Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Vaibhaw Pandey, Stackify Blog, Pat Romanski, Wesley Coelho

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, 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.
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...
"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.
"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...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, 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.
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 ...
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.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"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...
"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.
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...
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.
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 ...
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...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...