentage has continued to decline, to 48.86% today.

However, a few quick calculations indicates that the number of projects using the GPLv2 has actually increased in real terms from 94,254 in June 2009 to 97,148 in March 2010. That 3% increase is less than the overall 6% increase in open source projects during the same period, but not alarmingly so.

If we assume that Web applications and cloud computing played a significant role in the proportional decline of the GPLv2, we would expect to see a significant rise in the use of the AGPLv3. While the use of the AGPLv3 has indeed risen 16% between June 2009 and today, in real terms the rise is from 198 projects to 231 – still an insignificant amount compared to the GPLv2.

Indeed the GPLv3 appears to be having a much more significant impact on the GPLv2, rising 14% from 9,541 in June 2009 to 10,887 in March 2010. Overall the use of the GPL family of licenses has risen 4.1% from 103,993 to 108,266.

To be clear, in the long-term I do still expect cloud computing and software services to have a negative impact on the use of the GPL, but it appears that we may have been a bit premature in seeing a causative link last year.

We have also pointed to increased use of more permissive licenses, either in order to encourage widespread adoption and rapid community formation, or to enable easier integration with proprietary software. And those are two key trends that we expect to see applying ongoing pressure on the GPL in the future.

Every time I write about licensing and community I am reminded that licensing is just one of a number of factors that can influence the health of an open source community. It is also true to say that the increased use of cloud and Web applications is just one of a number of factors that are influencing the health of the GNU GPL.

451 CAOS Links 2010.01.21

EC approves Oracle-Sun. Google patents MapReduce. And more.

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

EC approves Oracle-Sun

The European Commission cleared Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems. While Larry Ellison is set to unveil Oracle’s Sun strategy on January 27th, Monty Widenius said he will go to the Court of First Instance to appeal the decision.

# Pro-open source political party formed in Hungary.

# Google patented MapReduce, but GigaOm argued users have nothing to fear.

# The London Stock Exchange began a twelve-month migration to its new trading platform, based on Linux.

# Sauce Labs announced Sauce IDE for Selenium tests and raised $3.1m Series A.

# Zenoss partnered with Lina Software for open source monitoring for Microsoft Windows.

# Digium launched AsteriskExchange, a community marketplace for the open source telephony project.

# Sangoma expanded its sponsorship of the FreeSwitch open source telephony project.

# Jeremy Allison warned of patent traps in Mono.

# Mark Hinkle named eleven open source cloud computing projects to watch.

# Jedox is now offering support for the open source versions of Palo for Excel and Palo Suite.

# Liferay reported 80% customer growth and 50% revenue growth in 2009.

# Jonathan Corbet said 75% of Linux code is now written by paid developers.

# Millennium Global Investments (MGI) standardized on Red Hat’s JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

# SugarCRM appointed former SAP and Salesforce exec Chuck Coulson as VP of business development.

# VMware announced Java and Python open-source SDKs for the VMware vCloud API.

# GroundWork Open Source released GroundWork Monitor Enterprise 6.1.

# EnterpriseDB was selected by Genscape for energy industry inventory database.

# The H reported that Mozilla’s Bespin cloud IDE project is getting a re-boot.

# Fonality named Dean Mansfield as CEO.

# SendMail unveiled its new Sentrion Application Store.

# Matt Asay explained why Novell is never going to be a better Red Hat than Red Hat and should focus on being a better Novell.

A guide to The 451 Group’s open source software coverage

Regular visitors to the 451 CAOS Theory blog will be well aware of The 451 Group’s CAOS (Commercial Adoption of Open Source) research service and our CAOS long-form reports.

They are probably less aware of the open source coverage that The 451 Group provides on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis, however, and I thought it would be worthwhile to provide some examples of The 451 Group’s ongoing open source coverage by highlighting a few recent reports.

The company’s core services are 451 Market Insight Service, which delivers daily insight into emerging enterprise IT markets, and 451 TechDealmaker, a forward-looking weekly analysis service focused on M&A activity within the enterprise IT business.

