OSCON 2013: "Case Study: What to do when your project outgrows your company"
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

OSCON 2013: "Case Study: What to do when your project outgrows your company"

on

  • 1,796 views

In the last decade, the open source development model has been extraordinarily successful. However, this success came at a cost. Today, we are experiencing an explosion of open source projects, ...

In the last decade, the open source development model has been extraordinarily successful. However, this success came at a cost. Today, we are experiencing an explosion of open source projects, escalating competition amongst projects, and commercial interests driving projects at an ever increasing rate. To succeed in the long run, open source projects need to employ a set of management techniques to overcome these issues.

To illustrate how this is accomplished, we will draw on the 10 year history of the Xen project as a case study. Xen started in 2003 with strong university roots, quickly evolving into a thriving code-centric project with a development culture very similar to the Linux kernel. The project was instrumental in creating the cloud computing space as we know it today. Large companies such as Amazon, Citrix, and Rackspace, as well as many others, were able to build thriving businesses using open source Xen. Yet five years later, the project started struggling in multiple areas: it failed to engage its user base, becoming inward focused, and suffering from fragmentation caused by pressure from commercial interests. As a result, Xen lost the support of a number of key Linux distributions. Xen started to be perceived as old and outdated, despite a swelling user base, a growing and diversifying contributor community, an increasing number of Xen-based commercial solutions, and numerous Xen-powered open source projects. Some onlookers even predicted the imminent demise of the project. The project clearly had an image problem, which could have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But, because of a program of cultural change initiated 2 years ago, the Xen project of 2013 is no longer crippled by the problems which nearly caused its downfall. We will explore the causes of the issues which arose, highlighting mistakes that were made, and revealing their effect on the community.

We will also show how almost any issue that threatens the success of an open source project can be addressed using a combination of good community management, excellent collaboration infrastructure, wise marketing, and good governance to align the interests of a project’s stake-holders. By employing each of these techniques in a complementary fashion, we can ensure the long-term success of a project.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,796
Views on SlideShare
1,572
Embed Views
224

Actions

Likes
6
Downloads
4
Comments
1

8 Embeds 224

http://www.xenproject.org 159
https://twitter.com 27
http://xenproject.org 19
http://irq.tumblr.com 10
http://www.linkedin.com 6
http://moderation.local 1
http://dynamotech.com 1
http://kred.com 1
More...

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
  • wow cool! :-)
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

OSCON 2013: "Case Study: What to do when your project outgrows your company" OSCON 2013: "Case Study: What to do when your project outgrows your company" Presentation Transcript

