Linux predictions for 2013

As 2012 draws to an end, it’s an opportune time to look ahead and consider what we can expect in the Linux OS community and market for 2013. So here are my top five Linux predictions for the coming year:

1. Continued Cloud Dominance and Influence

As we consider a number of key trends in enterprise software and systems, it’s clear how critical cloud computing is to the industry. The strong connection between Linux and cloud computing will continue to fuel Linux throughout 2013 with public clouds, private clouds, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS all contributing to broader and greater use of Linux.

Linux makes sense for cloud computing because of availability, scalability, cost, flexibility, clustering, performance and other advantages. The latest example of Linux vitality in the cloud is the OpenStack project, which continues to grow and evolve in the enterprise.

OpenStack also represents the latest Linux battleground, with Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical all vying to support enterprise deployments. Linux is a big part of cloud computing — not only technically, but also culturally, and in conversations between vendors and customers.

We see Linux, open source and openness having an impact on discussions of “open clouds,” highlighting the wider impact of Linux on the cloud. We plan to delve deeper into this topic as we consider Linux in the cloud with a 451 Research report in 2013.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

The four pillars of modern IT openness

Given our coverage regarding the impact of open source software on cloud computing, development and IT admin trends such as devops and the drivers of open source from the perspective of open source software users and customers, there’s no question open source software is the driving force of openness in today’s enterprise IT. Still, there are other factors emerging as significant. In fact, I see four pillars of openness that are relevant today, each at different stages and with shifting importance, but all with a role in what is or is not open in today’s enterprise IT.

*The first pillar is open source software itself, and it is perhaps the most established and strongest of them all. As referenced above, open source continues to play a growing role in the latest enterprise IT trends, and it is aligned with customer empowerment, which lends credence to the idea it will continue to grow and spread. Open source software and its principles have impacted nearly all discussions of ‘open’ and open source stands as the true measure of openness.

*The second pillar is represented by open standards, which have transformed from somewhat of a joke in open source circles to a more true representation of the term and the words. Rather than a single vendor’s effort to get a technology standard viewed as open, today’s open standards have to really be open. Why? The market no longer accepts open standards that are open in name only. True, there are still plenty of aspects to standards, even open standards, that makes them more closed than open, but the situation has generally improved, and with continuing customer empowerment, vendor collaboration and the influence of open source software driving standards that are truly more open for participation and community. We do wonder what types of standards will be open enough as we push further into cloud computing, devops and other driving trends, but the overall industry movement now seems to be toward openness in standards. It’s not just analysts saying so, either. The market dictates standards arguably more than anything esle, and the market now demands (almost all of the time) they are open.

*A third pillar of openness today is undoubtedly cloud computing, for which open source software and open standards are critical. The prevalence of Linux and a lot of other open source software is also apparent in some of the latest, interesting partnerships and integrations, such as Ubuntu distributor Canonical’s deal with Autonomic Resources for more channel business and Red Hat’s cloud computing pact with Eucalyptus Systems. We also continue to see signs that cloud computing is ‘giving back’ to open source software, primarily by making the separation of free and open source software available for free and for pay clearer via paid services and cloud access.

*The final pillar, and arguably the least evolved and mature, is open data. While open source software (particularly data-centric open source such as Hadoop), open standards and the role of openness in cloud computing have driven discussions of openness, data remains a source of lock-in according to users and a source of demand for closed technology according to users. In considering a concept such as Matt’s ‘total data,’ and some of the points raised in this post, I have no doubt there will be meaningful debates and moves to make data and data access more open in the industry. However, I also believe that the desire to continue to keep customers, the need to keep data closed (including privacy) and the nature of data will make open data the slowest to evolve. Nevertheless, it will eventually give way to the upside of shared data, collaboration, and a global market of not only goods and services, but also ideas. In doing so, open data will likely continue to be a pillar of openness in the modern IT landscape.

We will continue to watch these pillars of openness, and expect the significance of all four to continue as well, given their interconnection and importance to what both IT providers and consumers, particularly the successful ones, are doing today.

451 CAOS Links 2010.09.07

Red Hat appoints public policy chief. Funding for VoltDB. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Red Hat appointed Mark Bohannon as vice president of corporate affairs and global public policy.