Here’s some examples of how our coverage fits in to those two services. Needless to say, these reports are only available to clients, although you can apply for trial access. Vendors – open source or otherwise – do not have to be clients in order to be covered by our analysts.

451 Market Insight Service
The 451’s CAOS analysts – Jay and I – are responsible for much of the coverage of open source specialist vendors. Recent examples include:

Meanwhile The 451 Group’s team of analysts also cover open source related vendors in their respective coverage areas, often in conjunction with CAOS analysts. For example:

Additionally, we also provide reports assessing the strategies of proprietary/mixed source vendors towards open source. Examples include:

In addition to our vendor-centric MIS output, open source also regularly makes an appearance in our reports assessing wider industry trends. For example:

451 TechDealmaker
451 Group analysts follow open source-related M&A in their coverage areas, again often working with the CAOS analsyst. Examples include:

While we also provide reports assessing the prospects of potential acquirers and targets alike. For example:

And again, open source makes an appearance in our reports assessing wider industry trends. For example:

For those with an interest in M&A it is also worth mentioning is 451 M&A KnowledgeBase – the company’s merger and acquisition database, which contains details of all M&A deals tracked by The 451 Group, and offers the ability to filter search results to contain deals that are themed “open source”.

451 CAOS Links 2009.12.04

Eben Moglen says EC case against Oracle-Sun is flawed. The value of open source. And more.

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

For the latest on Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL via Sun, see Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask

# Eben Moglen told the EC he does not see threat to competition from Oracle-Sun, says EC’s objections are flawed. A statement from the SFLC is here, while the letter itself is here.

# The New York Post reported that Oracle has offered to quarantine MySQL as a separate business entity within Oracle. Oracle said the New York Post article is “completely untrue”.

# Bernard Dalle articulated the opportunity for open source in cloud computing.

# Alex Weid explained “The value of Open Source Software in enterprise IT”.

# Nelson Ko asked “Do Open Source and Venture Capital Mix?”

# Mike Vizard explained “The New Economics of Open Source in the Enterprise”.

# Mark Radcliffe explained “Why the NY Times is Wrong about Open Source”.

# Thoughtful analysis by Kelly Herrell on strategic value of open source businesses and M&A.

# Novell reported $149m Linux revenue in fiscal 09, up 21%. Total 09 revenue down 10% to $862m, net loss $213m.

# Funambol CEO Fabrizio Capobianco wrote to the EC urging it to approve Oracle-Sun.

# Zend released version 7.1 of its Zend Studio PHP environment.

# Is Eclipse an Open Source Community or Trade Association? eWeek provided a summary of the recent debate.

# In the face of competition, Red Hat articulated the benefits of its subscription model.

# GroundWork Open Source announced a new SUSE-based virtual appliance for systems management.

# SugarCRM released version 5.5 including a new mobile studio editor and web services framework.

# Opsera released version 3.5 of its open source systems management software

# Datamation reported Open Source Projects and the Meritocracy Myth.

# Alfresco detailed the first open source software stack to obtain U.S. Department of Defense 5015.02 certification.

# Mark Callaghan, MySQLer at Facebook (and previously Google) explained how Oracle RDBMS != MySQL RDBMS.

# Nokia maintained that it is not giving up on Symbian.

# Dutch Government to release open source tools To Help European entrepreneurs.

# Swedish National Police Board (SNPB) to save €20m by switching to open source servers.

# KnowledgeTree released version 3.7 of its open source document management software.

# Zmanda launched Zmanda Backup Appliance (ZBA), a pre-configured virtual backup server for VMware environments

# OSS Watch examined the issue of release management in open source projects

# Open source collaboration software vendor Open-Xchange released a free connector for Mozilla Thunderbird.

# WaveMaker released a version of its open source cloud development platform for Mac OS X.

# Should Microsoft open source Internet Explorer? Matt Asay and Preston Gralla think so.

Open source and the cloud – the quick and the dead

Savio Rodrigues has published a post arguing that cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure pose a threat to the monetization of open source by specialist vendors.

