The Stack Archive

Does open source empower open cloud?

Fri 6 Jun 2014

Richard_Morell_small11[1]Richard Morrell, Red Hat’s cloud and open source evangelist, peers over his glasses at a school of thought that’s gathering momentum.

First up, for the sake of being open, I need to take an opportunity to point out that for 17 years I’ve taken a salary from working in open source. Secondly, I head up Cloud Evangelism and open source outreach at Red Hat, accepted as the world’s number one commercial Linux powerhouse.

There is a groundswell in the enterprise IT marketplace where open source technologies are taking a hold in every single corner of cloud provisioning and deployment for large scale platform technologies. For many CIO’s this used to present issues ranging from intellectual property through to change management and patch control for versioning. However, now, with mass usage of Linux servers both physical and virtual, and the use of open source licenced applications and virtual machines under Azure, the growth of companies relying on open source for agility marches apace.

However, does every aspect of an open cloud need to rely on an open source commitment? Do Cloud Foundry, HP, Red Hat, Oracle, VMWare and other manufacturers have to release every single line of source to be seen as entirely open?

Or is open documented APIs and an open approach to interactions with pull services, say from GitHub, enough to keep users and adminstrators happy? With our stance within Red Hat of always open sourcing and back porting our sources to be publically utilised it is par for the course, however, it is not for everyone.

I spent a lot of time over the last 18 months looking at how open hybrid cloud works and how adminstrators, DevOps and ITOps folks sell that internally to their CIO and management. It is heartening to see now that there is a much more business-as-usual practice to open source reliance and adoption rather than open source being seen as a disruptive force for change developed by men in pants in a global underground. The ability for companies now to adopt and to use open source as the key to the magic kingdom to provide that elasticity no matter their desktop development environment OS is truly game-changing.

Empowerment by individuals able to use tools and open source development frameworks, provisioning and management tools, storage, automation, audit and compliance tools and the ability to learn from the community, all get shouted out by those I talk to as reasons why, without open source, the adoption of elastic hybrid cloud especially with catalogue service providers such as Amazon would be a fraction of current usage patterns.

However does the advent of having open source code and OSI licenced technologies available as catalogue service items available for platforms such as Azure add flavour to the pot?

We believe being open is critical to where you want to go in cloud. However, as The Stack is a portal for all cloud users I’d welcome starting the discussion – how important is your reliance now on open source as an enterprise?

Do get in touch I’d very much like to hear from you.

Editor’s note:  Please leave your thoughts in the box below or you can contact Richard via me at [email protected]

The views expressed on this blog are Richard’s personal views and do not reflect or represent the views of his employer, Red Hat.


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