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Google slams public cloud rivals over 'mistreatment' of open source community

Google Cloud has committed to forging closer ties with the open source community, while hitting out at its competitors for not doing enough to support it

Google has taken aim at its public cloud competitors over their treatment of the open source community during its annual developer and user conference in San Francisco.

 The cloud services giant used the first day of its Google Cloud Next conference to reveal details of its plans to double-down on its involvement in the open source community.

These included a commitment to partner with seven open source database, data management and analytics companies, including Confluent, DataStax, Elastic, InfluxData, MongoDB, Neo4j and RedisLabs.

The technology tie-up will see their respective technologies integrated into the Google Cloud Platform, and made available to customers in the form of a managed service.

As such, customers will be able to use the Google Cloud Console to manage the respective applications and services from these seven companies, with Google taking responsibility for support and billing too.  

The partnership was announced during the opening keynote of the conference by newly installed Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian, who talked at length about the important role open source and supplier partnerships will play in its bid to win more customers within the enterprise space.

This is a theme that a number of its competitors in the public cloud space have touched on in their marketing messaging over the past 18 months or so. Google is no different in that regard, and has a long track-record of contributing to open source projects or creating ones that it then hands off to a supporting community to oversee the future development, as is the case with its container orchestration system, Kubernetes.  

According to Kurian, some of its competitors’ interactions with the open source community leave a lot to be desired.  

“Google has a long history in building platforms that service ecosystems. So our view is that platforms that succeed with customers are the ones that enable ecosystems where the cloud providers’ technology is complimented with leading products that customers and developers want to use,” he said.

“Google has had a long history of developing technology and making it available in open source to foster innovation by developers. But recently the open source community has found that cloud providers are not partnering with them, but attempting to take away their ability to monetise open source.

“Google does not believe that is good for customers, for the developer community or for software innovation,” he added.

The official blog post announcing the move makes a similar point by stating that Google has always viewed its “friends” in the open source community as “equal collaborators and not simply a resource to be mined”.

While Google stopped short of calling out the offending cloud providers by name, its pronouncements come hot on the heels of several of the firm’s newly recruited open source data partners tweaking their licensing models to safeguard their service revenues against public cloud provides that consume their technology without contributing anything back to the community that created it. 

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