Category: "Computers and Internet"

OSBC2007 SF Session 8

Open Source, SOA, and the Next-generation Data Center
Panel:

  • Akash Garg, hi5 Networks
  • Dave Rosenberg, MuleSource
  • Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2
  • Moderator: Michael Coté, RedMonk

What have the panel found what an SOA actually is?

Hi5 is a service to their end users, and not an enterprise SOA, so speed is key.

Mulesource thinks SOA is like a Unicorn, a beautiful idea not easily captured - OK, Travis, I want to see the cartoon of the Mule with a horn.

WSO2 sees that SOA allows the entire structure is internally service oriented, and allowing end users to aggregate needed data.

Customization and flexibility; open standards are even more important to SOA than open source; XML is a key standard, especially looking at social networks as a platform upon which folk can build.

WS*

Dave thinks trying to define something so complex is a morass, and that web services got somewhat out of control. Another interesting point is how Amazon, Google etc can publish web services allowing the world to work with them.

Sanjiva: WS* became a marketing tool for too many, but there is a core of about 15 documents.

Akash: For hi5, simple JASON, http, etc is enough.

From the buy side and the sales side, does it seem that customizing those 7-15% of WS* is a prime area for commercializing open source or is battling the closed source vendors where it's at.

Dave: if the point of SOA is to have things loosely coupled and use best of breed, going to the large stack vendor makes no sense. Start with Oracle Fusion, try to take one thing out, and it all falls apart.

Akash: agrees

Sanjiva: The community makes for the open source advantage.

One argument made against this is that the closed source vendors have 100s of trained QA folks. Dave is also seeing that sometimes the speed and volume of fixes and changes can be scary to the user.

Linux and Apache proved that the community works.

hi5 is not an open source project, but a site that uses a lot of open source and have found the community, such as PostgreSQL, to be very responsive.

Questions from the Audience

Scripting vs. Java?

Sanjiva: everything is in Java and C, and they are working with Zend for PHP binding, as well as ActiveX bindings. There is clearly a lot of interest in dynamic languages, and those communities have been underserved.

Dave likes the LAMP stack, but there may be questions of scale for Ruby, etc. Why not use Java and Spring? Java provides the scale. Mule supports PHP, PERL, etc. Build an app the right way - PERIOD.

Do you make a distinction between online businesses and more traditional enterprises?

The traditional enterprises often have legacy apps to worry about. The online businesses may have scaling issues.

Sanjiva has seen enterprise customers want REST and other lightweight services.

How will SOA and Virtualization work together to help enterprises support remote teams and distributed workgroups?

Akash: server farms, Akamai...

Dave: Everything is an endpoint, the whole goal of SOA is to allow things to work together. Companies do work through the cloud. Virtualization does bring a set of other problems for SOAs and how to work through the VM.

Sanjiva brings up Amazon EC2 and a customer of theirs that is working to unify virtualization and SOA. Virtualization naturally has a component of unification that works well with SOA.

Greenfield and Legacy; Cultural and Data Center Transformations

Dave has seen where SOA was the method to move from legacy to greenfield and this is one of the problems with WS* confusion. Silo'd information is a nightmare; and regardless of how implemented, the idea of stand-alone applications is dying.

Sanjiva: SOA as a technology platform is suitable to do what ActiveX, fuzzy beans, etc have tried with reuse. The only advantage that services has over these other technologies is the higher level of granularity forces more detailed thinking of the business.

Managing Services/SOA?

Dave - Mulesource built in MuleHQ but still not that easy yet.

Sanjiva - key part of making an SOA works

Akash - abstracting one layer up so that it is well understood how what they are monitoring affects the business; in many ways, hi5 is the next generation database, open source is core, SOA was home grown, which led to the question of what Mule and WSO2 are seeing: WSO2 small and on the web to large and internal; Mule sees that customers run different ESBs and multiple Mule instances, e.g. as H&R Block showed in yesterday's keynote, they have at peak tax season, 13,000 instances.

How would it work with ESB/SOA as a Service?

Dave: they're launching this later this year, but some things will always reside behind the firewall

Sanjiva: SaaS for middleware is definitely happening. But beware that SasS is another form of lock-in unless the identical software is available as open source. Discussion and debate ensued.

Coté changed the question a bit for Akash to outsourcing the data center. Who doesn't today? Rack or leased servers, etc.

OSBC2007 SF Session 7

Community Development: Business Development for the 21st Century
Panel:

  • Danese Cooper, Intel Corporation
  • Chris DiBona, Google Inc
  • Andy Dreisch, SugarCRM, Inc
  • Dawn Foster, Jive Software
  • Moderator: Raven Zachary, The 451 Group

Danese objects to the term "Community Manager" as one never really manages the community. Intel is a huge contributor and user of open source. And you might never know this in that Intel wisely separates the open source projects from the corporate presence.