# VoltDB raised $5m in first round funding.

# Ingres teamed up with Univention to combine Ingres Database with Univention Corporate Server.

# Computing reported that the EU has released open source software tools to access its digitally stored data.

# OStatic reported on SparkleShare, and open source alternative to DropBox.

# Smashing Magazine investigated open source design.

# Krishnan Subramanian asked, how open (source) is Citrix’s Open Cloud?

OpenStack from Rackspace, NASA shows power of open source in clouds

The open source and cloud computing worlds were simultaneously abuzz with today’s announcement of OpenStack, a new open source cloud computing project that represents roughly two-thirds of Rackspace’s own cloud computing infrastructure, which is now licensed under the Apache License 2.0, with some NASA Nebula, also open source under the Apache 2.0, added in. We believe OpenStack is significant in that it highlights the importance of open source software in cloud computing. We’re currently working on a report with our CloudScape practice that explores how critical open source software is to a majority of cloud computing technology and service providers, including Rackspace.

OpenStack consists of two projects: OpenStack Storage is open source Rackspace Cloud Files, while OpenStack Compute is the open source Rackspace Cloud Servers plus NASA’s Nebula code. Rackspace’s Cloud Sites PaaS service is not being open sourced and is not included in OpenStack. Still, the new open source projecet from Rackspace and NASA, which we cover in a new report (subscribers and trialists), also represents a more pronounced use of and move toward open source software for cloud computing, one that we anticipated and something we expect will continue to involve more vendors and more software.

In talking to both Rackspace and NASA backers of OpenStack, it also becomes apparent that there is significant energy and enthusiasm behind the project, and this highlights another important aspect of open source software and open source in the clouds: the champions. Once again, we see that the people behind the technology are critical, and Rackspace — impressed with NASA’s Nebula and the code — was wise to partner with NASA while the U.S. space agency also gains a proof point for its own open source efforts, which have come a long way in the last five years.

Rackspace is among a number of vendors that report many customers want an open source alternative to proprietary virtualization and cloud computing approaches, but we, along with others, do wonder how many alternatives might be too many? Still, any true open source projects and communities intended to open up cloud computing are good for open source, the industry in general and customers. We see OpenStack as a real and meaningful open source move by Rackspace, which, along with partner NASA, stands to benefit from community and ecosystem growth around their technologies.

Cloud openness contemplated

I caught some of the keynotes and discussion at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit today, and was particularly interested in the panel discussion on open source and cloud computing. While we are used to hearing and talking about how important open source software is to cloud computing (open source giving to cloud computing), moderator John Mark Walker posed the question of whether cloud computing gives back? The discussion also rightfully focused on openness in cloud computing, how open source might or might not translate to cloud openness and the importance of data to be open as well.

The discussion also centered on some issues regarding open standards and how open is open enough for cloud computing? It may depend on who you ask, but I tend to think that the flexibility, interoperability and portability advantages of open source software will dictate its continued use and true openness in the cloud.

However, this is not always the case. When we consider openness in the mobile market, we see that while open source software is going into more and more smartphones and mobile devices, by the time it gets into the product and into the hands of consumers, it ends up closed. This is not necessarily a violation of open source license, either in rule or in spirit, but rather the use, incorporation and reliance on open source alongside proprietary products, strategies and companies, typically under a permissive license. Much of it also has to do with the need, both perceived and real, for control of code in these devices among hardware, software, wireless carrier and other players with a stake.

Another interesting perspective of what open source means, or doesn’t mean, in terms of cloud computing, standards and interoperability comes from the Xen community’s Simon Crosby of Citrix.

One of the most interesting things to watch when considering whether cloud computing gives back to open source is the AGPLv3 license, which is viewed in different ways as both a burden and a boon to network-based, distributed development by various parties. We continue to see vendors, such as mobile software player Funambol, as strong supporters of AGPL while others, such as Google, continue their resistence to it.

The AGPL also came up in the Linux Foundation Collaboration summit panel again, and while I don’t think the license currently serves as the answer to whether cloud computing gives back to open source, we do see some benefits to open source from cloud computing, both in terms of code, projects and communities and the commercial vendors leveraging open source software. In terms of code, large users of open source software projects, such Linux, MySQL, Hadoop, Cassandra, help to raise the profile and credibility of open source. Whether corporations or university campuses, these large users can also be among the most active community participants — driving features and shaking out bugs, and most prolific code contributors — creating features and extensions and enlarging the ecosystem. In terms of commercial open source vendors, cloud computing can also mitigate the challenges of balancing and differentiating free, community versions and separate, paid versions. If the vendor is able to offer support, services or even extensions with the cloud version of its software, it is easily separated from a free, community version that may be available for free, but not from the cloud.

