Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Pat Romanski, Aria Blog, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Open Source

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud Computing and Open Source

Cloud Computing and Open Source

Vinayak Hegde's Blog

The web moved from static HTML pages to Web 2.0. Software is increasing moving away from the delivery to the “hosted” model. Computing resource acquisitions is moving from buying to renting. This has given rise to new paradigms of delivering software such as Software-as-a-Service or SaaS and Cloud Computing. Open source software has been one of the key enablers of these new revolution alongwith open standards (HTML, HTTP, CSS, XML etc). Whether it is Linux or Apache or Firefox or Python.

Open Source developers contribute code for a variety of reasons:

  1. To scratch an itch - fulfill a particular current need and release it to the world hoping that someone finds it useful.
  2. To contribute back to the community they are part of or has helped them in the past.
  3. Some contribute it because they enjoy writing code and feel altruistic because they help the world.
  4. Some release code to help it get widespread adoption (marketing strategy by companies) so they can charge for premium support and build a community of committed contributers.

These varied motivations are visible in the multiple licenses in the Open Source community. The most popular licenses are GNU GPL, GNU LGPL, BSD, MIT and Apache Licenses. The relationship between these open source software (OSS) licenses is illustrated below:

Relationships between popular Open Source Licenses
Attribution: David Wheeler [http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/floss-license-slide.html


Software was earlier delivered via floppies then CDROMS and now software downloads. Enter the internet and the web. They have completed changed the way people work and communicate. The web moved from static html pages to Web 2.0. Software is increasing moving away from the delivery to the “hosted” model. Computing resource acquisitions is moving from buying to renting. This has given rise to new paradigms of delivering software such as Software-as-a-Service or SaaS and Cloud Computing.

Open source software has been one of the key enablers of these new revolution alongwith open standards (HTML, HTTP, CSS, XML etc). Whether it is Linux or Apache or Firefox or Python. As mentioned above the GPL which is by far the most popular Open Source licence. When the GPL was written, the modes of software delivery were either through physical media or by downloading from a FTP server (GPL v2 was written in 1991 when the web was in it’s infancy). The GPL has a strong copyleft clause (called as tit-for-tat by Linus Torvalds) which was crucial to the success of Linux, GCC and MySQL - three of the building blocks of much of the SaaS and Cloud Computing infrastucture. It has given the programmers who contributed to it the confidence that their work would benefit the whole world and remain free for distribution, rather than being exploited by software companies that would not have to give anything back to the community. This ethos is central to the motivation of many of the programmers who contribute to open source software (OSS).

However the GPL has some “loopholes” which Application Service Providers (ASPs) exploit. Since the distribution clauses of GPL v2 (and now GPL v3) do not govern the software whose functionality is accessed over a network (mostly the Internet), ASPs and SaaS companies were able to make changes to OSS and not give them back to the community. The license that fixed this loophole was the Affero GPL v3. This has a clause that governs the usage of a software over the Internet.

13. Remote Network Interaction; Use with the GNU General Public License.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, if you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network (if your version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version by providing access to the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge, through some standard or customary means of facilitating copying of software. This Corresponding Source shall include the Corresponding Source for any work covered by version 3 of the GNU General Public License that is incorporated pursuant to the following paragraph.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, you have permission to link or combine any covered work with a work licensed under version 3 of the GNU General Public License into a single combined work, and to convey the resulting work. The terms of this License will continue to apply to the part which is the covered work, but the work with which it is combined will remain governed by version 3 of the GNU General Public License.

This clause is important to all Cloud Computing and SaaS vendors as any modifications they make to the software licensed under Affero GPL will have to be released to the users who use that software at nominal or no cost. This has made atleast a few vendors unhappy

 

[This article appeared originally here and is republished in full with the kind permssion of the author, who retains full copyright.]

More Stories By Vinayak Hegde

Vinayak Hegde is an Architect with Akamai. He is co-founder of start-up support group Headstart and an
active member of ACM's Bangalore chapter. He works with the Analytics Team in Akamai Technologies, Bangalore,
India.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
MiamiWebDesigner 08/24/08 07:10:41 PM EDT

Kudos to the Cloud Crowd for Re-Inventing the Wheel!

One thing 30 years in the IT industry has taught me is that the more things
change, the more they stay the same. Another is that the only memory we
seem to access is short-term. A third is that techno-marketeers rely on
that, so they can put labels like "revolutionary" and "innovative" on
platforms, products and services that are mere re-inventions of the wheel
... and often poor copies at that.

A good example is all the latest buzz about "Cloud Computing" in general and
"SaaS" (software as a service) in particular:

http://tinyurl.com/6let8x

Both terms are bogus. The only true cloud computing takes place in
aircraft. What they're actually referring to by "the cloud" is a
large-scale and often remotely and/or centrally managed hardware platform.
We have had those since the dawn of automated IT. IBM calls them
"mainframes":

http://tinyurl.com/5kdhcb

The only innovation offered by today's cloud crowd is actually more of a
speculation, i.e. that server farms can deliver the same solid performance
as Big Iron. And even that's not original. Anyone remember Datapoint's
ARCnet, or DEC's VAXclusters? Whatever happened to those guys, anyway...?

And as for SaaS, selling the sizzle while keeping the steak is a marketing
ploy most rightfully accredited to society's oldest profession. Its first
application in IT was (and for many still is) known as the "service bureau".
And I don't mean the contemporary service bureau (mis)conception labelled
"Service 2.0" by a Wikipedia contributor whose historical perspective is
apparently constrained to four years:

http://tinyurl.com/5fpb8e

Instead, I mean the computer service bureau industry that spawned ADAPSO
(the Association of Data Processing Service Organizations) in 1960, and
whose chronology comprises a notable part of the IEEE's "Annals of the
History of Computing":

http://tinyurl.com/5lvjdl

So ... for any of you slide rule-toting, pocket-protected keypunch-card
cowboys who may be just coming out of a fifty-year coma, let me give you a
quick IT update:

1. "Mainframe" is now "Cloud" (with concomitant ethereal substance).

2. "Terminal" is now "Web Browser" (with much cooler games, and infinitely
more distractions).

3. "Service Bureau" is now "Saas" (but app upgrades are just as painful,
and custom mods equally elusive).

4. Most IT buzzwords boil down to techno-hyped BS (just as they always
have).

Bruce Arnold, Web Design Miami Florida
http://www.PervasivePersuasion.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...