Andy feels that SugarCRM does a pretty good job at garnering contributions; they also reach out to the community to assure that design decisions are in accord with what the community needs. The community acts as a force modifier for the development team. Andy is in charge of the community, the Sugar Exchange, and the online training for commercial customers.

Dawn at Jive Software, which is mostly proprietary, has a slightly different dynamic, and mostly developer relations. On the one hand they have the completely open source Ignite, which is a fully community driven project. On the other hand, the proprietary Jive software, does provide the source code to customers for modifications, and supporting those developers if is very important.

Chris, at Google, needs in some ways, to address all humanity on the web.

Once upon, Raven was a web master, a mostly defunct title now. Where is the concept of "community manager" going, and where should it report in the organization? NOT MARKETING. SugarCRM split it off into a totally different organization, outside the normal corporate structure.

Many feels that there needs to be a strong community manager; is this true. Chris feels this is really dependent upon the type of project. Danese looks towards Apache, which is a federation of developers; projects may need a strong community leader at the start, such as Linus for Linux, but there may be less of a need once the project matures and the community grows. Dawn goes along with this in general. Andy likes the idea of a facilitator better.

One idea is going beyond development communities and getting the community involved in all aspects of the business. Dawn had brought this up at 451 Group's Monday Night event, and she feels that this is very important to the growth of a proejct; many communities have huge nationalization groups. Danese looked at CVS, subversion, and the newer tools like GIT which are not hierarchical.

Audience Questions

How to get customers involved in the community?

Chris: make it easy and don't force developers to upgrade in response to vendors' marketing.

Danese: human nature, maybe, to join

Dawn: expects the enterprise customers to join the community, due to its nature

What is the complete set of features offered to the full [not developer only] community?

Dawn sees it evolving from a code management tool and mailing list to forums, blogs, and wikis.

Andy looks at the Exchange where community members can post and find projects.

Danese cites Launchpad.

Chris brings up the next question as to who speaks for the customers in blogs, forums, IRC, IM, etc.

Attracting and growing?

Danese went through a variety of examples from running contests to having proselytizers running around the globe. Figure out why you want the community and where you want the project to go.

Chris and Danese agrees that the community manager or diva can kill themselves travelling.

Dawn brought up Facebook; the ways to pull in people is as diverse as the communities.

Other than hiring developers, do any of the panel hire consultants from the community?

Chris: always, or funding community projects.

Andy: bounty program.

Danese: remember that typical consulting contracts won't fly. In the early days, FSF had an attribution clause, but other companies may need to consider other legal vehicles.

Dawn has experience in getting creative with supporting individual community members other than monetarily. This is not summer of code, btw.

It's easy in the global political sphere to see if a country is democratic, but not if it has effective checks and balances to make democracy work. Open Source is somewhat the same.

Chris doesn't have a problem with communities forking project; in some ways it's a success metric. Open Source is self-selective.

Danese feels that the questions stems from companies entering open source strategies, but have difficulty loosing control.

Dawn agrees that companies that want to control and strongly influence their community are not strong candidates for open source-ing their product.

Any stories of where one tried to highlight controversy within the community to spur development; how to assure that there is enough conflict happening?

Bugs, contests, questions on the forums.

Some feel that the open source strategy is about making development cheaper and reduces sales and marketing need.

Danese: open source is about the community and doesn't really reduce these costs.

Dawn agrees that community may not offset marketing costs, you get word of mouth, but if your product sucks, it won't be good.

Andy feels that it takes time, effort and cost to spin-up and maintain these communities; but the benefits are tremendous; training content really helps to build the community.

Chris states that community is a cost of doing business in IT, open source or not.

The role of community facilitator is a unique blend of marketing and technical expertise.

Raven pointed out the some companies hired a facilitator, but didn't give them any backing, funding, authority, anything. Danese told the OpenOffice.org story of starting with a full marketing staff of 6, and moving towards allowing anyone who wanted to advocate OpenOffice.org even downloading a business card.

Andy: the community for SugarCRM has a lot of business users, but the development community is a key focus.

Dawn sees groups forming within developer communities, such as GUI.

Danese points out that Ubuntu maintains separate user and developer communities.

SugarCRM started out on Sourceforge and in parallel built a commercial side.

Dawn thinks that the key people of a product must be a part of the company.

Danese brings up Ubuntu and how Canonical and Debian interact.

