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Global Column | The true value of open source in the cloud

If you think that running open source in the cloud will prevent vendor lock-in, it is a mistake. But open source certainly brings freedom and independence to developers.

The’Value of Open Source in the Cloud Era’, a recent IBM-sponsored survey by O’Reilly Media, is full of hope. For example, of the 3,400+ respondents, 70% said they prefer open source-based cloud service providers. That’s a huge number for open source advocates. However, when you ask what it means to be’open source based’, things change. After all, all existing software products are based on open source. And 79% of respondents said they switched to open source in the cloud to prevent vendor lock-in. It is true that this story is also somewhat ridiculous for a number of reasons.

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There is one thing that stands out behind this open source friendly response. Cloud expertise solutions help developers ship their code faster, but open source technologies allow developers to build their careers independently of specific cloud service providers. In other words, open source is the ultimate career management skill.

Open source magical realism

If so, let’s go back to superstition. First of all, about 55% of respondents said that’learning cloud computing skills specific to a single cloud service provider limits career growth’, but most of all developers do exactly this. This is because most companies focus on one cloud service provider. Of course, many companies end up using different applications or infrastructures from various cloud service providers. However, I don’t think it’s’multi-cloud’ and’intentional multi-cloud’.

There are also intended multiclouds, but they are very rare. As former Citrix Vice President Christian Rayleigh said, “As always, the problem is the lack of alternative possibilities. The possibility of substitution doesn’t drive sales. The grand promise of being a service provider disappears as soon as the concept of daily necessities leaves the showcase. Smart friends say they use the Best of Breed. The true multicloud concept is insanity.”

When companies hire people, they have the cloud in mind. If you know how to use the native services of Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, AWS, or Alibaba, they will treat you.

The report is a bit irrational to explain why developers should switch to open source to reduce lock-ins. The risk of proprietary software is presented as follows.

  • Solution companies may ask for a huge price increase.
  • The solution provider might remove a core feature that companies use most because they no longer want to support it.
  • A solution company may quit its business or radically change its business model and abandon its existing corporate customers.
  • Solution companies can enter niche markets with corporate customers, become direct competitors, and abuse their advantage, penalizing companies.
  • There may be bugs or strange performance problems in functions that are used a lot by companies.
  • Companies may have difficulty finding people with expertise in their proprietary products.

Unfortunately, all of these factors apply equally to open source vendors. For example, corporate customers who build environments based on open source products don’t like stories like this. “Don’t worry that the project is no longer being actively developed. You don’t have the code. You can apply yourself.” It’s not a consolation word for companies.

In fact, in an AWS-sponsored survey by my team, what business customers really want is to use the best open-source software without the burden of thinking about it. Whether it’s proprietary or open source software, corporate customers want the software to “just work.”
But it’s a different problem for developers.

Freedom to be anywhere

Developers have a big impact on a company’s purchasing decisions, but they usually don’t have control. What developers have control over is their career development, so they highly praise open source.

As it is important for developers to know the complex options of a particular cloud service provider, many open source technologies give developers the skills to move between clouds. So developers see open source as a decisive factor in developing their careers.

Ⓒ O’Reilly Media

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s worthless for developers to know Google Big Query well. Rather, it means knowing TensorFlow or other open source technologies is more valuable. 79% of O’Reilly survey respondents said that open source software has more technical flexibility than proprietary software.

The illusion that open source has no vendor lock-in is unreasonable, but open source is helpful at the individual level, not the enterprise level. In conclusion, the more a developer knows open source, the more valuable it can be appreciated.

Of course, the developer knows this too. When asked about the importance of Kubernetes to their careers in O’Reilly’s survey, 52% said it was “very important”. 80% of the respondents answered that it was important, even if they were’somewhat important’.

In conclusion, developers will build their careers centering on open source technologies while increasing their value within the enterprise by investing in specific cloud technology technologies, and will maintain their independence through open source. [email protected]

Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.

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