CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.01.20

Topics for this podcast:

*Hadoop v1.0 and year ahead
*Oracle-Cloudera deal for more Hadoop
*Oracle’s ‘Sun spot’ with Solaris
*Open Source M&A outlook for 2012
*Our new MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey

iTunes or direct download (28:49, 4.9MB)

Java mutiny in the making

The Apache Software Foundation’s latest statement on the Java Community Process highlights continued dissatisfaction and dissent from Oracle’s stewardship and involvement in open source software.

This comes after some ups and downs for Oracle and its oversight of Java and other open source software that was previously under the auspices of Sun Microsystems. Oracle started off on a rough path when it sued Google over its implementation of Java in Android without preemptively or clearly stating that it was not attacking open source. At about the same time, it let OpenSolaris die a slow, somewhat confusing death. Oracle won a point when IBM came out with its support in favor of the JCP and OpenJDK over Apache Harmony, and this contributes to the adversarial positioning between Oracle and the Apache Software Foundation. However, Oracle has also seen an erosion of open source support and confidence as developers have migrated away from Oracle, many to contribute to the new Libre Office project.

Oracle’s moves illustrate the company’s lack of complete understanding of open source and the value of open source software communities. While it appreciates and leverages open source as an effective, efficient software development approach, it does not truly see the value of providing software to a community and attaining benefits of efficiency, reach and innovation as a result. This is not to say that supporting an open source software community will automatically translate into commercial and community success (not the case with Symbian, for example), but Oracle does not appear to support community as a priority in its proprietary and admittedly successful software strategy.

MySQL can be an example of Oracle doing things right with open source, though we may see similar dissatisfaction and defection as Oracle moves further toward commercialization and further away from free, community software. Still, Oracle at least showed it could continue and contribute and support a successful open source project in the case of MySQL. The same may not be said for OpenSolaris, or, increasingly it appears, Java.

Finally a decision on Solaris

We must say this about Oracle and its moves (or lack thereof) with OpenSolaris, it finally ended all of the second-guessing, wondering and handwringing of Solaris-or-Linux, OpenSolaris-or-not, Unix-or-Linux that characterized the OS story at Sun Microsystems when it rolled out the open source version of Solaris in 2005.

Now that Oracle has largely ended support for OpenSolaris, many Solaris users and customers that continued to be on the fence about the OS will finally be making their decision to either stay with Solaris or move over to Linux. Unix migration to Linux has always been a mainstay for enterprise Linux adoption, and while the low-hanging fruit is becoming more sparse, there is still plenty of Unix migration to Linux to come. We have seen cases in Linux communities where the most significant Unix in their world is OpenSolaris, and while we hear similar things regarding Solaris and its continued market presence, there is no question OpenSolaris — a fully open source OS with available binaries — was a much better fit for the growing ranks of Linux-savvy developers and administrators.

Given we have our questions about Oracle’s understanding and appreciation of open source software, particularly less tangible community aspects, we wonder whether the company may be underestimating the value OpenSolaris had been bringing Solaris, which it fully intends to support. In fact, Solaris is in many ways Oracle’s most direct and familiar route to the accompanying hardware business at Sun. Yet Oracle does not seem to think that a healthy, updated OpenSolaris, which was made available in binary form by Sun as we covered in 2008, provides anything for the licensed Solaris OS. However, consider why Sun went ahead with an open source version of Solaris: the open source version’s reason for being was the fact that Solaris was losing users, and perhaps more important losing develpoers, to that open source OS, Linux. Take away the open source version, and all of those things that are attractive about OpenSolaris — flexibility, freedom from licensing and vendor lock-in — become exclusive to Linux. We expect Solaris use and market share to hold steady, but we also think the end of Oracle’s support for OpenSolaris may represent a turning point for many Solaris customers that have been contemplating a move to Linux. Since it is open source, there is also another non-Solaris option emerging in a fork of OpenSolaris from Illumos Foundation called OpenIndiana.

Again, there will continue to be those that choose or are more tied to Solaris, whether by applications, by hardware or by choice, but without OpenSolaris standing between these customers and the ongoing preference for Linux, particularly in cloud computing as we cover in our special report, Seeding the Clouds, Oracle may be walking away from some customers as it walks away from OpenSolaris.

