Marten Mickos, CEO, Eucalyptus Systems explains why nearly everything is being snatched by open source software

Why is it that open source wins in infrastructure software? Why do websites run on Cassandra and MongoDB? Why are the biggest clouds in the world built on Linux and open source hypervisors? How come the leading cloud management platforms are open source?

The answer is surprisingly simple. The solution has emerged over the past two decades thanks to Apache, Linux, MySQL and other enormously popular software technologies. When you provide software to people who can and want to develop or maintain software themselves, the code needs to be open. If you provide software to a consumer or to a business, it’s about the service and the business benefits, not about openness per se.

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The shift to a cloud paradigm for hardware and software infrastructure is causing disruption across the entire landscape. We see new development frameworks, configuration management tools, databases, cloud platforms, storage solutions, networking solutions, and so on. Nearly everything is up for grabs. And nearly everything is being snatched up by open source software.

Linux and the KVM hypervisors are becoming the industry norm. Cloud platforms such as Eucalyptus, OpenStack, CloudStack and OpenNebula are winning the IaaS battle. Storage and file systems such as Riak, Ceph and Swift are expanding their footprint. Cassandra, MongoDB, Couchbase, Neo4J and other databases are replacing closed source rivals. In this situation, it is very difficult to bring to market a closed source product. No matter how good your technology may be, it is not exciting for the targeted users if they can’t “see under the hood,” so to speak.

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