“…most of today’s open source companies license under an Apache software license (ASL), which lets the vendor decide whether to share code changes with the community or keep them as proprietary. Under this hybrid or dual-license, open source companies can charge for proprietary product extensions, and not just for services and support, accelerating revenue growth and improving margins.”
Aaref Hilaly in just a small snippet of a very interesting article here on LinkedIn.
In previous decades, OSS (Operational Support Systems) have largely been the domain of tier-one telcos and major corporations due to total cost of ownership. Enterprise still found ways to manage their networks on a shoestring budget using enterprise products, open source tools and clever in-house solutions.
As Aaref suggests, the ASL model provides open source developers with an opportunity to build sustainable business models, which in turn gives the opportunity to make better products. ““Free” is a compelling value proposition, but it’s not enough. Open source also has to be better, and that’s what’s happened over the past 10 years as open source technologies have improved at a faster rate than proprietary software products.”
SDN (Software Defined Networking) and NFV (Network Function Virtualisation) have many in the ICT industry salivating over theoretical benefits / opportunities. Unfortunately they will only thrive if management tools like OSS can step up to harness (ie operationalize) these potential benefits. Under a traditional OSS model, SDN/NFV appear to be more complex to manage, thus likely to push prices further beyond the enterprise budget.
For this reason, I can’t help but wonder whether a completely innovative open-source OSS platform will be the key to bringing SDN/NFV to the masses (ie enterprise), built under a profitable, sustainable, crowd-supported business model that allows quality product(s) to be developed to evolve to the community’s diverse needs. Open source projects such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight are already deeply entrenched in the management of virtualised networks, so it will be interesting to see whether they are optimally leveraged by the traditional OSS players or smaller disruptors.
With open-source innovators like Cloudera, MongoDB, Hadoop and others placing pressure on complex commercial infrastructure solutions, perhaps the commercial OSS industry should be looking beyond their traditional competitors for their next big threats.Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email