Taking turns as open source bad guys

Software giant Adobe is among those shaking heads at Oracle and its strategy, or at least lack of tact, with the open source software, including its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, killing off OpenSolaris and Java lawsuit against Google over Android.

It wasn’t that long ago that Adobe was thought of similar to how it’s portraying Oracle: as an opponent of open source. I would agree that Oracle is putting itself in the position of a top open source enemy (an unenviable title for which Apple, Microsoft and others, even Adobe, have found themselves, as well). By launching the Java suit and ending support for OpenSolaris without any counterbalance of message to illustrate that it is indeed not attacking open source software in general and actually has a good appreciation of its development and market power and benefits of participation, Oracle has put itself in an adversarial position. Sure organizations such as Adobe and Microsoft, formerly viewed as foes of open source, stand to benefit from having somebody else be the bad guy, but it is interesting to look at these cases and how the villains are typically tasked with improving their image.

By looking at Adobe and its open source story, we get a better sense of Oracle’s and others’ opportunities to change these perceptions and successfully earn goodwill among open source software communities. There have been times when Adobe was on the top open source enemy list, and it continues to be questioned and accused of ‘co-opting’ the open source brand.

However, as covered in our recent Spotlight report on Adobe (for subscribers or trialists), the company has come to realize the significance of open source and the utility of leveraging it to build and grow its own software, communities and ecosystems (something Adobe is pretty good at). One good example is its recent acquisition of WCM vendor Day Software.

We understand that while it was certainly among other factors, including paid subscription revenue from Day’s non-open source software, the open source and community involvement and activity by Day, also covered in a 451 Group report, helped to drive the deal. In particular, Day’s work with the Apache Software Foundation and what one Adobe official called ‘the technical brand recognition’ that came with Day’s work on open standards and open source software, such as the OSGi Java framework, Apache Felix (an open source implementation of the OSGi framework) and Apache Sling (an open source web framework for Java). It will be interesting to see what happens now, but indications are these Apache projects may serve as the basis for expanded open source efforts under Adobe. We highly doubt that they will be turned into a licensing vehicle for Adobe, serve as the basis of legal action or get killed off, which is what we are seeing from Oracle with its open source assets, illustrating the idea that Oracle does not fully understand or appreciate open source software.

Adobe, Microsoft and many others we’ve covered and talked to are frequently in the position of moving, transitioning and changing from open source enemy or foe into open source participant and supporter. There is no question these vendors are making these moves for their own benefit and future more than their interest in benefiting or contributing to communities and others. However, Adobe and Microsoft have learned they must contribute to communities and others beyond their own brand and interests for open source to work. Their efforts in open source software also show that it is difficult and often thankless work, takes resources and remains precarious indefinitely, when even when you contribute and participate, there are still some folks calling you the bad guy.

Judgment day for open source at Oracle

There are signals of continued problems and dysfunction — namely lack of support, organization and communication — in the OpenSolaris community. This follows on a deterioration of the OS leadership and support since Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, including the elimination of OpenSolaris CDs, one of the things that made the open source version of Solaris more like Linux.

We had speculated on the fate of Sun open source software under Oracle and while we acknowledged Oracle’s participation in, contribution and commitment to and opportunity from open source software, we questioned its appreciation of open source software communities beyond code and customers. It appears the OpenSolaris community and thus the OS itself, which we believe is key to advancing development of the more popular, proprietary cousin Solaris — are not a priority for Oracle.

The same cannot be said for all open source from Sun, and there’s a lot of it, now at Oracle. Amid the struggles of the OpenSolaris community, one of the other open source keystones from Sun, MySQL, seems to be doing well, despite persisting claims Oracle purchased Sun and MySQL simply to keep it from competing with Oracle database products. According to a Jaspersoft survey of customers/developers, there is a lack of awareness or concern of Oracle’s involvement in MySQL (59 percent were not aware Oracle reorganized and established a separate MySQL business unit apart from Oracle’s traditional RDBMS business …). Another 43% of Jaspersoft’s respondents said MySQL development and innovation would improve under Oracle.

The Jaspersoft survey found even more love for Java under Oracle, with 80 percent of respondents indicating they believe the Java process will improve or stay the same under Oracle. The related GlassFish application server also appears to be healthy with both community and commercial versions recently released.

