Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara, Raju Myadam, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Open Source Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing and Open Source

Cloud Computing and Open Source

Vinayak Hegde's Blog

The web moved from static HTML pages to Web 2.0. Software is increasing moving away from the delivery to the “hosted” model. Computing resource acquisitions is moving from buying to renting. This has given rise to new paradigms of delivering software such as Software-as-a-Service or SaaS and Cloud Computing. Open source software has been one of the key enablers of these new revolution alongwith open standards (HTML, HTTP, CSS, XML etc). Whether it is Linux or Apache or Firefox or Python.

Open Source developers contribute code for a variety of reasons:

  1. To scratch an itch - fulfill a particular current need and release it to the world hoping that someone finds it useful.
  2. To contribute back to the community they are part of or has helped them in the past.
  3. Some contribute it because they enjoy writing code and feel altruistic because they help the world.
  4. Some release code to help it get widespread adoption (marketing strategy by companies) so they can charge for premium support and build a community of committed contributers.

These varied motivations are visible in the multiple licenses in the Open Source community. The most popular licenses are GNU GPL, GNU LGPL, BSD, MIT and Apache Licenses. The relationship between these open source software (OSS) licenses is illustrated below:

Relationships between popular Open Source Licenses
Attribution: David Wheeler [http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/floss-license-slide.html


Software was earlier delivered via floppies then CDROMS and now software downloads. Enter the internet and the web. They have completed changed the way people work and communicate. The web moved from static html pages to Web 2.0. Software is increasing moving away from the delivery to the “hosted” model. Computing resource acquisitions is moving from buying to renting. This has given rise to new paradigms of delivering software such as Software-as-a-Service or SaaS and Cloud Computing.

Open source software has been one of the key enablers of these new revolution alongwith open standards (HTML, HTTP, CSS, XML etc). Whether it is Linux or Apache or Firefox or Python. As mentioned above the GPL which is by far the most popular Open Source licence. When the GPL was written, the modes of software delivery were either through physical media or by downloading from a FTP server (GPL v2 was written in 1991 when the web was in it’s infancy). The GPL has a strong copyleft clause (called as tit-for-tat by Linus Torvalds) which was crucial to the success of Linux, GCC and MySQL - three of the building blocks of much of the SaaS and Cloud Computing infrastucture. It has given the programmers who contributed to it the confidence that their work would benefit the whole world and remain free for distribution, rather than being exploited by software companies that would not have to give anything back to the community. This ethos is central to the motivation of many of the programmers who contribute to open source software (OSS).

However the GPL has some “loopholes” which Application Service Providers (ASPs) exploit. Since the distribution clauses of GPL v2 (and now GPL v3) do not govern the software whose functionality is accessed over a network (mostly the Internet), ASPs and SaaS companies were able to make changes to OSS and not give them back to the community. The license that fixed this loophole was the Affero GPL v3. This has a clause that governs the usage of a software over the Internet.

13. Remote Network Interaction; Use with the GNU General Public License.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, if you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network (if your version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version by providing access to the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge, through some standard or customary means of facilitating copying of software. This Corresponding Source shall include the Corresponding Source for any work covered by version 3 of the GNU General Public License that is incorporated pursuant to the following paragraph.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, you have permission to link or combine any covered work with a work licensed under version 3 of the GNU General Public License into a single combined work, and to convey the resulting work. The terms of this License will continue to apply to the part which is the covered work, but the work with which it is combined will remain governed by version 3 of the GNU General Public License.

This clause is important to all Cloud Computing and SaaS vendors as any modifications they make to the software licensed under Affero GPL will have to be released to the users who use that software at nominal or no cost. This has made atleast a few vendors unhappy

 

[This article appeared originally here and is republished in full with the kind permssion of the author, who retains full copyright.]

More Stories By Vinayak Hegde

Vinayak Hegde is an Architect with Akamai. He is co-founder of start-up support group Headstart and an
active member of ACM's Bangalore chapter. He works with the Analytics Team in Akamai Technologies, Bangalore,
India.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
MiamiWebDesigner 08/24/08 07:10:41 PM EDT

Kudos to the Cloud Crowd for Re-Inventing the Wheel!

One thing 30 years in the IT industry has taught me is that the more things
change, the more they stay the same. Another is that the only memory we
seem to access is short-term. A third is that techno-marketeers rely on
that, so they can put labels like "revolutionary" and "innovative" on
platforms, products and services that are mere re-inventions of the wheel
... and often poor copies at that.

A good example is all the latest buzz about "Cloud Computing" in general and
"SaaS" (software as a service) in particular:

http://tinyurl.com/6let8x

Both terms are bogus. The only true cloud computing takes place in
aircraft. What they're actually referring to by "the cloud" is a
large-scale and often remotely and/or centrally managed hardware platform.
We have had those since the dawn of automated IT. IBM calls them
"mainframes":

http://tinyurl.com/5kdhcb

The only innovation offered by today's cloud crowd is actually more of a
speculation, i.e. that server farms can deliver the same solid performance
as Big Iron. And even that's not original. Anyone remember Datapoint's
ARCnet, or DEC's VAXclusters? Whatever happened to those guys, anyway...?

And as for SaaS, selling the sizzle while keeping the steak is a marketing
ploy most rightfully accredited to society's oldest profession. Its first
application in IT was (and for many still is) known as the "service bureau".
And I don't mean the contemporary service bureau (mis)conception labelled
"Service 2.0" by a Wikipedia contributor whose historical perspective is
apparently constrained to four years:

http://tinyurl.com/5fpb8e

Instead, I mean the computer service bureau industry that spawned ADAPSO
(the Association of Data Processing Service Organizations) in 1960, and
whose chronology comprises a notable part of the IEEE's "Annals of the
History of Computing":

http://tinyurl.com/5lvjdl

So ... for any of you slide rule-toting, pocket-protected keypunch-card
cowboys who may be just coming out of a fifty-year coma, let me give you a
quick IT update:

1. "Mainframe" is now "Cloud" (with concomitant ethereal substance).

2. "Terminal" is now "Web Browser" (with much cooler games, and infinitely
more distractions).

3. "Service Bureau" is now "Saas" (but app upgrades are just as painful,
and custom mods equally elusive).

4. Most IT buzzwords boil down to techno-hyped BS (just as they always
have).

Bruce Arnold, Web Design Miami Florida
http://www.PervasivePersuasion.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
"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.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"We view the cloud not as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), held June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...