Of course, there is more that cloud computing can do for open source and there is much more that has to be done to ensure true openness in cloud computing, particularly when some existing and emerging defacto standards are anything but open, but for all that open source is to cloud computing, cloud computing seems to be returning the favor to some degree already.

451 CAOS Links 2009.04.09

Red Hat launches data integration project. What if Oracle bought Sun? The origins of Hadoop. Trademarking ‘Open Cloud’. The pluses and minuses of copyright assignment. And more.

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A day earlier than normal thanks to the long weekend, here’s the latest links round-up. We’ll be back on Tuesday next week with more of the same:

# Red Hat introduced the Teiid open source data integration project via

# InfoWorld’s Neil McAllister wondered what would happen if Oracle bought Sun Microsystems. There’s a lot to agree with in his analysis, so much so that Oracle does begin to look like something of a safe haven for Sun.

# While Bloomberg reported more speculation on board-level disagreements within Sun and revealed that shareholder Relational Investors LLC sold its stake at the height of the speculation.

# Nice article in The Register about the origins of Hadoop and how Google benefits from the developments of others.

# Red Hat put some meat on the open source gov bones with Delivering a Better Government Faster Through Open Source.

# Sun released a new version of VirtualBox with support for Open Virtualization Format and virtual appliances.

# Pentaho’s James Dixon published a new version of the Beekeper Model for understanding commercial open source and the relationships between vendors and communities.

# Linux Foundation announced that it is to make the openSUSE Build Service available through the Linux Developer Network.

# Is it necessary to trademark “Open Cloud”? Yes, said Sam Johnston. No, said Krish.

# More views on the pluses and minuses of copyright assignment from Dave Neary and Aaron Seigo, following our post on the subject.

# Sirius’s Mark Taylor illustrated “the true cost of migrating to open source.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.03.20

Topics for this podcast:

*IBM-Sun rumors swirl with implications for open source
*Linux and open source rising up in the clouds
*Acquia adds to Drupal-based commercial offerings
*West Coast CAOS Tour

iTunes or direct download (28:21, 6.8 MB)

451 CAOS Links 2009.03.20

IBM to acquire Sun? TomTom countersues Microsoft. Sun unveils Open Cloud Platform. Oracle’s contributions to the Linux kernel. SpringSource updates Tool Suite. And more.

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IBM to acquire Sun?

No prizes for guessing the big story this week as the Wall Street Journal reported that IBM was in talks to buy Sun for $6.5bn, according to “people familiar with the matter”. Raising the game, the New York Times reported that the purchase price was nearer $7bn citing “a person with knowledge of the negotiations”.

The media exploded with speculation about what it all meant but was unable to agree on whether the deal was about software and services or not.

At The 451 Group we are largely withholding judgment until the terms of any deal are confirmed, but at the Inorganic Growth M&A blog Brenon Daly provided an overview of the likely implications.

Other recommended reading on the subject comes from Joe Brockmeier, who pondered what might happen to Linux if IBM does buy Sun, Matt Asay on the potential of a combined entity to monetize open source, and Larry Dignan on why the deal makes sense.

Also recommended is Rich Sands’ speculation about what IBM would do with Java, which involves an explanation of IBM and Sun’s different open source strategies and Peter Yared’s explanation of why the deal would be good for everyone.

TomTom countersues Microsoft
But not over its FAT patents. TomTom launched its counterstrike, claiming that Microsoft’s Streets and Trips products infringe on four patents it owns related to vehicle navigation software. While many open source advocates celebrated, Matt Asay quickly pointed out that TomTom’s patent claims against Microsoft do not involve the FAT patents claims as asserted against TomTom’s use of Linux.

The best of the rest
# Sun Microsystems unveiled Open Cloud Platform using Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage.

# Oracle’s claim to be a friend to open source was corroborated by the news that its developers Chris Mason, Randy Dunlap top the list of contributors for Linux kernel 2.6.29.

# SpringSource released SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) 2.0.

# Stormy Peters interviewed Kim Weins about the implications of companies fostering or controlling communities.

# Platform Computing launched a new Linux cluster management solution developed with HP.

# Ingres announced its forthcoming webinar on The New Economics of IT, which will feature perspectives on the impact of economic conditions on open source adoption from The 451 Group.

# zAgile released Wikidsmart, which brings semantic wiki features for Atlassian’s Confluence enterprise wiki.