Greg DeKoenigsberg Speaks

Today is the day.

Posted in Uncategorized by Greg DeKoenigsberg on June 27, 2012

Eucalyptus 3.1 is open for business.

No more artificial separation between Enterprise and Community.  No more frenzied checkins to the “enterprise edition” while the separate-but-equal “community version” atrophies.  No more working on new features behind closed doors for months on end.  No more wondering about what’s on the roadmap.  No more going weeks without any publicly visible check-ins.  No more.

Today is the day that we release Eucalyptus 3.1, and reassert our position as the world’s leading open source cloud software company.  With the emphasis on open source.  We’ve been working to get to this day for months, and now, the day has come.

For those who want to get started with the new bits immediately, the Faststart installer can be found here.  With two virt-capable laptops installed with Centos 6.2 minimal, you can have a private cloud running in 15 minutes if you follow the directions — and a few hours if you don’t.  :)

Package repositories for the various distributions can be found here.

Source code is on Github. Here’s a look at all the recent commit activity.

Anyone who has questions can ask them here or here.

A list of all currently known bugs in 3.1 can be found here.

The list of features we’re currently scoping for 3.2 can be found here.

We have lots of other projects moving forward on Github as well.  Projects like Eutester for automated testing of Eucalyptus (and Amazon) instances, Recipes for automated deployments of Eucalytpus (and Amazon) instances, our nextgen installer Silvereye, and many others.

All of these projects are open to community participation and transparently managed.  We hold weekly meetings on IRC.  You can find the weekly meeting schedule here.  Minutes for all meetings for the past six months can be found here.

We’re also hiring.

“Build together. Run together. Manage together.”  That’s been the mantra for this release, and it speaks directly to the culture of our company.   If I learned anything at Red Hat, it’s that company culture matters.  It literally makes or breaks the company.  Especially in open source: either you’re an open source company, or you’re not.  We are deeply committed to the open source model, because we believe that it creates the best software, and we’re going to prove it.

The most exciting thing about today’s release, to me, is that we’re only getting started.  It’s been a long climb to get to this plateau. We’ve still got a lot of mountain yet to climb, though, and we’re looking forward to the challenge — but that can wait for another day. Maybe two.  Today is about appreciating where we’ve been, and enjoying the view.

Well done, Eucalyptians.  Well done.

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10 Responses

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  1. hspencer77 said, on June 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Reblogged this on More Mind Spew-age from Harold Spencer Jr. and commented:
    Eucalyptus 3.1 is finally out! Come check it out!

  2. Henrik Ingo said, on June 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Greg

    It seems almost everyone on twitter is mightily confused by your messaging around the 3.1 release. In particular, many people seem to assume that Eucalyptus has changed business models and is no longer a so called “open core” product (ie a mix of open and closed source).

    Could you please clarify following questions to us:

    1) The Eucalyptus core code base is now on github and is GPL. Fine. If I want to contribute some patch to it, will I have to sign some contributor agreement, or can everyone now contribute as GPL?

    2) If a CLA is needed, why?

    3) Your list of features still contain commercial-only features, available only to paying customers. In fact, it seems they are exactly the same as in 3.0 release. Correct? (http://www.eucalyptus.com/eucalyptus-cloud/iaas/features)

    4) I assume the commercial-only features are delivered to customers under a proprietary software license, correct?

    5) If yes, can anyone else also develop proprietary plugins against Eucalyptus, or are 3rd parties expected to adhere to the GPL also for plugins?

    I realize that having a modularized code base is a huge advantage to you in many ways. In fact, one benefit is exactly that it makes it easier to pursue an open core business model! Also it is great to hear that the open source parts that were neglected before, are at least there now. So I don’t want to belittle any of these achievements.

    At the same time, of course it makes me suspicious that I’ve understood something wrong when everyone else says one thing and I read something else. I suppose it is possible that I’m right and everyone else is confused but, you know, it is certainly then best to double check if that really is the case. So I’m asking these questions with this mindset, to clear up the confusion. (who it is that is confused remains to find out).

