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Open Source and Cloud - The Two Great Tastes...

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Where do cloud computing and open source intersect? What impact do they have on each other? Find out in this fascinating presentation!

Where do cloud computing and open source intersect? What impact do they have on each other? Find out in this fascinating presentation!


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  • 1. Open Source and Cloud The Two Great Tastes... John Mark Walker Gluster.org Community Guy Open Cloud Initiative Vice-president April 4, 2012
  • 2. WTF is Cloud ● Cloud is a distributed and automated service delivery system ● Origins: Increasing emphasis on automation – – Increasing reliance on network services – Increasing commoditization of hardware and software components – Increasing scale-out of operations ● Goals: flexibility, agility, automation and economies of scaleApril 6, 2012 The Future of Gluster.org - John Mark Walker
  • 3. WTF is Open Source● Open source: distributed software development system ● Origins: – Increasing commoditization of software + downward price pressure – Increasing connectivity and knowledge sharing between interested parties – Increasing demands for easy adoption ● Deploy first, ask questions later – A sprinkling of advocacy ● Goals: quicker development, economies of brain scale, defining (and defending) fair marketplace
  • 4. What They are not● Open source != distribution system ● Freely available != open source – See, eg. Splunk● Cloud != virtualization or any specific type of software ● Automated, scalable service delivery over a network
  • 5. Similarities of OSS and Cloud● Both reflect a changing landscape in the data center towards automation and agility● Both reflect increasing independence on the part of developers and operations● Both also drive more of the above – Positive feedback loop for more data center automation
  • 6. Similarities of OSS and Cloud● Open source facilitates adoption-led model● Cloud computing thrives on an adoption-led model● Open source facilitates faster development● Cloud computing thrives on faster development
  • 7. Theories, Hypotheses and other Heretical Things● Hypothesis #1: ● Cloud computing is not possible without open source ● How do we test?
  • 8. Party Like Its 1998● You have a really cool research project at Stanford, do you... ● A.) buy lots of expensive proprietary software, hardware and hope the investors dont mind ● B.) DIY with lots of custom glue around freely available open source bits
  • 9. Party Like Its 1998● Pros and Cons of A: ● Con: Its really expensive ● Con: Its difficult to change course ● Pro: Will (probably) be easier to deploy, configure and admin ● Conclusion: how much is your business agility worth?
  • 10. Party Like Its 1998● Pros and Cons of B: ● Con: Its really expensive ● Con: A lot of necessary customization ● Con: Domain experts are essential ● Pro: I can do whatever I want – Change on a dime; mix and match vendors ● Conclusion: how much is your agility worth?
  • 11. Party Like Its 1998● Its not about up-front cost● Its about agility, fast adoption, iterative course corrections, no gatekeepers● Ergo, Open source is necessary for cloud to exist● Prediction: every cloud player will utilize open source on a massive scale
  • 12. The Cloud Ecosystem● What major companies couldnt exist as we know them sans open source?● See Paul Krugmans work on geographic impact on economies ● Geographic ecosystems emerge and benefit each other
  • 13. Impact of Cloud● The opposite isnt true ● Cloud isnt necessary for open source to exist● What is the impact of cloud on open source?
  • 14. Impact of Cloud3 possible hypotheses: ● cloud computing deemphasizes software in general, therefore will reduce production and/or consumption of open source software ● cloud computing will neither augment nor reduce production and/or consumption of open source software ● cloud computing will increase the production and consumption of open source software
  • 15. Impact of Cloud I chose #3!● Prediction: cloud computing will speed up the development of open source software
  • 16. Hypothesis debunking● Hypothesis: cloud computing deemphasizes software in general, thus reducing need for open source software ● yes, local software and traditional desktops are less relevant – Local computing is also a delivery model, like cloud ● BUT - open source isnt a delivery model, its a development model – Cloud computing still needs to run software – And cloud demands efficiency and agility – open source will continue to be utilized to build cloud-y services Prediction: open source will continue to dominate cloud computing, and the need for open source software will only increase
  • 17. Hypothesis debunkingHypothesis #2: cloud computing will have no impact on opensource software, because theyre orthogonal● Yes, yes, one is a delivery model, the other is a development model, therefore theres no causal connection, right? ● competition == increasing demands for agility and efficiency == open source ● competition drives community participation ● increasing popularity of cloud computing will drive increasing usage of open source software● separation of services from software actually makes this easier – ie. Open core is dead
  • 18. Hypothesis BunkingHypothesis #3: cloud computing drives more open sourcesoftware + participation● if #1 and #2 are false, then #3 must be true! ● if open source software gives companies more agility and helps them deliver services more efficiently, then there is definite ROI ● therefore, a company would be foolish not to invest in open source development ● the adoption-led model of open source ties directly into the credo of cloud computing: build first, ask questions later
  • 19. The Outer Limits● Ok fine, Open source begets cloud, which begets more open source, now what? Will cloud services be “open sourced” themselves? What does that even mean?
  • 20. The Outer LimitsLets review the software world: Remember 1999? Whathappened?● Linux started the long trek to glory in the data center● So did apache● And MySQL. And PostgresQL● And later Mongo, Hadoop and GlusterFS :)● And lots of other infrastructure technologiesBut open source never took over the desktop/workstation
  • 21. The Outer Limits● Huh? Android! New mobile paradigm! ● The apps are, alas, mostly non-freePrediction: cloud services, like mobile apps anddesktop applications, will remain mostlyproprietary/non-free
  • 22. The Outer Limits● Huh? Android! New mobile paradigm! ● The apps are, alas, mostly non-freePrediction: cloud services, like mobile apps anddesktop applications, will remain mostlyproprietary/non-free
  • 23. Open Source in Cloud-y WorldWhat does open source mean in a cloud-y world?● Hypothesis: in a world where the distinction between copyleft and liberal licensing is diminished, liberal licensing will growI, for one, welcome my new Apache overlords.
  • 24. Open Source in Cloud-y WorldGPL was made for local computers● delivering a service over a network does not “convey” software, according to the GPL v3● the central driver of “vanilla” GPL is obviated● Apache licensing will continue to grow
  • 25. Open Source in Cloud-y WorldThe Affero GPL was created to address this● closes the service provider loophole● copyleft in a cloudy world● is it enough?
  • 26. Open Source in Cloud-y WorldWhats the lesson we learned form the desktop?● JM Keynes and local monopolies for every market ● every market entraps customers, preventing them from leaving ● data matters ● it just wasnt obvious enough in the context of local computing ● the source code was not enough in all contexts● in a cloudy world, importance of data is magnified ● What does that portend?
  • 27. Lock-in● The world is full of monopolies – No such thing as frictionless economy – Data represents the exit blocker Entity 1 Entity 2 Entity 3 Entity 4 Entity 5
  • 28. Open Source in a Cloud-y WorldIs there an economic driver for Open Data?● Hypothesis: er... maybe? In some cases.● In some social media cases, maybe – walled gardens do not lend themselves to total openness ● Too much value in keeping some data locked up ● Will competition prove the difference?
  • 29. Open Source in a Cloud-y WorldIs there an economic driver for Richard Stallman?● Probably notWhy is email (mostly) free?● Competition drove adoption of email standards
  • 30. Summary● Open source enables cloud computing● Cloud computing, in turn, enables more open source● May not graduate to the service/app/data layer● NEEDZ MOAR RICHARD STALLMAN
  • 31. Thank You● My contact info ● johnmark@redhat.com ● Twitter & identi.ca: @johnmark ● http://opencloudinitiative.org/ ● http://gluster.org/

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