One of the most popular trends in the tech community is open source software. While open source has been around for a while, only recently has it truly taken off in terms of popularity. These aren’t some niche startups looking to gain new fans and attention through an open source effort, either. Many of the largest tech companies in the world have seen the benefits of going the open source route, releasing some of their most ambitious products to the public to see how it might be improved and perfected. The movement toward open source has truly gained momentum since so much open source tech can be found in areas like containerisation and cloud computing. As these trends have exploded in popularity, so too has the open source option. The following are just a few big products that come from open source projects in recent years.
Netflix is no stranger to using large audiences to get feedback. If anything, it works into their business model. So it should come as little surprise that Netflix employs Spinnaker, an open source continuous delivery platform. The move to open source is actually a relatively recent one for Netflix, as they made the announcement in November. Spinnaker helps the company update its software across its entire infrastructure, a massive undertaking if there ever was one. Since Spinnaker works with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform, with support for Microsoft Azure on the way, its attributes lend itself well to open source.
Apache Spark shouldn’t be unfamiliar to anyone with even a passing interest in open source products. Spark is, put simply, one of the largest Apache projects out there, with thousands of people contributing to improving the tool. Large tech companies like IBM have even invested their money and resources into its success. Spark deals closely with big data and machine learning, which means that getting access to collected data is much easier. The analytic engine also specialises in large-scale data processing, doing some from various different sources, something that has become necessary in the new era of big data we live in.
Google has also joined in on the open source craze. The tech giant has released Kubernetes, a container orchestration system which basically works as a way to manage and run a whole host of applications that were built in Docker and Rocket containers. The main goal of using Kubernetes is to make online applications a lot more efficient as they are being run, in part, by distributing containers over multiple hosts. This all adds up to an increase in reliability as well. Since Kubernetes can run on several different cloud and data center services, it’s highly versatile and it’s easy to deploy applications to clusters quickly.
While Kubernetes is a recent development, Presto has been an open source project since 2013. The SQL-on-Hadoop engine was first released by Facebook, and it plays a big role in how the social networking website works. Facebook collects tons of data about its users, and Presto forms the foundation around which the site has built its analysis tools. This is how newsfeeds, recommendations, and advertising is constructed, making Presto a valuable part of Facebook operations.
Also of note in the Apache open source project sphere is Mesos, which helps to manage thousands of servers using containers to host these applications. Mesos essentially manages data center resources, treating it like a single computer. With tasks distributed across nodes, more efficient management is offered. Mesos works best for big data applications and programs embedded with analytics. Developers can also run programs like Cassandra, Hadoop, and even Spark on Mesos.
Azure has long been a supporter of open source software. Late in 2015, Microsoft and Red Hat announced a new partnership offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Microsoft Azure. Red Hat and Microsoft will also collaborate on .NET, a software development framework, giving developers access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings.
Open sourcing will continue to grow
With so much emphasis being placed on open source technology, it’s no wonder we’re seeing much more of it in current products. No matter which company is promoting it, it appears that pursuing an open source strategy is a trend that will likely continue into the future. We may come to a point where everything, from new mobile applications to software defined storage, will be released to the public at some point. With so many minds and skills going toward making the best product possible, the trend toward open source can best be viewed as a positive development.
Learn the skills
As the number of open sourced products grows, as does the need for IT Pros to be able to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. Below are a number of Microsoft Virtual Academy courses designed to help you get the skills you need to use Linux in Azure: