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Cloud Computing: A New Wave of Innovation in Infrastructure Software

An exclusive Q&A with Cedric Thomas, CEO of OW2

"People will still be predicting the end of middleware ten years from now!" stated Cedric Thomas, CEO of OW2, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "The Internet has fostered the use of simple, robust protocols," Thomas continued. "That middleware we used to know, when information systems were organized in silos is no longer center stage."

Cloud Computing Journal: Why in your view is open source so important to the future of infrastructure?

Cedric Thomas: The infrastructure is typically what is shared by different users, different applications, different information systems, different companies. People want an infrastructure that is generic, standard, robust and scalable; an infrastructure that they can trust and that they can share. From that perspective, open source is the right model: users, and the economy in general, are much more efficient with shared open source software than with many proprietary vendors. Open source maximizes the network effects in the writing, the testing, the debugging and the support of code and delivers infrastructure software that is generally more reliable.

Cloud Computing Journal: How does the open source community engage with OW2.org, what's the process?

Thomas: OW2 is an independent non-profit open source organization, founded six years ago, that belongs to, and is controlled by its community. We currently support some 100 open source projects through three types of services. First, we provide a technical platform that delivers collaborative services to project teams; second, we run a governance system that is both a framework for making decisions and a catalyst for social and business interaction; and third we provide communication and branding services to help develop the visibility and market awareness of our projects.

Cloud Computing Journal: What are the most popular projects that you have right now?

Thomas: We measure this with our download statistics. In 2012, our top downloads include several popular generic application platforms such as Bonita, a workflow/BPMN platform; XWiki, a wiki platform; SpagoBI, a BI platform; JOnAS, an application server; and eXo Platform, a cloud-ready enterprise portal. In the top we also have the Orbeon Presentation Server, the Petals Enterprise Service Bus, LemonLDAP::NG, a single sign on manager for web-based applications and ASM, a popular Java byte code manipulator.

Cloud Computing Journal: You will be launching the CompatibleOne open source cloud broker at Cloud Expo 2012West: can you explain CompatibleOne succinctly?

Thomas: CompatibleOne is a cloud service management software with brokering capabilities. CompatibleOne allows us to provision, deploy and manage any type of cloud services (from IAAS to PAAS) in compliance to specific customer constraints and their related Service Level Agreement (SLA). More specifically, we can automate the provisioning of complex cloud services from different cloud environments and from heterogeneous technologies, whether open source or proprietary. Moreover, CompatibleOne offers services such as auto-scalabiliy to support any kind of workload and it allows energy optimization, an increasingly important feature required by cloud services providers.

Technically, CompatibleOne relies on a cloud services description model called CORDS and a run-time platform called ACCORDS. At Cloud Expo 2012 Silicon Valley, we will give demonstrations showing how the ACOORDS platform delivers the cloud brokerage services we just mentioned.

Cloud Computing Journal: People have been predicting The End of Middleware for almost a decade. What would you say to such people today?

Thomas: People will still be predicting the end of middleware ten years from now! The Internet has fostered the use of simple, robust protocols. That middleware we used to know, when information systems were organized in silos is no longer center stage. However, the evolution toward cloud computing is triggering a new wave of innovation in infrastructure software. Call it middleware or cloudware, this kind of infrastructure software is here to stay.

More Stories By Lissette Mercado

Lissette Mercado is an Event Planner at SYS-CON Media. SYS-CON Media has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream at www.sys-con.com - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events.

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