TL:DR – I hosted a keynote panel during Interop Las Vegas 2016 on the topic of Open Source in the Enterprise. Here are the panel notes I prepared.
Network Computing wrote up the article here: Open Source: The Enterprise Impact | Network Computing.
Premise: In 2016, we are talking about new problems with Open Source movement. Lets discuss those and see if they are real problems.
How Open-Source Changes the IT Equation
Thirty years ago, Interop got its start as a gathering to test interoperability between competing network products, and Linux was still years away from its inception. Today, the concepts of “open” and “interoperable” are complex and extend throughout the IT infrastructure – from servers, to storage and switches, and entire cloud architectures. Legacy vendors are embracing open source, software and hardware are “decoupling,” and IT organizations have a multitude of options from which to choose. Open source has become the infrastructure of choice for even the smallest startup to the largest webscale provider, allowing the flexibility and speed that modern companies need to succeed.
But implementing open source technologies can be challenging, both technically and financially, and organizations must prepare themselves for the potential risks. In our expert panel, technologists will explore their experiences with open source, outline the benefits, and warn against difficulties. They’ll also offer perspective on ways the open movement is changing how businesses use technology and how IT professionals work with it.
Destroying Corporate Value
Open source projects are replacing corporate products at a substantial rate. This destroys corporate value by replacing existing products with open source.
Today’s Dominant players have limited relevance to future as cloud uses open source almost exclusively. (Ubuntu, Rabbit MQ, NoSQL, )
Corporate companies who sell software are forced to provide high quality products while maintaining profitability. Producing bug-free software can lead to profit-free business.
Question: How much damage to has been done to corporate business and can they survive this trend ?
Death of Standards
Networking has relied on standards for interoperability between islands of proprietary technology for 30 years.
Standards bodies are being outpaced by foundations. “Consensus and code”
Question: Is Open Source replacing Standards bodies like IETF, IEEE et al. ?
Code is the coin of the open source movement – those who contribute code can determine the future of a project. Corporations have money and can inject teams of developers into open source projects.
This can be good or evil, of course. Open source started as an act of political defiance and rejection of corporate process. The culture clash has been and continues to be a problem
Question: Are corporations embracing open source or extinguishing it or can open source “transcend the tribe” ?
Maintenance and longevity is better than “innovation”. New things kill old things and prevent outcomes from happening.
Companies that consume open source are expected to contribute back. But they aren’t – its all take and no give.
Question: Could open-source projects die from lack of contributions from the people who exploit them for money ?
Speed and Execution
Open source enables developers to move fast and break things.
Remove cost of management intervention or prevention at onboarding * eg. * buying (free), * evaluation (try it, it cost nothing), * deploying (no licensing) * operations (who cares, that comes later)
“Near enough” is better than “best of breed” if I can get it running and
Question: Can too much speed kill the long success of open source ?
The PDF version of the mind map is available here: OS Panel Interop Las Vegas 2016 – 20160419