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What’s moving and shaking in the open-source community?

(Image credit: Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock)

Open source software has its roots in the very birth of software and computing itself. The field was first pioneered by scientists, researchers and academics with information and knowledge being freely and widely shared. Over the years open-source has matured and behind this maturity is a community of developers, collaborating and sharing to make better innovations faster. Successful open source projects like Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL and many others are growing super-linearly. As 2017 gathers steam, the open-source community is also rapidly developing. This year, as businesses focus on rightsizing their resources, containers will become more common as they give businesses the ability to leverage highly portable assets or resources, which makes the move into micro-services much easier.   

Although containers have been more of a fad than a mass-adopted solution over the past few years, they are set to take off. This is reinforced as enterprises are beginning to look into the possibility of cloud services. Interestingly, the main priority for most businesses is not technology; instead, they would rather have turnkey offerings over customised solutions.   

To this end, public cloud providers will be a pillar in modern businesses. Service providers often leverage OpenStack due to its maturity, which, when combined with its inherent cost savings, is a drive for service providers to deploy it as their open-source software of choice to power private and public clouds. OpenStack makes it easier and cheaper for service providers to hire developers to build what they need rather than buying a bulky proprietary solution and making limited customisations. 

A whole host of companies already use OpenStack to control their computers, storage and networking resources, and its friendliness with heterogeneous infrastructure makes it an ideal solution for service providers who don’t want to be tied to a single cloud solution.   

The ADC space in particular embraces open-source. ADC vendors will provide better and tighter integration packages for various open-source projects, especially surrounding ADC-generated telemetry. 

Embracing open-source means that more eyes will find vulnerabilities in open-source projects. Bad guys love them and companies hate them. Many companies leverage open-source technologies to help build enterprise-class and cloud-ready solutions. 

However, with open-source vulnerabilities making headline impacting news, open-source projects are not as trust worthy as they have historically been perceived. Technology vendors, as they push to gain mind share as security companies, will start to identify vulnerabilities in open-source codes more often. This will hopefully lead to patches being produced sooner.

Another important issue on the agenda is automation. Mainly fueled by enterprise DevOps adoption, the automation of software delivery and infrastructure changes will free developers to spend more time creating and less time worrying about infrastructure. Development teams want to leverage large amounts of powerful software quickly; improved automation will allow this. 

This year, Common Service APIs will grow in importance. APIs have been an integral part of open source for a while, and in 2017 the need for good quality APIs increases. Smooth and easy integrations fuel swift implementations and open the door to speedy, feature rich deployments. Vendors who do not provide good APIs will miss out in 2017. 

Open-source projects will continue to emerge to further development using RESTful APIs, which deliver application back-end services and other functionality.

This year, we are sure to get more value out of the data we collect through increased adoption of analytics and machine learning to identify patterns that are actionable. This will fuel an increase in business intelligence, and give organisations a competitive advantage.  

Data becomes more actionable as business intelligence rises. Collecting mountains of data is great, but it’s what you do with that data and what you learn from it that matters.   

This year will be the year of information superiority, as businesses use data as a key differentiator. Enterprise DevOps adoption intensifies and until recently, DevOps stymied the enterprise. They knew they needed to adopt this new skillset and the principles that come with it, but through a lack of available talent and ambiguous definitions, they’ve been left a bit in the dark.   

As DevOps tools and processes become more mainstream, enterprises in 2017 will finally be able to take advantage of DevOps and break down the barriers between developers and IT. 

Expanding on from this, architectures will become more standardised. The implementation of frameworks will make most infrastructure look the same, which will lead to cloud infrastructure looking similar because the underlying infrastructure is more services-based versus network topology. For businesses, this means they’ll care less about the infrastructure itself and more about the services that power it. 

The significance of open source has been continuously increasing over time. The additions to open source projects, the total project size (measured in source lines of code), the number of new open source projects, and the total number of open source projects are growing at an exponential rate. The total amount of source code and the total number of projects double about every 14 months. 

Duncan Hughes, Systems Engineering Director, EMEA at A10 Networks 

Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock

Duncan Hughes
Duncan Hughes has 25 years’ experience in the field of advanced communication systems including data centre, virtualisation, security and application delivery. Duncan joined A10 Networks in 2013 from UK start-up Gnodal, prior to that he spent some 10 years as the Pre-Sales Manager at Foundry Networks which was acquired by Brocade in 2008.