Savio makes a good case based on the recent launch of AWS’s Relational Database Service, based on MySQL, and Microsoft’s support for MySQL and Tomcat on Azure:

    “When Amazon decided to offer MySQL via Amazon RDS, they did so without purchasing MySQL support from Sun. I’ve confirmed that Microsoft Azure is supporting MySQL on Azure without paying Sun for a MySQL Enterprise subscription.”

Clearly there is a threat to open source vendors from cloud-based services. Meanwhile I have previous argued that the cloud and open source are complementary. Can both positions be valid?

I believe so, and I think it’s important to look at the technologies involved. Certainly, the ability of cloud platform providers to provide services based on infrastructure components such as MySQL and Tomcat threatens potential support revenues for on-premise deployments, but SugarCRM’s launch of CRM Applications on Windows Azure proves that just because the code is open source, does not mean that the cloud platform provider will automatically cut the vendor out of the picture.

Perhaps the difference with SugarCRM is that it is application, rather than infrastructure. Perhaps it is also the fact that SugarCRM has been proactive about exploring on-demand and cloud delivery models.

One of the reasons AWS was able to deliver the a managed MySQL service on EC2 was, frankly, because Sun had not already done so. All the realtional database vendors made their products available as AMIs on AWS in 2008 and since then they have done almost nothing about innovating delivery options abound those AMIs.

Had Sun launched MySQL-as-a-service on EC2 it could have grabbed the market share that AWS will now grab with RDS. I’m not sure why Sun failed to do this, incidentally. FathomDB did it, although it lacked the market presence to prevent AWS stealing the limelight. I would argue that Sun/MySQL could have done so.

Savio argues that open source specialists faced with this dilemma should double-down on their investments in “proprietary features in the ‘enterprise version of the open source product, which are note available in the ‘free community’ version”.

Certainly that is one opportunity for differentiation, but I would also argue that open source specialist vendors should also be concentrating on working with cloud platform providers to bring managed service deployments to market before the platform providers beat them to it.

I think in the long-term we’ll see more vendors providing open source software for on-premise deployment while offering enterprise versions via paid managed service deployments on cloud platforms, along with services to help customers migrate their data/applications from one deployment option to the other.

And if you’re wondering why a cloud provider would bother working with an open source specialist vendor, rather than just taking their code, consider this: one of the cloud providers mentioned in this post pays for enterprise Linux support subscriptions rather than using a community Linux or supporting its Linux servers internally. And it isn’t Microsoft.

Cloud computing is undeniably a threat to the monetization of open source software, but it is also an opportunity. Be quick or be dead.

451 CAOS Links 2009.11.20

Google launches Chromium project, Terracotta acquires Quartz. And more.

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

For the latest on Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL via Sun, see Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask

# Google launched the Chromium OS open source project, a prelude to the Chrome OS, while Canonical confirmed that it is contributing to the development of Chrome OS.

