The OpenStack Pulse 2014 – new 451 report

We’ve recently updated our coverage of OpenStack with a new report, ‘The OpenStack Pulse 2014.’

The OpenStack project continues to be something of a lightning rod and also something of a dichotomy in the industry. On one hand, it has drawn the involvement of hundreds of supporting vendors and more than 17,000 individual members. It ranks highly among priorities, particularly for private clouds, among 451 Research survey respondents.

Yet critics are quick to point out issues: the continued difficulty of installing and implementing OpenStack; the challenges of pushing it to production and fragmentation — including different vendor objectives and agendas. Despite its downsides, one thing remains clear: OpenStack is a major concern and focus for large enterprises and service providers today.

Read the full article.

Our view on the Changing Linux Landscape is out

We are pleased to present our latest CAOS special report, ‘The Changing Linux Landscape.’ This latest in our series of long-format reports takes a more in depth look at the Linux server market and how cloud computing, competition and the confluence of application development and IT operations known as devops are all affecting it.

Basically, we still see commercial vendors Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) leading the market, but there are significant changes afoot, ushered in by cloud computing, wide use of other distributions such as Ubuntu, and continued use of unpaid community Linux such as CentOS and Debian. In addition, other distributions such Oracle Enterprise Linux continue to evolve and grow, as do the providers of Linux support, which now includes Microsoft. These additional competitors and choices, along with the new way of developing and deploying enterprise applications known as ‘devops,’ are all driving and disrupting the Linux server market.

This means challenges and opportunities Рparticularly in PaaS, which embodies devops practices Рfor both vendors and users. The report focuses on market dynamics with competitive analysis of leading Linux distributions, analysis of adoption drivers and hurdles, and customer case studies highlighting how Linux is put to work in today’s cloud computing environments.

New 451 Group Special Report-Open Source Seeds the Clouds

There are a number of cloud computing events and announcements taking place — VMworld, a countering announcement from Citrix, and recent partnership among rPath, newScale and Eucalyptus Systems for private and hybrid clouds — that we believe are indicative of the significant role and impact open source software is having in cloud computing — a topic we cover in depth in a new 451 Group special report, Seeding the Clouds, which is a collaboration of our CAOS and CloudScape practices.

By considering the open source pieces and players that constitute much of the infrastructure and underpinnings of cloud services from major providers Amazon, Google, Rackspace, VMware and Terremark, we analyzed they key pieces prevalent across them all and also picked out patterns that we are seeing repeated in the broader cloud computing market. We also consider how these larger vendors are playing a role in the rise of open source pieces and commercial supporters, which are finding opportunity among several categories of customers, including enterprise and service provider cloud users.

For example, the recently announced OpenStack from Rackspace, NASA and host of other partners (covered on the CAOS Theory blog and in a 451 Group report, is something we anticipate we’ll see more of in the form of greater participation, opening of code and open source-centered initiatives. We also expect both response to these efforts and other initiatives that offer more open alternatives to existing, unofficial standards such as VMware and Amazon. One such example announced after the writing of the report is the initiative for self service private and hybrid clouds among rPath, newScale and Eucalyptus Systems with the systems integration heft of Momentum SI.

As stated, the response and competition is not limited to the open offerings, as we see a variety of large cloud and IT services providers understanding and appreciating the value of communities: Amazon, Oracle, VMware and even Microsoft, which as we discuss in the report is among other cloud providers in its use of and participation with the PHP community. Citrix is another example, and it’s evident the company believes openness in the cloud is a good thing based on its Citrix OpenCloud announcement and focus on ‘Open Cloud,’ (which also coincides with its acquisition of virtualization management vendor VMLogix).

We also expect VMware and others to continue to increase their involvement and strategy with open source software for cloud computing, and would highlight the prevalance of open source software now within VMware (SpringSource, Hyperic, Zimbra, for example) and its prominence at VMWorld this week.

While there will certainly be challenges, including the maturity, evolution and learning from open source we are seeing and expect more of from larger, non-open source competitors, we expect more open source code and commercial supporters in enterprise and service provider cloud markets for some time. For customers, the competition, not only between open source and proprietary vendors, but also within open source and in partnerships and collaborations, and presence of open source in the cloud mean additional options and value — another reason we expect open source to maintain its prominent place in the clouds.

Seasons Greetings from 451 Group & CAOS

Seasons Greetings from The 451 Group and the Commercial Adoption of Open Source (CAOS) team. As the year draws to a close and we prepare to start a New Year, we wanted to highlight some of our recent work and the best of 2009.

For 451 Group subscribers, we encourage you to check out our 2009 review and 2010 preview for open source software in the enterprise. Additional 451 Group reviews and previews are also available for subscribers.

We would also highlight our latest CAOS special report: Climate Change – User Perspectives on the Impact of Economic Conditions on Open Source Adoption. The report considers our survey of open source software customers and end users and indicates cost savings, as well as flexibility, continue to drive open source in the enterprise. Commercial open source is, meanwhile, meeting cost-savings expectations for nearly all of its users, according to our survey.