    Congratulations for the release btw, seems like the engineering team is really productive, which in the end is *the* necessary ingredient for success. Will Mårten shave more body hair now?

  3. Greg DeKoenigsberg said, on June 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Hi Henrik, and thanks. Your questions deserve a considered response; I will get to them as I can in the coming days.

    • Henrik Ingo said, on June 29, 2012 at 2:24 am

      Thanks. Given that 4 out of 5 are simple yes/no questions, I’m sure you don’t need to consider too much!

      • Greg DeKoenigsberg said, on June 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm

        Well, I felt that the questions deserved more consideration that a simple yes/no, so I took some time. Also, it’s been a busy week. :)

        “It seems almost everyone on twitter is mightily confused by your messaging around the 3.1 release. In particular, many people seem to assume that Eucalyptus has changed business models and is no longer a so called “open core” product (ie a mix of open and closed source).”

        We call our business model “open platform”. We produce a fully functional platform that is free and open source software for all and anyone. The architecture of our product supports APIs and pluggability.

        For our paying customers, we currently produce plug-ins to enable interoperability with closed-source environments (such as VMware’s hypervisor). Customers need this interoperability, and we *must* provide it — but because those add-ons are plug-ins, it means that the platform itself is exactly the same for users and customers. And the pluggability of course means that anyone can build plug-ins for Eucalyptus.

        The heart of the change: we no longer carry separate codebases. It’s an absolutely critical change for us. This change was not about our business model; it was about our development model. To be an authentic open source company, it’s absolutely critical to practice open source development properly. That means focusing on architecture of participation, transparency, culture, and so on. I believe that we have made tremendous strides in this regard in the last year, and the 3.1 release is the culmination of these efforts. I am now satisfied that we are adhering to proper open source development standards, and can again enjoy the benefits thereof. In fact, we have already received our first community patch that solves a nasty Windows DHCP issue.

        “1) The Eucalyptus core code base is now on github and is GPL. Fine. If I want to contribute some patch to it, will I have to sign some contributor agreement, or can everyone now contribute as GPL?”

        We warmly welcome code contributors. We ask them to sign a contributor licensing agreement (CLA). In this we follow the exact same practice as Red Hat, Canonical, and most other open source companies. As always, users are free to fork, patch and redistribute their own versions of the code, a right guaranteed to them by the GPL.

        “2) If a CLA is needed, why?”

        As noted above, most open source companies use CLAs. There are several reasons for requiring a CLA, and they are enumerated in the CLA itself, so that document should be considered authoritative, as I am not a lawyer — and when in doubt, you should always consult your own counsel about such matters. In general, though, the rationale for CLAs are: (a) to ensure that the contributor actually does have the legal right to contribute the material in question; (b) to ensure that any other rights that may not be covered by the license terms are secured (e.g. patent rights); and (c) to ensure that the company retains broad rights to redistribute the code under multiple licenses, and yes, that can also include proprietary software licenses. Note that our CLA allows the contributor to keep copyright to their code, and also requires us to continue to license the contributed code under the GPL, so the contributor does not forfeit any rights they would otherwise have.

        “3) Your list of features still contain commercial-only features, available only to paying customers. In fact, it seems they are exactly the same as in 3.0 release. Correct? (http://www.eucalyptus.com/eucalyptus-cloud/iaas/features)”

        The main difference from the past is that we now have a single Eucalyptus platform, and it is the same for users and customers. That change also means that the High Availability (HA) feature, a key part of the platform, is now free and open source software.

        We introduced HA earlier for paying customers only. Now it’s all in the open. This is an innovative new feature that no other cloud platform has yet developed. By opening it, we are enabling other open source cloud platforms to learn from our code and even use portions of it if they want.

        And you are right that what were previously commercial-only features in 3.0 continue in 3.1 as commercial plug-ins (as I described above).

        “4) I assume the commercial-only features are delivered to customers under a proprietary software license, correct?”

        Yes, that is correct, but note that it is technically more correct to call them plug-ins. They are not features of the platform; they are additional plug-ins that the platform can very well live without.

        “5) If yes, can anyone else also develop proprietary plugins against Eucalyptus, or are 3rd parties expected to adhere to the GPL also for plugins?”

