Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Open Source: Lovers, Haters, and How the Cloud Blurs the Lines

How the cloud is making users ask, "Open source or commercial software... does it matter?"

This week in Denver legions of GIS professionals and developers (or geo-geeks as most of us prefer to be called) are gathering for the FOSS4G conference... A conference solely focused on one aspect of geospatial and mapping applications: that of the open source variety.

If you talk to the average software user, geospatial or not, about open source software you usually find three camps: Lovers, Haters, and Converters. Let's put these camps in crudely defined boxes:

Open source "Lovers" are the lifers that live, breathe, and have never used anything but open source software. Lovers shun the ideals and smirk at the drones flocking to suckling off the teat of the well-polished commercial vendor. Lovers have a solution-building personality.  They do not want to rely on others to solve their problems. They are not concerned with policies and procedures, rather just on getting the job done.

"Haters" like to manage and pay other parties solve their problems. Haters buy, rarely build. They like to create reports, make ROI charts, get a certificate for completion of formal five-day training on commercial company X's latest software release. They like to talk and argue about licensing and how it's all way too expensive. Haters listen to and quote FUD like "open source is not enterprise because it's not supported"... And "who is going to fix it when it breaks?" All of which points back to the original point, which is Haters buy and rely on others.

"Converters" are between the two camps and have usually been exposed to the successes and failures of both open source and commercial software implementations. Converters are open minded enough to be interested and understand the concepts of open source, but they usually don't have their management's approval to deploy open source into production or the open (e.g., Linux, Apache, Etc.) skill set to fully participate in the community development activities.  Some are only truly interested in open source because they cannot afford the commercial solution that solves their problem. Most, if not all converters are moving from commercial toward open source, not vice-versa. Converters list the barriers of conversion to be: "it's hard to install and get started" and "whom do I turn to if I have a problem?" as their most common issues.

Now that we have the legions defined, it's interesting to look deeper into the Haters' and Converters'mentality and see if recent innovations in the IT industry, namely Cloud Computing, can put to bed some of their fears and barriers regarding open source and re-introduce it into their mindset as a viable enterprise option.

First, I am not proclaiming there is anything wrong with the Hater mentality.  In fact, if measured by volume up until this point in history, many more successful empires in both software and consulting have been built on the commercial software tripod of buy, implement, train (repeat) than the open source mantra. However, the landscape of software is changing and customers are demanding that "traditional" models quickly become legacy and that vendors give them more flexible options to deploy software where and how they want (e.g., on the cloud, single-tenant SaaS, internal -use PaaS).

As users demand this flexibility in the way they deploy both commercial and open source technology, the Cloud Service Provider's ancillary role to the development process of open source software, which includes value-add services like application packaging, instant deployment, upgrade/migration, and help desk services, starts to alleviate some of the fears and hesitancies regarding open source software possessed by the Haters and the Converters.

For example and specific to the geospatial industry, Skygone templates the installations of open source (and commercial) mapping applications and readies them for instant deployment on a collection of different OS's like CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora and even Windows in some cases. These application and OS templates are all sitting on different IaaS cloud providers, including; Skygone's own cloud powered by CA AppLogic, Amazon Web Services, and OpenStack. These services offer not only convenience to end users, but also lower risk due to true vendor neutrality and portability at not just the software vendor level, but also their cloud infrastructure provider as well.

Meaning, oddly enough, because of the Cloud, the lines are starting to blur and grey between commercial and open source software... Making users ask, "Does it really matter anymore which I choose as long as it solves my problem?"

More Stories By Ryan Hughes

Ryan Hughes, blogging at www.RyHug.com, is the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Skygone (www.skygoneinc.com), a Cloud Computing solution provider to SI's, ISV's, Commercial, and Government. Education: MBA in Project Management from Penn State University; BS in GIS from Bowling Green State University Ryan currently has 10 years in Enterprise-level IT Program Management and Operations Management, as well as vast experience in Enterprise System Design and Cloud implementation methodology.

@CloudExpo Stories
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.