The OpenOffice community appears also to be continuing forward supported and unfettered by Oracle (perhaps because it was typically fettered by Sun?), but it may also me failing to fully seize the opportunity.

It has also been interesting to see how Sun’s cloud computing technology has helped give Oracle new love for the term and the market.

There are a number of key open source projects and pieces from Sun, those listed above as well as many others, that may be on the line right now (or may have already been branded ‘stay’ or ‘stop’). We will be watching to see how Sun’s open source continues to shine or to set at Oracle.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.05.14

Topics for this podcast:

*Open source and cloud players Heroku and Cloudera
*Android makes market and buzz gains on iPhone
*Sun OpenSSO identity management lives on in ForgeRock
*Selling with, rather than to, your open source community

iTunes or direct download (30:56, 8.6MB)

From Sun OpenSSO comes ForgeRock OpenAM

We’ve long wondered what might happen to all of that open source software from Sun Microsystems now that it’s at Oracle? Obviously, some pieces continue to live at Oracle (Java, Solaris, MySQL), but there are a number of open source projects that Oracle has either neglected to talk about or have been overlooked, particularly as we focused on user reactions, implications and finally approval of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun.

One significant group of open source technologies from Sun is its OpenSSO single sign-on identity and access management software, which is now serving as the basis for startup ForgeRock. The company, based in Norway, plans to not only support, but to also extend the OpenSSO platform and provide identity and authentication, and then additional components such as directory service and portal. The OpenSSO source code, licensed under the CDDL open source license, will be renamed under ForgeRock’s Open Access Management (OpenAM) brand, but backers insist they are not forking OpenSSO, for which Oracle still owns copyrights. Instead, ForgeRock says it intends to provide some continuity for OpenSSO users and it is already providing subscriptions for customers including online gambling service provider Betfair and Norwegian state railway company NBS AS. Similar to the code for ForgeRock originating at Sun Microsystems, so have many of its executives, including: Chief Strategy Officer Simon Phipps, formerly Sun’s chief open source strategist, CEO Lasse Andresen, a former Sun CTO, and Director of Sales Hermann Svoren, a former Sun Client Executive.

The use of the open source technologies developed at Sun now, after the company has been absorbed by Oracle, is a shining example of the efficiency of open source software. If the code truly has potential and legs, as its open source-experienced backers believe it does, they are free to take that code and run with it, regardless of how that may or may not fit into Oracle’s strategy and competitive perspective. This makes ForgeRock’s technology among the most interesting of Sun’s legacy of open source software to watch.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.02.05

Topics for this podcast:

*Matt Asay moves from Alfresco to Canonical
*GPL fade fuels heated discussion
*Apple’s iPad and its enterprise and open source impact
*Open source in data warehousing and storage
*Our perspective on Oracle’s plans for Sun open source

iTunes or direct download (32:50, 9.2 MB)

As the GPL fades

We’re continuing to see signs that the dominant GPL open source license may be fading from favor among commercial open source software players. The latest move away from the GPL comes from content management software vendor Alfresco, which is moving to the LGPL after originally releasing its code under the GPL three years ago. The reasoning for the shift, according to Alfresco CEO John Newton, is the company sees greater opportunity beyond being a software application, particularly given the emergence of the Content Management Interoperability Services standard. Alfresco won mostly praise for its move, and it does make sense given where open source is going these days.

I believe the emerging trend away from GPL and toward more permissive, mixable licenses such as LGPL or Apache reflects the broadening out of open source software not only throughout the enterprise IT software stack, but also throughout uses beyond individual applications, frameworks and systems. More and more open source software vendors are pursuing opportunities in embedded use or OEM deals whereby open source software often must sit alongside or even inside of proprietary code and products. Similar to what we’ve seen in the mobile space — where open source software and development are more prominent than ever, but end products with accessible code are not — open source is broadening out, but it is doing so in many cases by integrating with proprietary code.

We also see some debate about the community and commercial ups and downs of GPL as organizations contemplate the balance of the two and the best way to achieve commercial success with open source software. As Matt highlights, we are seeing a choice of non-GPL licensing in order to more effectively foster community and third-party involvement, but we also continue to see GPL as a top choice to similarly build community.

