7 years of open source: GitHub, Puppet, DataStax, Severalnines

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 Puppet, GitHub, DataStax and Severalnines.


Nigel Kersten, chief technical strategist at Puppet speaks first.

“Since 2010 we’ve seen almost all significant software in the infrastructure automation space include a large open source component, so much so that it’s difficult to envisage an entirely proprietary new major player,” said Kersten.

“Take VMware (whose technology is built on proprietary software), the firm has open sourced its SDKs and container runtimes — and we’ve seen Microsoft become an authentic and impactful open source contributor. Plus, and open source projects like Kubernetes, Docker and our own Puppet have all changed the way infrastructure is managed,” he added.


Mike McQuaid is senior open source engineer at GitHub.

“In 2010 GitHub had 1 million open source repositories, by the beginning of 2017 this had grown to 67 million. GitHub has become the default place for open source software development and this has been hugely beneficial for the open source community. The workflow for contributing to most open source projects is now the same: create a pull request,” said McQuiad.


Patrick McFadin is VP of developer relations at DataStax.

McFaddin asks — what’s changed over the last seven years?

“The biggest change has been the use of more open source and specifically more distributed computing. First it was Hadoop, then Cassandra and Spark. Almost every action you make today on a PC or phone relies on open source projects to store that data. That wasn’t the case seven years ago,” he said.

He continues… what does the next seven years hold?

“More focus on cloud deployment of open source infrastructure around data and machine learning for production, and more around how open source and proprietary software work together.   Building sustainable businesses around open source is, I believe, the best strategy for keeping the best people available focused on the challenges we have around data,” said McFaddin.


Vinay Joosery is CEO at Severalnines.

“While the commercial database market is seeing a regular decline in market share overall, open source database technologies and companies continue to expand and grow… but they have a long way to go. Open source database vendors still only account for a few percent of a $40 billion database market share, the rest continues to be largely dominated by Oracle, Microsoft and IBM,” said Joosery.

Joosery thinks that new entrants have been able to build some decent businesses around their software, they have not been able to monetise it to the same extent as for instance the cloud vendors have. Developers, for example, like using the cloud-based services to quickly and conveniently spin up database instances for their projects.

“Where this is all going is getting harder to predict. On one side, we have hundreds of smaller vendors building different variants of open source databases which are often application-specific. On the other hand, new revenues generated in the market are mostly going to the cloud-based DBaaS businesses,” said Joosery.

Joosery insists that his firm’s focus remains the same… to give users the ability to securely automate and manage open source database technologies using proven methodologies with enterprise-grade tools at a fraction of the cost of those currently dominating the commercial database market.