Home Depot, LinkedIn, Best Buy, Telefonica, American Express, and Walmart are all using open source technologies to power their cloud infrastructures. Why? Because the open source community enables faster innovation with higher quality and lower costs than proprietary software. LinkedIn's release of Apache Samza for big data is just 1 example of innovation that isn't stemming from proprietary software development.
Here's some evidence:
However, with the rising popularity of open source, some traditional vendors have been “openwashing”―only giving the appearance of open source―their otherwise proprietary cloud infrastructure stacks with OpenStack support. If the rest of the solution is proprietary, you could be locked in to the vendor and suffer potentially slower, more limited innovation than with a true open source cloud infrastructure.
As emerging open source technology trends such as application containers―a more efficient and scalable alternative to traditional virtualization―gain momentum, organizations building their clouds on open source will be able to easily take advantage of these innovations without having to wait for proprietary solutions to catch up. In fact, Google says it runs more than 2 billion containers a week for its services. And Twitter and Airbnb already use open source container software.
“Shared development is enabling faster development with higher quality and lower costs. This is causing the software value chain to change.”‒ Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, Linux Foundation
1. "Widespread Use of Open-Source Software Demands Strong and Effective Governance," August 2014, Mark Driver, Gartner