7 years of open source: Digital Guardian, SUSE, Red Hat & Sonatype

As the Computer Weekly Open Source Insider blog approaches it’s 1000 post since first starting in June 2010, we feature a number of comments from movers (and hopefully shakers) in this space.

Looking back seven years, it was almost slightly hopeful to dedicate a whole column to open technologies, platforms, tools, software languages and wider open design principles.

Today, things are different, as we know… and even Microsoft ‘hearts’ Linux, right?

Let’s hear from data loss prevention software company Digital Guardian, enterprise Linux distribution specialists SUSE and Red Hat, plus also software repository and software supply chain automation firm Sonatype.

Digital Guardian

Global security advocate at Digital Guardian is Thomas Fischer. Saying that the speed with which open source has become an industry norm is remarkable, Fischer is upbeat about its wider application at the enterprise level going forward.

“Today, open source software is not only used by businesses, but also as the foundation of many cloud-based vendor offerings. Open source software has also become a key element of the cybersecurity arsenal, from simple tools like Netcat through to more complex, customisable tools like the Social Engineer Toolkit (SET). In fact, so well known are these kinds of open source tools that they even feature in popular TV shows like Mr Robot,” said Fischer.


Danny Rowark is regional director for EMEA West region at Germany headquarterd open source perennial SUSE.

Rowark insists that, over the last 25 years, the open source community of thousands of developers and companies has produced more innovative technology than individual companies ever could.

“United and based on transparent open-source systems, the community emerged as a breeding ground for innovative technology. Examples of open-source innovation include software-defined networking and IaaS, containers, Cloud Foundry, OpenStack and Ceph or the DevOps concept — essential technologies for modern business models in and out of the cloud, forming the basis of digital transformation,” said Rowark.

Red Hat

James Read is senior solutions architect at Red Hat.

Read has pointed out that open source continuously evolves over time.

“Since 2010 (when this column started), large enterprises have increasingly adopted open source as part of their strategic direction. Linux and open source is omnipresent in enterprise IT and the community has been the birthplace of technologies like containers, automation tools, and the software defined datacenter. These are technologies on which these large enterprises increasingly rely upon to embrace digital transformation successfully and move towards a software defined business model,” said Read.


Derek Weeks is vice president and DevOps advocate at Sonatype.

Weeks points out that organisations today enjoy an infinite supply of open source component parts to build software applications.

“[As much as] 80% to 90% of every modern application consists of open source components, largely developed and maintained by a highly responsible community of volunteer contributors who provide fixes for vulnerabilities that transpire,” said Weeks.

Weeks continued by saying that the ‘onus’ is on organisations to govern the quality of open source components within their software supply chains.

“Evidence shows that those who deploy DevOps-native automation to software supply chain governance improve application quality by up to 63%. Those that don’t, face increased liability due to gross negligence and consequential security breaches,” he concluded.