# Terracotta acquired the Quartz open source job scheduling and workload management software project.

# The European Commission extended its Oracle/Sun review deadline until Jan 27 at the request of Oracle

# Mozilla revealed its 2008 revenue was $78.6m, up 5%. Expenses were $49.4m, up 48%.

# Roberto Galoppini wrote about open source value creation and consumption.

# Exadel and Actuate formed a strategic alliance to promote the use of BIRT in enterprise applications.

# Savio Rodrigues explained how Microsoft Azure, like Amazon’s Web Services, will capture open source revenue streams.

# MuleSoft released Mule Data Integrator for data mapping and transformation.

# MindTouch launched a version of its collaboration platform for the cloud.

# Tristan Renaud, on software pricing, asked to hide or not to hide?

# Mik Kersten published growing open source ecosystems: the install story.

# CodePlex Foundation announced its first gallery/project – The ASP.NET Ajax Library.

# Zenoss released version 2.5 of its commercially licensed Zenoss Enterprise product.

# ActiveState launched Firefly, a hosted project management and collaboration offering based on Trac.

# Opengear released Opengear Monitor, a new centralized monitoring system based on Nagios.

# Infobright and Talend teamed up with Jaspersoft for open source data warehousing/integration/BI appliances.

# WaveMaker launched WaveMaker 6.0, pitching it as an open source cloud development platform.

# Vyatta partnered with OpenVPN on an auto-configuring VPN offering for branch offices and remote workers.

# Matt Asay explained why pro-open source policies do not always mean more open source.

# Microsoft announced Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse and SDKs for PHP and Java.

# The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to build a repository for hosting and developing it’s open source applications.

# SugarCRM announced its CRM Applications will available be on Windows Azure.

# Linux.com published an interview with Tim Golden, Open Source Software Infrastructure Strategist at Bank of America.

# Roman Stanek raised the issue of openness in commercial open source software pricing.

# Tarus Balog raised some interesting questions about Zenoss Core/Enterprise licensing.

LinuxCon corrals community, clouds, challenges

I attended the first LinuxCon this week and saw firsthand evidence of a growing, thriving Linux community. Notice I did not call it the Linux kernel community nor Linux development community since it’s much more than the kernel that is key to the fate and progress of Linux, with an increasing role for users as well.

Of course, LinuxCon and the accompanying Linux Plumbers Conference (held for the second time since last year are primarily a gathering of Linux kernel hackers and the developers that push the open source OS forward. So it was fitting to have some of the most significant contributors and maintainers gathered to discuss the state of Linux in front of the Linux faithful.

A highlight of the conference for many was a kernel panel featuring Linux creator Linus Torvalds himself, Jonathan Corbet, Chris Wright, Ted Ts’o and Greg Kroah-Hartman, moderated by James Bottomley.

The panel began with some discussion of improvements and efficiences in kernel development and incorporation of new branches and code, with Torvalds indicating his kernel life had gotten a bit more manageable. However, the discussion soon turned to some significant issues, particularly the size and fitness of Linux. What began as a lightweight OS (which is still stripped of parts and used for lightweight embedded and other uses) has grown dramatically over the last 10 years. In fact, in just the last year, 2.7m more lines of code were added to the kernel. Although there is certainly a great sense of vitality around Linux and the kernel, there was also agreement that Linux may be getting too fat. While there was no real solution that emerged, at least it’s clear kernel developers and Linux leaders are aware of the situation.

Another interesting topic and perhaps dilemma for the Linux kernel and its backers: the aging team of core contributors. Also, as highlighted by Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin to open the conference, the Linux community needs to do a better job of reaching out and including women. I would add that there is also a need for greater diversity and geographic representation among kernel hackers, even though we already see a global Linux community with LinuxCon visitors from across Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and elsewhere.

The unmasking of the fake LT was fun, mostly for the rap music video with dancing penguin suit guy, but once again we saw Matt Asay take the prize (this after winning the open source license debate recently). I guess this open source advocate is on a roll.

For my part at LinuxCon, I gave a talk on community Linux — that is unpaid, self-supported Linux — and its impact on the enterprise, with a particular focus on cloud computing. This coincides with a 451 Group report on the same topic. When we wrote our report on community Linux a year ago, we highlighted how community distributions such as CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu are putting competitive pressure on commercial, subscription Linux, such as RHEL and SUSE. We see the presence of community Linux and its impact increasing, though we must point out there are also complimentary effects from community Linux, which grows users, support and the overall Linux ecosystem. Still, we see enterprise organizations using community Linux for some of the same reasons they look to Linux in general: cost savings, flexibility and greater utilization of developers and teams that are capable of supporting themselves.