While the debate about community versus commercial benefit may not necessarily be prompting movement away from GPL, I believe another recent action may indeed do so. The latest series of GPL lawsuits are aimed at raising awareness, profile and legitimacy for open source software. While those bringing the suits — primarily the Software Freedom Law Center — have exhibited a reasonable approach and settled with past lawsuit targets, these suits and publicity may still serve to steer organizations making the choice to other licenses, including the LGPL, BSD, Apache and the Eclipse Public License.

Another factor is the GPL thumping that took place during the SaveMySQL campaign as the European Commission contemplated Oracle’s proposed (and now closed) acquisition of Sun Microsystems and the open source MySQL. I voiced my concern that the SaveMySQL campaign might jeopardize or de-value open source software projects and pieces in M&A, but I believe I’m actually in agreement with SaveMySQL leader Monty Widenius that the deal and process may end up tarnishing the GPL and its reputation in the enterprise.

As stated above, much of the movement we’re seeing away from the GPL has to do with the desire and opportunity to place open source software alongside, within, on top of or otherwise with proprietary software. Non-GPL open source licenses are also more flexible in terms of integrating and bundling with other open source software licensed under other, non-GPL licenses.

We anticipated this fade of GPL as covered in our report, The Myth of Open Source License Proliferation. Given its clout, durability and continued popularity in commercial open source (and with help from continued growth of GPL-licensed Linux) we believe the GPL will endure as a top open source license. However, given their flexibility and the ability to combine with other code, we see a number of other challengers — Apache, BSD, EPL and LGPL — rising while GPL dominance wanes. We’re also watching to see whether the AGPLv3 for networked software will provide new life for GPL-style licensing and community building in emerging virtualized, SaaS and cloud computing environments.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.01.22

Topics for this podcast:

*Open source in consumer devices
*VMware-Zimbra deal highlights open source, cloud
*A capitalist’s guide to open source licensing
*Latest on Oracle-Sun-MySQL, M&A implications

iTunes or direct download (24:48, 5.7 MB)

Save MySQL would not spare open source M&A

A recent pitch from the folks opposing Oracle’s ownership of MySQL via acquisition of Sun Microsystems got me thinking. The plea, ‘Oracle can have Sun, but not MySQL’ may make sense to some, but to me it speaks to the irony of closing out Oracle or any company or anyone from open source. Upon further reflection and given 2010 is off to a roaring pace of M&A, I also began to wonder what the impact of the ‘Save MySQL’ campaign could be on open source in M&A, particularly if it was to successfully derail the acquisition or somehow decouple MySQL from Sun under Oracle?

What would it mean to carve out the open source projects, components, teams and support from companies involved in mergers and acquisitions over the last few years?

Would Citrix have still bought XenSource if Xen were cut out or somehow separated in any way shape or form from the deal? Would it have paid $500m?

Would Nokia have bought Trolltech and Qt for $153m?

More recently, would VMware have purchsed SpringSource for $420m if some or any of SpringSource’s open source projects, developers or holdings — including its own acquisitions Covalent and Hyperic — were not included?

Oh yeah, would we even be here with MySQL owned by Sun Microsystems if Sun were prevented from fully acquiring the project, code and company despite spending $1 billion two years ago?

Some degree of concern about Oracle’s potential ownership of MySQL or any ownership of open source projects and code is certainly warrented and prudent, but I don’t believe the fear that punctuates the message of the ‘Save MySQL’ campaign makes much sense. This is particularly so in light of the past deals listed here and others where the market has required continued investment and support of open source and provided continued revenue and benefits from open source.

While some of these scenarios may be admittedly implausible, I believe that separating out open source components, parts, projects and subsidiaries from vendors could certainly serve to dull the shine of open source software assets and vendors amid M&A valuations, prospects and strategy.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.12.18

Topics for this podcast:

*2009 review and 2010 preview
*New CAOS survey and report – Climate Change
*Ups and downs in new round of GPL lawsuits
*Oracle-Sun-MySQL saga continues

iTunes or direct download (30:00, 6.9 MB)

CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.12.04

Topics for this podcast:

*As the Oracle-Sun-MySQL EC world turns
*Google gets its Web on with Go and Chrome
*Open source and cloud computing complement, compete
*How transparent is your open core?

iTunes or direct download (26:20, 6.0 MB)

The state of the supercomputer superpower – Linux

There’s a new Top500 Supercomputers list out, and it still looks good for Linux. As we’ve seen in the past, Linux has maintained its fast-risen dominance of the list in the latest round, now claiming a role in all of the top 10 systems and more than 90% of the world’s 500 fastest, most powerful supercomputing sites.