There is a new mean of product and project management coming about from open source. Product managers are very much the one group that could be named as being upset about open source.

OSBC2007 SF Session 6

The Art of Picking Your Poison - Open Source and the Choice of an Application Architecture, Eugene Ciurana, Leapfrog Enterprises

Eugene has a rich background in IT infrastructure, and has been implementing open source and contributed code to various projects since 1997, as well as being an advocate for OpenOffice.org, Mule ESB, Apache and other open source projects.

Eugene described the job of an enterprise architect, starting with... a joke, and ending with the ability to describe your architecture in both technical terms and business terms. The best enterprise environments are a mix of closed and open source solutions - choosing the right mix is the job of the architect.

Beware of vendors being Marketectures.

Architecture is vendor and technology agnostic.

Today, open source is often the cutting edge technology in any given segment. This can be a barrier for some risk-adverse organizations to adopting an open source solution. Education, and non-vendor education in particular, is the path to overcoming this barrier.

Eugene recommends spending at least 30 minutes a day following the trends in your industry, and not just through traditional means such as trade journals, but check out digg, reddit, slashdot, etc.

Evolving an architecture from a typical point-only integration is very difficult, and Eugene went through a case study from early 2000, to prove the point. Of course, one problem with many architectures, that I've seen, is that they often lead to silos of information, duplication of information, and poor data quality. With point-to-point, each problem becomes a new, involved project, each with their own interoperability problems, and with higher expense. [Eugene's case study reminded me of a situation we hit, where a customer had rolled out a brand new order management system - in Pick/Universe - 10 years after Dr. Pick had died.]

This brings us to SOA and resource oriented computing [ROC], wherein services provide not only data but computational capability. One can leave their enterprise applications in place, and supplement with open source software within a SOA using ROC.

When looking at open source, assure that there is a strong, active community.

The first question when evaluating any technology, any product, is "does it solve your problem?" and if not, it doesn't matter if it's open source or not.

Eugene feels that open source is very good for infrastructure, because it's not domain specific. As an adjunct to this, Eugene feels that open source is not, and will not for at least five years, be good for domain specific applications. With this, I disagree.

OSBC2007 SF Session 5

Risks and Rewards: How Enterprises Are Adopting and Managing Open Source

Panel:

  • Bill Whurley, BMC Software Inc
  • Tim Golden, Bank of America
  • Jon S Stumpf, AIG Technologies
  • Moderator: Stormy Peters, OpenLogic

Primarily the panel discussed the policy decisions that must be made in adopting a disruptive technology, and how to assure that the chosen approach scales. The important thing to realize here is that these CIOs consider Open Source to be disruptive. In talking to sales folk for open source companies, they like to avoid the term "open source", in some cases, and focus on features and technology. But the providers must realize that the buyers, decision makers, do consider open source disruptive. To me, it's the middle choice between the traditional build vs. buy decision - but that's another post.

Legally, the lawyers simply need to understand licensing, and how that license affects or effects the use of the product in relation to your needs. There can be things buried in licenses, such as, real example "Say a prayer for my beautiful girlfriend", that the buyer may not wish to endorse. The legal counsel is not accustomed to the fact that open source licenses are non-negotiable, and the buyer becomes a second party to the license. The lawyers may need to be educated on notions of copyleft, and other provisions of open source licenses.

Any approval board must be so constructed that the board is not a bottleneck.

  1. minimum number of members: purchasing, legal, chief architects of affected areas, etc
  2. proceduralize patterns of behavior
  3. make membership fluid
  4. don't have an open source review board, make the decision to consider open source products and flow those products into the standard procedure
  5. exception process to the standard procedures may be required for open source

Open source can sneak in very easily [so did WiFi, eh?] but to keep users compliant to internal standards and architecture, IT can't impede the users trying to do their jobs. This is a people management problem that has nothing to do with open source.

Tim makes the point that open sourc software is the same as closed source software, except in one's relation to the software.

A question from the office concerning indemnification... turns out that it's not seen as much value to the CIOs, though it is an issue, but it's also an issue with closed source.

Managing open source software, again, much the same as managing any software: security impact? benefit of the upgrade? This applies to applications. Tracking and keeping abreast of framework components must be treated differently.

There is a quality assurance concept known as two-way traceability which I think is very much underused in software development and configuration control.

What happens when a community goes dormant? A point was brought up that when working with a small company, purchases often include software escrows. One value of open source, is that the code is already there. So, one of the first responses is to contact the license holder, and see why the project may have gone dormant; then determine the remediation strategy. It can range from hiring the IP holder, to reviving the community.