Subscribers and non-subscribers should also check out the most popular CAOS Theory blog posts of 2009, and it may also be a good time to catch up on CAOS Theory podcasts.

We look forward to more open source and more CAOS in the New Year and wish everyone a safe and Happy Holidays!

451 Group CAOS 12 Webinar – Open source licenses

UPDATED – I’ve added a link to the actual Webinar, which is available here.

We recently announced publication of our latest long-form CAOS report, The Myth of Open Source License Proliferation. Now it’s time for the Webinar covering our twelfth CAOS long report, Tuesday, July 21 at 10am PT, to delve into some of the questions we answered and other highlights of this, our latest report. Register for the Webinar here. If you are a Linux user or your platform is otherwise not supported, we understand and can send slides before the presentation. Just send a request for CAOS 12 Webinar slides to Jay Lyman, please. Thanks and we look forward to more conversation on open source software licenses.

SourceForge scoops up Ohloh

SourceForge, the venerable open source repository and vendor, just got a shot in the arm by agreeing to acquire the newer, more social networking-minded Ohloh for an undisclosed amount.

We’ll be reporting more on the deal as we learn more about it, but it clearly makes sense. Actually, we saw SourceForge and Ohloh coming together already, albeit from different ends of the open source repository and community spectrum and also more competitively in our reports covering both companies. SourceForge holds the most well known and largest collection of open source software, yet it has lacked some of the newer features — both for open source developers and for enterprise and other users — such as cross-project communication and data on projects and activity. Ohloh, on the other hand, was founded more recently in 2004 and, among a new breed of open source developer and code communities, was still building up the size and sources of its directory. Ohloh has nevertheless managed to build up a community of open source software developers, encouraged cross-project communication and collaboration and perhaps most importantly in terms of commercial open source software, has provided the useful data on open source projects, contributions, developers and activity that enterprise users and vendors have been craving.

So will the joining of these two open source-centered companies deliver the best of both worlds? That will be the challenge for SourceForge as it integrates Ohloh’s technology and code, some of which is open source itself. SourceForge, which announced lackluster earnings and pointed to another ‘new strategy’ with its latest quarterly results, will also have to ensure it embraces and elevates the Ohloh approach, which was successful by serving both the communities of developers that it connects and tracks, but also by serving the enterprise users, vendors and investors that want to deeply investigate open source software and trends.

SourceForge is largely a media and e-commerce company with its Slashdot and ThinkGeek properties, and it has struggled a number of times to translate its immense open source repository and brand into enterprise success. There are some indications the company will look to connect its media and advertising to open source developers. I believe the far greater opportunity lies in taking the Ohloh approach and making money by connecting developers and users and providing insight on open source software. This would give SourceForge a good chance of finally seizing this opportunity and also perhaps serve to bridge the history and success of open source software with its future and potential.

CAOS 8, our community Linux report is out

Timed perfectly (and somewhat coincidentally) between OSCON and LinuxWorld, we’ve just published our latest CAOS report, ‘The Rise of Community Linux.’ Sounds like the community distros are ready to take over the world. Well, not exactly. However, we found significant and increasing use of community Linux distributions such as CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu (which although distributed by Canonical we still considered a community Linux because of its development community and availability in server form).

After speaking to and reporting on various Linux vendors — in servers, embedded, mobile sectors and around the globe in geography — we realized we were continually referring to the pricing, support and general competitive pressures on paid Linux business from unpaid, community and DIY Linux distributions. The significance of these Linux options, and more precisely their cumulative effect, was confirmed in our discussions with Linux vendors and enterprise users.

We believe it is valid for commercial Linux companies and others to refer to community Linux distributions as catalysts and contributors to growth. After all, whether it is using CentOS and supporting it on its own or using RHEL via paid subscription to Red Hat, it’s another Linux user that means a greater ecosystem, pressure to support Linux on hardware vendors, ISVs, SIs, etc. and more open source participation (I just wrote about the significance of customers and end users).

At the same time, we believe increased use of community Linux distributions, helped along by support and credibility from large vendors such as HP and Sun Microsystems, is having an impact on the enterprise Linux market. First, it is contributing to a fragmentation in the market where Linux users have more options, not only for distributions but also for commercial support. Second, more community Linux use puts support pressure on vendors that must differentiate their Linux offerings and subscriptions. Third, the increased community Linux also creates some pricing pressure since these versions are free. Certainly, most large enterprise organizations still require the assurance of an established vendor and Red Hat and Novell with SUSE remain the most popular choices. However, we found organizations are using community Linux similarly to how they’ve historically used open source software in general: quietly. Some organizations, particularly outside of the U.S., are also adjusting and changing their IT procurement practices and policies to include community Linux distributions.

While community Linux is contributing to more Linux use and growing the market for paid, commercially-supported Linux, the impact of the community distributions will also grow as they are used more by IT organizations of all sizes, and this means greater challenges to today’s Linux incumbents.

Stay tuned to CAOS for word about our coming webcast on this report.