We had indicated that technology trends such as virtualization and cloud computing tend to favor the established, paid Linux distributions and vendors. In fact, virtualization, cloud and interoperability are key areas where Linux vendors differentiate their paid versions. This continues to be the case, and there is ample room for Linux vendors to continue and deepen that differentiation. However, there will be more community Linux pressure coming from these ‘other’ distributions, and much of it appears to be coming from cloud computing.

We are hearing from vendors and end users that community Linux makes sense for cloud computing. Obviously cost is a big factor, and perhaps bigger give current economic conditions. Also, enterprise organizations are finding that they can support themselves in many situations. Technically, community Linux distributions may also be easier to strip of messaging and other parts for use in cloud building. Community Linux may be growing its presence in cloud computing, with vendors such as Convirture, rPath, RightScale and others incorporating it into their technologies and strategies. However, when it comes to offering Linux in the cloud, we again see this favoring the more established, more accepted commercial distributions of Linux.

451 CAOS Links 2009.09.11

CodePlex, patents and Linux code. An interesting few days for Microsoft open source.

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

CodePlex, CodePlex, CodePlex!

Microsoft launched the CodePlex Foundation to facilitate open source contributions, and confirmed the departure of Sam Ramji.

Patents, Patents, Patents!
The OIN confirmed the acquisition of 22 patents formerly owned by Microsoft, prompting Eben Moglen to accuse Microsoft of attempting to feed patent trolls, an accusation repeated by Jim Zemlin and Red Hat.

Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft!
In other Microsoft-related news, The Register reported that Microsoft’s Open Source Technology Center is to be integrated with its Windows server and solutions division while ZDNet questioned: whether Microsoft is stalling on its GPL Linux drivers? In response, Microsoft pointed out that Hank Janssen is currently in Europe, as the publication of this chat with Roberto Galoppini confirmed.

Business models, business models, business models!
An OpenLogic survey indicated increased interest in community-developed open source projects, while the company itself reported that customers are “not thrilled” with open source business models preferred by many VCs & companies, i.e. Open-Core. Meanwhile Jack Repenning discussed the difference between open core and “open infrastructure”.

Best of the rest
# MMV Financial provided $3m in venture loan financing to EnterpriseDB.

# European open source service and support company Credativ expanded operations to the US.

# Matt Asay reported that Red Hat & VMware top Goldman Sachs’ CIO IT spending survey & are heading for a shoot-out.

# White House director of new media, Macon Phillips, said “Open source is the… best form of civic participation.”

# Black Duck relaunched Koders.com, now promising access to over 2.4 billion lines of code.

# Sun released MySQL Enterprise Fall 2009 subscription with Query Analyzer enhancements.

# Eucalyptus Systems launched the Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition with support for VMware.

# Infoworld asked: “Is cloud computing killing open source?” Answer: Not as much as it’s killing traditional licensing.

# Dirk Riehle published: Why Open Source is Hard for Closed Source Vendors (Alpha Release).

# Carnegie Mellon University is to house an open source lab in a center funded by the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

# Facebook released FriendFeed’s Tornado technology as open source.

# CIO published: Four Reasons Why Open Source and the Internet Must Play a Role in Medicine.

# Apple open sourced Grand Central Dispatch API – wants to see GCD on other platforms.

# Likewise Software launched open source Windows-compatible file server, Likewise-CIFS.

# A profile of Sara Ford, program manager of CodePlex (the hosting site, not the other one).

# Infoworld compared OpenNMS and Zenoss Enterprise.

# NEC and Wind River announced an expanded collaboration to jointly develop Linux solutions for portable devices.

# ZDnet reported that the U.S. government has now joined the OpenID effort.

# Acquia launched Remote Administration services for enterprise Drupal customers.

# ipoque published its DPI deep packet inspection engine as open source software.

# SugarCRM announced the availability of Sugar Community Edition on Amazon EC2.

# Reuven Cohen reported that VMware has released its vCloud API under an open source license.

# Application Development Trends: Inquiry Focuses On Future of MySQL.