Security teams views of open source? They use it, no opposition. The security department assesses the risk associated with anything being brought inside. Open source should be thanked for inciting more transparency from closed source companies to help with security problems.

Given that open source allows for change and modification, are there any operational Achilles' heel and how to protect against it? Unit testing.

Tim: the biggest surprise that Tim had was the amount of heat that is generated by advocating open source; the community phenomenon is very complex and one must come far outside of one's comfort zone to understand it.

Jon: dealing with the misconceptions about open source has been difficult, though the amount of documentation and knowledge about open source is helping to dispel these; Jon recommends pushing it through the standard processes and realize the licensing differences.

whurley: recognize that you're already using open source; change the way you do business and learn from the philosophy surround open source, community development, and sharing knowledge, as well as adopting the software.

OSBC2007 SF Keynote 6

The Bazaar Cathedral: A Look at Open Source at E*TRADE FINANCIAL - Past, Present, and Future, Lee Thompson, E*TRADE FINANCIAL

Today is the decade-versary of the publishing of The Cathedral and The Bazaar.

E*Trade announced their open source strategy in 2002. While it raised some eyebrows, Linux leads to dramatic improvement. Website speed has a Keynote transaction at around 3 seconds now. Days with extreme trading volumes have been handled effortlessly by using Linux and even made Investor's Business Daily when Dow lost 400 points in late February, 2007.

International customer evolution leverages the lessons learned in the USA, and bringing those services back.

Dang - low battery and no power outlet in site. BFN...

OSBC2007 SF Keynote 5

Open Source: Why Freedom Makes a Better Business Model, Marten Mickos, MySQL

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasmend quotation
-- Winston Churchill

By doing things wrong, we will learn to do things better.

Freedom of speech vs. Free Beer: Open Source doesn't give much free beer away, but they give the customer the flexibility to use the product freely.

Liberating products goes beyond software: eBay freed Trade, Second Life freed socializing, IKEA freed furnishings and the USA freed entrepreneurism. Software freedom is so powerful as ~100,000 mostly white males now between 40 and 60 years of age created the current information society and there are now ~30,000,000 developers with much broader demographics on the Internet today.

Outsized software profits come from

  1. Innovation
  2. Netowrk Effect
  3. Scale
  4. Lock-in

The first three apply well to F/LOSS but the fourth is not compatible with open source licensing.

Filtering results for software companies, closed and open, through the philosophy of open source business models with lower sales and marketing costs, and it may be that open source companies can scale in size with profitability the same as closed source, but get to higher levels of profitability at faster rate, at a smaller size.

Open Source is not a business model, but a smarter way to produce and distribute the goods.

Success in open source requires that you serve two disparate groups.

  1. Those who spend time to save money
  2. Those who spend money to save time

People in group one may recommend you to those in group two, but are unlikely to convert; still there is benefit to both groups. [To me, this is the key to open source - recognizing, serving and benefiting from both groups. This is why community is so important.]

Marten found a baker's dozen of open source business models in active use today. I'll link to the online version when available. All of them are hybrid models that provide free software, while charging for something else, from services to hardware.

OSBC2007 SF Keynote 4

Hacking the Newspaper: How an Open-Source Nerd from Kansas is Revitalizing Journalism, Rob Curley, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

Yesterday, Rob gave this talk in four hours at Berkeley - today, he's drinking Red Bull, and he'll be giving it in 30 minutes or he'll be pissing himself. There you go. OH, and he's using a Mac. No problem then. &#59;)

Open Source is rarely used in traditional journalism. But, now, meet Django.

Wahingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive is all about openness in everything.

The Jayhawk Basketball ticket controversy... How not to go from a system where the only way to get into a game was to have your grandparents die, leave the tickets to your parents, who die and leave the tickets to you, to a system where you can get tickets based on how much you donate to the University. Internology - get a student with a digital camera to sit in every seat in the stadium with a digital camera, and post the results as drill-down from a seating chart of the stadium. That's great, but don't post the internal memos about the decision making on the same page. |-|

Starting in 2001, they began using SMS text messaging from the web site to get information out about things like T-ball games for the kids. It evolved to send things like tornado warnings, but really, the most important thing is T-ball.

Stats to the max, with bios unlike most you will see - like arrest records. And FutureHawks, where kids could send in and sign letters of intent to play for the Jayhawks, and then report on how they played in their last game. All with supplemental data gathered in the most accurate manner possible - calling the players' Moms.

Forecast - comes from wind blowing by local landmarks easily recognized by students and alumni - e.g. the doughnut shop.

Live chats in Django.