  • Lars Kurth Director, Open Source, Citrix Community Manger, Xen Project lars_kurth
  • Was a contributor to various projects Worked in parallel computing, tools, mobile and now virtualization Long history in change projects Community guy at Symbian Foundation Learned how NOT to do stuff Community guy for the Xen Project Working for Citrix Accountable to Xen Project Advisory Board
  • 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Projected Source: The 2013 Future of Open Source Survey Results More than 1 Projects Million Today
  • Late 90’s Today Individuals & Hobbyist's Still about Individuals But, a majority are employees Companies have a huge stake
  • and pressure to succeed
  • Features How many users you have How many vendors back you How you are seen in the press … Different Management Disciplines
  • In many areas
  • Case Study
  • An Open Source Hypervisor > 10M Users Powering some of the biggest Clouds in Production Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Public Cloud, Terremark, … Several sub-projects Xen Hypervisor, XAPI management tools, Mirage OS, Mobile Hypervisor Linux Foundation Collaborative Project Sponsored by Amazon Web Services, AMD, Bromium, Calxeda, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Intel, NetApp, Oracle, Samsung and Verizon 10 years old
  • Fixes that were applied (there may be others) Effect this had Symptoms Consequences for Xen Four Key Issues At the end : Reflection & Tools
  • Unwritten Rules Undefined Roles Lack of Upfront Collaboration
  • Hard to join the project Vendors got frustrated Hard to work with the project
  • 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Developer list traffic : Q3 2003 - now Xen Governance Canonical drops Xen RedHat drops Xen in RHEL6 Roadmap & Release Management Another key vendor nearly dropped Xen Technical Coordination Team 1st KVM release Growth potential was limited early Xen becomes LF Collaborative Project
  • 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2010 2011 2012 2013 (H1) UPC Spectra Logic Redhat iweb GridCentric Calxeda Fujitsu (Misc) AWS (Academia) John Hopkins University AMD Linaro Oracle NSA Intel
  • Inwards focus – Not working with upstreams (branched kernel and QEMU) – Not working with distros (users are not “our” problem) Created “pain for distros” Intercommunity Friction Introvert Community Image Problem
  • 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Developer list traffic : Q3 2003 - now IBM, VMware, Red Hat and Citrix Agree on PVOPS in Linux kernel Linux Guest support for Xen Linux Host support for Xen Upstream QEMU complete Actively working with distros
  • Improved Relationships & Trust Xen Developers Care about Users Xen becoming easier to use Improved Image in the media and FOSS community
  • 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Developer list traffic : Q3 2003 - now Focus on events for the existing community only Enough Papers Enough Talks Enough Communication By enough vendors Xen Books Competing Projects Excelled at Communication Change of Guard Empty Promises Blog 1 Person
  • Project became an “invisible man” Belief that Xen is not open source Slowed the growth of the user base Perception: the project is “dead” Constant stories in the press that the project is dying First: Defiance – this is all “Fud” Then: Project started to believe this too
  • 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Developer list traffic : Q3 2003 - now Confidence Building Community Blog Events v2 Community spokespeople
  • Project perception has changed Neutral to positive No more “Xen is not OSS / Xen is Dead” New influx of people to the project 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 2010 2011 2012 2013 (H1) Talks / Events / Orgs
  • CompaniesCommunity
  • Governance Matters Projects don’t exist in isolation Poor Marketing and Communication can kill you Good project sponsors can make a difference A project needs to constantly evolve
  • Multi-discipline Complexity
  • Follow Industry News Follow Project News Adopt Software Engage with Users Trial Software Engage with Industry Evangelize Contribute Customize Lead Think of the funnel boundary as a permeable membrane, not a fixed border It can take >2 years for changes at the top of the funnel to make a difference at the bottom The Funnel has feedback loops: what happens at the top can affect the bottom
  • Follow Industry News Follow Project News Adopt Software Engage with Users Trial Software Engage with Industry Evangelize Contribute Customize Lead Control the permeability and shape of the funnel Activities Attributes Events Project Scope E.g. Xen on ARM, Mirage OS Increase the width and thus the potential market for the project How can we influence how the Community Funnel works? Some items are in your control Others - such as what the competition does - are not!
  • Follow Industry News Follow Project News Adopt Software Engage with Users Trial Software Engage with Industry Evangelize Contribute Customize Lead Example: Factors influencing early stages of open source software adoption Documentation Ease of Use Training On-boarding
  • Follow Industry News Follow Project News Adopt Software Engage with Users Trial Software Engage with Industry Evangelize Contribute Customize Lead More People drop out Funnel becomes narrower Negative Feedback: vendors may stop contributing Bad Press Example: Negative feedback loop
  • The Community Funnel is an excellent internal sales tool Reason: Sales and Business people understand funnels It helps you understand what is happening It helps prioritize what to focus on Covers the time dimension : some issues take longer to fix than others Forces you to consider the “Big Picture”
  • Follow Industry News Follow Project News Adopt Software Engage with Users Trial Software Engage with Industry Evangelize Contribute Customize Lead 2011 Event Presence Ease of Use Press Governance Social Media Neutrality WebSite Collaboration Values Brand Documentation Getting Started Support Volunteer Programs Community Programs Platforms for Self Promotion Business Opportunities Communication Extend Project Scope Distros Training Diversity
  • Follow Industry News Follow Project News Adopt Software Engage with Users Trial Software Engage with Industry Evangelize Contribute Customize Lead Event Presence Ease of Use Press Governance Social Media Neutrality WebSite Collaboration Values Brand Documentation Getting Started Support Volunteer Programs Community Programs Platforms for Self Promotion Communication Extend Project Scope Business Opportunities Distros Training Diversity Distros Volunteer Programs Community Programs ValuesCollaboration Ease of Use WebSite Documentation Getting Started Governance Neutrality Business Opportunities Press Social Media Brand ARM + Mirage OS Event Presence CommunicationEvent Presence Communication Diversity NOW
  • To succeed, a wide range of “community” and “management” tools need to be applied continuously
  • Please rate the talk!
  • Flickr: “Messy Apartment” by Ryo Chijiiwa “The Ivory Tower” by Daniel Parks “Desert Road 9” by LabyrinthX Other Images: By Lars Kurth Acquired from Shutterstock Xen Project: www.xenproject.org wiki.xenproject.org lists.xenproject.org xenbits.xenproject.org @xen_org ##xen Funnel: talesfromthecommunity.wordpress.com