On the latest list, released at the Supercomputing 2009 conference in Portland, Oregon, Linux continues strength and even growth, rising from 84.6% of the Top500 OS share in November 2007 to 87.8% in November 2008 and now to 89.2% in the latest, November 2009 Top500 Supercomputer list. The share for Linux goes up above 90% when considering mixed use with other operating systems. At the same time, the shares of Windows HPC and Unix remain relatively flat and other operating systems continue to drop off the list, with less share for BSD and no Mac OS X on the latest list. The other OS that did manage growth was the open source OpenSolaris, which doubled its share from one spot a year ago to two supercomputing sites on the latest Top500 list.

Cray finally managed to unseat IBM and take the top spot on the list with its XT5 supercomputer known as Jaguar (located at
Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility), which runs Linux. IBM nevertheless managed a strong showing in the top 10 with four sites, all running Linux. Sun Microsystems won the 9 and 10 positions with its Ranger and Red Sky systems, both of which run, you guessed it, Linux (actually CentOS for Red Sky). While there has been some shakeup in the processors used for these super systems — four PowerPC, three AMD and three Intel-based sites — and in geography, with representation from the U.S., Germany and China, the OS remains the same: Linux.

It seems the role reversal in the Top500 and HPC for Linux and Windows continues, with differentiation in hardware and more proprietary software coming in at the interconnect and other layers. Nevertheless, even Microsoft acknowledges the need for open source software and development as it seeks to broaden its reach to a more mainstream HPC market and to support mixed use of its Visual Studio development software alongside open source pieces for developers.

However, the overall HPC ecosystem continues to focus and rely heavily on Linux, following the lead of the Top500 sites and architects that are focused on the speed, scalability, flexibility and cost advantages of the open source OS.

Closing Oracle out of open source?

The complaints and concerns over Oracle’s pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems and open source MySQL database grew this week to calls for the acquisition, or at least the relatively small MySQL part of it, to be blocked. The Open Rights Group calling for such blockage was joined by none other than the father of the free software movement, Richard Stallman. However, I have to once again question how free and open are these free and open source software advocates? Is the movement and FOSS open to all (except Microsoft, Oracle or anyone else the Open Rights Group, Richard Stallman or any other number of FOSS groups or figures so deems at some point in the future)? Sounds like the kind of control and red tape we refer to when we warn vendors against undoing the benefits of open source, particularly openness, flexibility and transparency.

Funny how we were contemplating similar concerns about MySQL’s open source fate when Sun acquired MySQL for $1 billion in 2008. Sun ended up having minimal impact on the open source nature of MySQL, thanks in part to the force and direction of the MySQL community.

Still, would we expect Oracle to do any worse than Sun in terms of supporting integration and continued progress for their new product? I think we would actually expect quite a bit more from Oracle, which has illustrated its ability to both execute and integrate numerous times in the past.

The argument to keep Oracle from acquiring MySQL is reminiscent of the loud calls to keep Microsoft from getting some of its software licenses approved as open source by the OSI. It also has parallels to the restriction of open source software from military and weapons uses. Although it might not be tasteful to all supporters of free and open source software, their very mantras and doctrines dictate their software and communites are open to all equally. Anything less is a contradiction of the core ideology of free and open source software.