Getting virtual - or a good excuse to expense an Xbox. Publish a full game story, with video, from a simulated game with the same teams playing that day. For the first three games, they came closer to predicting the outcome than Las Vegas.

They took these ideas to Florida's retirement community - can these ideas and technologies meet the needs of a diametrically opposed demographic. Yes.

The restaurant guide in a database that answers questions like Vegetarian Friendly and is there a dock to park the boat, but most importantly, a time-sensitive database to discover when the restaurant starts and stops cooking. When they saw that all the old folk in Naples, FL had iPods, they moved the restaurant guide to that white piece of plastic. And so the team could find pancakes at 2:00 a.m. [when the bars close, isn't it?] they put it on the mobile phone. And since you needed pancakes at 2:00 a.m. they started GODcasting - services on the go.

Contents how you want it: iPod, mobile, PSP. In the newspaper industry, if you can get your content on a device, you can expense. Expect many more devices to be supported soon.

OnBeing gets the real scope from the horse's mouth - the person on the street and the videographer and the audience's comments. The interviews take an hour, and are edited down to 90 seconds.

Questions

Paying for support? One programmer on staff at their skunkworks, who write Django and supports it.

Why was Django created? They needed the "cliff notes" of programming, so that they could have an idea at lunch and go live with it by supper.

The real story for me from this high energy presentation was the power of innovation in custom software development. 'Tis great that Django is available for others to grow and build upon, and I would like to hear from them.

OSBC2007 SF Welcome 2

Matt's pondering the question "How to get the second day people to follow the schedule?" The rooms almost empty - everyone is off breaking their nightly fast. :p

Hmm, Blackberries interfere with the audio system in the room, Treos, etc are fine. So, Blackberries should be turned off. Finally, after years of missteps, score one for Palm. My Lifedrive is happy.

The first Keynote of the day, the fourth of the conference, will give us some of the cutting edge prognostications as to where Open Source may be in the next two to five years.

OSBC2007 SF Day 2

Yesterday, I didn't think to mention what a great location the Palace Hotel is. First, it is very historic, having been established in 1875. Second, it is a beautiful venue. Third, it is very conveniently located, at the corner of Market Street [the main drag in San Francisco] at New Montgomery, which is between 2nd and 3rd streets, making it right in the heart of the Financial District. Around the corner, at 2nd and Mission, is Mondo Caffé, which I've enjoyed since I worked in an office above circa 1995. The Thirsty Bear is another block down New Montgomery past Mission, on Howard. Great coffee, freshly brewed beer and marvelous tapas, surrounded by everything you could need - like when I ran across Market to the Radio Shack to buy new batteries for my podcasting lavaliere microphones. What could be more convenient? BART to the Palace - take the Montgomery BART stop, exit via the Market | Post stairs, which lead to the turnstiles to exit BART, keep to the left and leave through the New Montgomery Street stairs, which bring you to Market Street in front of the Palace Hotel. That's convenience. B)

I hear the rock music now - it's time to go in for Matt's day 2 Welcome.

OSBC2007 SF Keynote 3

Copyleft Business Models: Why it’s Good Not to Be Your Competitor’s Free Lunch, Eben Moglen, Columbia University Law School.

Anyone who has heard Eben knows that it's useless to try and capture the nuance and delightfulness of his speech.

The story he's telling of the history of the computer industry and it's evolution out of and back to open source is wondrous.

One point that Eben makes, which touches on an argument a friend and I have been having via email, is how the United States in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries had the problem of attracting people to this land of opportunity, and the impact on Intellectual Property law of today. Quite different from the Immigration laws of the past 50 years, or the debate that's going on in our Congress today.

The source of the strength, and the fundamental model, of the USA century, was that after World War II, the USA built the Interstate Highway system, invested in public medical research facilities, and created a secondary, tertiary and quaternary education system second to none.

How Not to Be Your Competitor’s Free Lunch

  1. Don't tolerate software or service monopoly.
  2. Stand up for Freedom. Freedom here is not some empty generality; it has content, meaning: share and share alike; what's ours is yours too, as long as you play by the rules. e pluribus unum or by other words GNU/Linux &#59;)

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At the beginning, The Open Source Solutions Blog was a companion to the Open Source Solutions for Business Intelligence Research Project, and book. But back in 2005, we couldn't find a publisher. As Apache Hadoop and its family of open source projects proliferated, and in many ways, took over the OSS data management and analytics world, our interests became more focused on streaming data management and analytics for IoT, the architecture for people, processes and technology required to bring value from the IoT through Sensor Analytics Ecosystems, and the maturity model organizations will need to follow to achieve SAEIoT success. OSS is very important in this world too, for DMA, API and community development.

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