A Few Additional Thoughts On Open Source and Cloud Computing

The other day I wrote about the benefits, and more specifically, about the growing number of companies adopting hybrid proprietary/open source application environments within their IT department, all to the tune of more choice and flexibility within their respective businesses.

Today, along the same lines of giving customers choice, Matt Asay blogged about the comments that our CEO John Roberts recently made regarding the advantages of open sourcing the cloud, and in the process having greater freedom over which cloud platforms you’re able to run with.

As Asay states:

…by virtue of having its code open source, SugarCRM also gets the benefit of letting its software proliferate through these different cloud providers, which can then return to pay SugarCRM money if the service proves itself out and it wants either support or additional software not available in the open-source version.

But to that I’d add one other invaluable asset: the developer community. Developers are already building extensions to multiple platforms from the Amazons and IBMs of the world, and that’s a resource that Microsoft or Google will never be able to fully leverage.

If taken at its truest form, cloud computing is about complete transparency, not just in terms of which cloud provider to choose from, but also in terms of developers. Developers should be able to interact with “the cloud,” to do business with it, and without having to get on the phone with a sales person, or submit a help ticket to a vendor. In other words, the customer should be able to truly get on-demand, “cloud” computing when they demand, whenever they demand, and how they demand it.

One thought on “A Few Additional Thoughts On Open Source and Cloud Computing

  1. I think you missed the boat in the last post. Many are comparing cloud computing to the Utility (electricity) model of the early 20th century. Instead of everyone having their own power plant, we pay for what we use. That said, one does not do business with a cloud, you do business with people using it. In the same way your XBox does not interact with electricity, it interacts with the television, which also uses electricity. It is our role to make sure that developers have access to the Xbox or the TV so that they can be creative and play nicely together, and then consumers will by the device(s) because they work. It will be the developers that need to choose which platform they support (Amazon, Google, MSFT) Just in the same way that TVs need to plug into the wall in each country.

    It is the consumer that we need to abstract from the complexities, not the developers – not yet anyway, I think we are a long ways away from that.

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