We’ve expressed our own concerns about Oracle taking over MySQL, including the idea that Oracle may have a somewhat limited appreciation of open source community. However, in the end, and with reinforcement at last week’s Oracle OpenWorld, the company appears to realize the value and purpose of MySQL and its community. Whatever Oracle does not know or understand about MySQL, its community, its customers or open source, the vendor will most likely learn quickly if history is precedent.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.09.18

Topics for this podcast:

*Microsoft founds CodePlex Foundation, losing Sam Ramji
*Software patents at the center of MS, OIN maneuvering
*Eucalyptus Systems releases hybrid cloud product
*Oracle-Sun Microsystems and the potential fate of MySQL

iTunes or direct download (26:40, 6.1 MB)

CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.09.04

Topics for this podcast:

*EC pauses Oracle-Sun over MySQL
* Open source licenses debated
* Red Hat growth opportunities and Summit roundup
* Reductive Labs seeking cloud role for Puppet software
* VMware-SpringSource analyzed

iTunes or direct download (26:04, 5.9 MB)

VMware-SpringSource about cloud, competition, open source in that order

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water … another blockbuster open source software acquisition, this time virtualization leader VMware looking to the future, and seeing itself in need of a more integrated, application-centric position. That position, according to more than $420 million in cash and stock from VMware, apparently comes from acquisition of SpringSource. SpringSource itself has grown by acquisition, first for Apache support vendor Covalent in January 2008, then Spring-like Groovy and Grails supporter G2One in November 2008 and most recently in May 2009, systems and application monitoring and management vendor Hyperic, which also focused heavily on cloud computing.

VMware is clearly in need of a story beyond virtualization, even if we are still relatively early on in enterprise adoption. Still, looking into the future, it sees clear skies, and that does not fit with the multi-billion dollar opportunity shaping up in cloud computing. Thus, VMware is willing to invest a significant amount in SpringSource, which does represent a crossover in customers without much, if any, crossover in competition.

VMware is working to address its increasing competition from all sides. While it may seem somewhat odd for VMware to want to get involved in enterprise Java application development and deployment, it may want to take advantage of SpringSource’s relatively quick climb in the enterprise Java development and support business. VMware may also be looking to offset any gain in enterprise Java influence and control by Oracle, which may do so with its more than $7 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

VMware is also facing increasing competition from OS vendors, including Microsoft, Novell and Red Hat, which is among SpringSource’s biggest competitors with its JBoss business. Again, SpringSource may not seem the most likely suitor for Java application development, but VMware may see this as an area where it can most effectively integrate its own technology and talent to differentiate in virtualization and cloud computing.

Although SpringSource’s open source nature has been critical to its developer reach and success, this is likely not as important to VMware, which may view SpringSource more as a subscription software company than as an open source software company. Either way, it seems VMware, similar to Oracle, may have somewhat limited vision when it comes to open source software, seeing it for its development and time-to-market advantages, but missing other community benefits — including user and customer communities, feedback and contributions — that help make things work. This is not to say VMware is doomed with its plans and integration for SpringSource. It made it quite clear on a conference call today it plans to keep the SpringSource team in place as much as possible. Still, it will face the difficult and recurring challenge of a proprietary software vendor taking over an open source software vendor.

As license issues swirl, a new CAOS report

There has been no shortage of lively discussion on open source software licenses with recent shifts in the top licenses, perspectives on the licenses or lack of them for networked, SaaS and cloud-based software, increased prominence of a Microsoft open source license and concern over the openness (or closedness, depending on your perspedtive) of the latest devices. Amid all of it, we’re pleased to present our latest long-form report, CAOS 12 – The Myth of Open Source License Proliferation.

In the report, we cover how the spread and structure of open source software licenses has indeed led to some proliferation, but rather than a bad thing for the enterprise, we believe the variety and abundance of open source licenses has enabled broader enterprise use of open source. Furthermore, there has been an evolutionary natural selection of the most popular open source licenses, with the GNU GPL family, BSD family, Artistic, Apache and MIT licenses dominating both open source software hosted on repository and open source software in use, according to vulnerability reporting and analysis from Airius Internet Solutions. Another key finding in CAOS 12: vendors such as Sun Microsystems and IBM are contributing to license consolidation, retiring open source licenses in Sun’s case and for IBM, superseding the Common Public License with the Eclipse Public License, which similar to the Mozilla Public License is growing in types of software and popularity, particularly given mixed licensing within open source.

The report also carries on the themes of increased open core models, whereby open source software and licensing is combined with commercial licensing, that we covered in CAOS Nine – Open Source is Not a Business Model, as we consider how the need to generate revenue and reward investors can impact decisions on open source licenses. The report also identifies where different open source software licenses are most prominent, both in terms of the layer of the enterprise software stack and types of environments, from mobile and embedded software to SaaS environments to cloud computing.

Despite some recent doubts about it, we see GPLv2 still widely popular beyond its most prominent projects Linux and MySQL, which nonetheless help bolster its significance. Still, it is a once favorite license that may be fading as it is being used less in new projects, which are opting instead for more modern terms and coverage from GPLv3, AGPLv3, CPAL or other open source licenses. There is no question that GPLv3, by contrast, is on the rise and despite its lack of addressing what is commonly known as the ASP or network or SaaS loophole in GPLv2, is generally viewed as more modern. However, there is still strong resistance to GPLv3, particularly outside of the U.S., where we see the European Union turning to its own EUPL for more appropriate language and license coverage. This puts EUPL on our CAOS 12 list of licenses to watch, and another interesting license that joins it there is AGPLv3, which we’ve covered on the CAOS Theory blog before. As covered in the report, while AGPLv3 has failed to gain the same level of support and traction as its cousin GPLv3, it is the open source license of choice among some interesting new cloud plays, such as 10gen and Enomaly, which we’ve also covered here. If a project or vendor can demonstrate some development, distribution or collaboration advantages from AGPLv3, we believe it could lead to a broad embrace of the license in the enterprise. We should point out, however, this has yet to occur and at present, AGPLv3 is often viewed as onerous, to the extent that Google does not support the license in its Project Hosting.

With implications for vendors, both open source and proprietary competitors, for investors and for end users and customers of enterprise open source software, CAOS 12 is also intended as a guide to which open source licenses are most popular and appropriate, and why, for the many enterprise uses of open source software, whether in development, infrastructure, middleware or applications. Looking ahead, we don’t see the most popular open source license list changing much, as vendors tend to stick with the one or two licenses that suit them and rarely change. However, there will be some interesting jockeying among those top dozen licenses. The emergent models of virtual appliances, SaaS, virtualized and cloud environments will certainly impact license decisions and direction, but things will most likely follow the evolutionary path that open source licenses have traveled thus far.

451 CAOS Links 2009.06.05

Spring forward. Freeloaders, leeches and hermits. Intel buys Wind River. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory

A Spring in its step
SpringSource boasted of rapid revenue growth while CEO Rod Johnson claimed that Red Hat’s Open Choice initiative is defensive response to SpringSource, a suggestion that was denied by Rich Sharples.

Freeloaders, leeches and hermits

I already provided my views earlier this week on Infoworld’s report about open source ‘leeches’ and corporate contributions. The debate continued as Dave Rosenberg clarified his position, and Tarus Balog gave his perspective.

The best of the rest
# Intel announced that it is to acquire Wind River for $884m.

# Martin Michlmayr: Corporate participation in open source communities.

# Open Source Initiative’s Michael Tiemann reported that US CIO Vivek Kundra has advocated open source software,

# George Greve encouraged free and open source advocates to reclaim the brand.

# Day Software’s Kevin Cochrane reported on collaborating with competitors on an open source platform.

# SAP increased its commitment to open source and Eclipse.

# Jeremy Zawodny reported on The State of MySQL.

# Enomaly launched ECP Cloud Service Provider Edition.

# Red Hat and Verizon Business joined forces on Computing as a Service.

# Microsoft, NASA and Open Source. Access to data on NASA’s Nebula cloud coming to applications other than Microsoft’s WWT, according to Peter Galli.

# Zack Urlocker posted a video of Larry Ellison on the importance of Java from the Java One keynote.

# A video of Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst discussing the “Federal Open Source Opportunity”.

# Matt Asay asked whether Red Hat’s ambition be circumscribed by its biz model.

# Red Hat released JBoss ON 2.2.

# Red Hat revealed Fedora 11 will include OpenChange, an open source MAPI implementation for integration with MS Exchange.

# Sun updated the Sun GlassFish Portfolio including GlassFish Web Stack and Web Space Server.

# Zenoss updated its Zenoss Enterprise IT monitoring product.

# Continuent rolled out Tungsten Easy Suite database replication and clustering software.

# xTuple announced the launch of the xChange, an online marketplace of extensions to xTuple ERP.

# Freescale, Texas Instruments and MontaVista joined the GENIVI open source In-vehicle Infotainment project.