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How OpenLogic Gives Back to Open Source


Matt Asay blogged this morning about our announcement today covering our results and learnings from last year.  We covered our significant growth in customers as well as the trends we have seen in customer usage over the past year.

In his blog, he asked some questions about OpenLogic’s commitment to giving back to the open source community as well as vendors.  I know that our business model is different than a typical commercial open source vendor, so it’s sometimes not as visible how we give back to the open source community.  Here are just a few of the ways that OpenLogic supports open source:

⪠     We pay open source developers.  Unlike a commercial open source vendor, we don’t just hire committers on one particular open source product.  Instead we pay many open source developers across many open source projects to resolve issues, fix bugs, contribute fingerprints or work in other ways.

⪠     We donate to open source communities.  We add a percentage of the amount that we pay individual committers and contributors and donate that to open source communities.  

⪠     We create open source projects.  We have created and released an open source project called OSS Discovery to help companies find installed open source in their organizations.  We are also contributing a significant number of resources to The Open Source Census, which will help all open source vendors and communities by counting and publicizing the use of open source in the community.

⪠     We partner with and share revenue with commercial open source vendors.  Whenever possible, we like to partner with commercial open source vendors behind the projects we support.  These partnerships involve some type of revenue share arrangement between us and the partner to jointly provide support for an open source package.

⪠     We provide a channel and revenue options for the 95%+ of open source projects NOT backed by a commercial vendor.  Of the top packages used by our enterprise customers, the vast majority have no commercial vendor.  We focus in the middleware and infrastructure portion of the stack, where there are fewer vendors than in business applications.  For these projects, we provide developers with revenue opportunities by paying them to resolve customer issues. 

Matt raises the question of competition between OpenLogic and a few commercial open source vendors where there is overlap of offerings – such as RedHat (around JBoss) and MySQL.  His concern seems to be that we might take some revenue from these vendors without money going back to the community.  In fact, we prefer to partner with the vendors involved whenever possible.  When that is not possible, we do pay community members directly to resolve issues.  In either case, money is going back into the open source community that creates the project. 

As open source continues to evolve, we will find a greater diversity of business models that support the open source communities we all depend on.  The industry won’t be limited to business models where there is a one-to-one relationship between a commercial open source vendor and an open source project.  Because OpenLogic is pioneering a new business model, we are committed to continually developing new ways to give back to open source communities and create profitable partnerships with other vendors in the open source ecosystem.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
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