        Anyone else can develop plug-ins and other derivative works in accordance with the GPL. We leave the specific interpretation of the GPL to the lawyers, but there are clearly scenarios in which you can keep your modifications for yourself, and other scenarios under which you are obliged to offer your modifications to everyone else.

        Ultimately, I believe that what matters most is to behave as an open source company behaves. Are we strengthening the open source culture at our company? Are we encouraging our users to hack and improve, and providing them with the tools and the resources and the infrastructure to do so? Are we sharing productively with other open source projects? Are we continually adding value to the commons of open source software? Are we innovating? Most importantly: are we solving the problems of our users? I think we are now doing a much stronger job in all of these areas — but the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.

      • Henrik Ingo said, on June 30, 2012 at 7:45 am

        Hi Greg

        Ok, thanks for taking the time to write such a long comment then.

        “We call our business model “open platform”. We produce a fully functional platform that is free and open source software for all and anyone. The architecture of our product supports APIs and pluggability.”

        You are of course free to call your business model what you want, but what you describe is still text book “open core”.

        Admittedly “open platform” isn’t as commonly used as “open core”, but I personally like to stick to Matthew Aslett’s categorization of different open source related business models, and in that categorization “open platform” is actually a different kind of business model:

        http://blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2011/01/06/updated-open-source-business-strategy-framework/

        In other words, when I say “text book open core”, the above blog post is the “text book”. It might make sense for Eucalyptus to be aware of these categories. Overloading existing terminology with different meanings will surely confuse people in the future too.

        Your long reply contains some interesting comments I feel inspired to reply to. But if you are busy (I’m on vacation…), feel free to answer/comment on these whenever you have the time, if ever.

        ***

        “For our paying customers, we currently produce plug-ins to enable interoperability with closed-source environments (such as VMware’s hypervisor).”

        FWIW, if a company wants to build a business selling closed source extensions, then I actually find this approach somewhat justifiable. I mean, of course closed source is always closed source, but there is some justice in saying that if a customer is already paying truckloads of money to Microsoft / Oracle / VMware / whoever, then he can also pay for a closed source product from your company.

        That said, in the case of Eucalyptus I have never heard this argument being used. 2 years ago Eucalyptus made the headlines with your CEO vehemently defending the idea of open core in general.

        “In this we follow the exact same practice as Red Hat, Canonical, and most other open source companies.”

        And I know you are well aware how much criticism Canonical’s decision to adopt such a practice generated. Since when does Red Hat require a CLA though? (Given your background, I’m sure you can find a link without wasting too much time :-)

        Personally, I don’t see CLA’s as such objectionable. Sure, they limit participation in your community because many companies, such as my employer, will never sign your CLA, but as such they are not closed source or open source. There are even some good reasons to use a CLA. In practice though, experience has thought that pretty much the only reason a vendor requires a CLA is that he wants to use my code in a proprietary product.

        “our CLA allows the contributor to keep copyright to their code,”

        This is pretty common, but…

        “and also requires us to continue to license the contributed code under the GPL”

        …this I haven’t seen before. It is an interesting attempt at a reasonable balance from your side. At the same time, it doesn’t prevent Eucalyptus to receive my code and enhance it, and publish enhancements only as closed source. (This happened recently in the MySQL world, where a competitor contributed the code to a MySQL authentication API, and Oracle soon published several closed source modules to that API. Just goes to show what you get from approving of CLA’s with commercial vendors, if you ask me.)

        “Yes, that is correct, but note that it is technically more correct to call them plug-ins. They are not features of the platform; they are additional plug-ins that the platform can very well live without.”

        To me this argument doesn’t make sense. Technically, whether you are closed or open, it almost always makes sense to implement features in a modular fashion. Features and functionality is what you sell customers. Plugins is what a developer writes. But they are the same thing :-)

        “Ultimately, I believe that what matters most is to behave as an open source company behaves. Are we strengthening the open source culture at our company? Are we encouraging our users to hack and improve, and providing them with the tools and the resources and the infrastructure to do so? Are we sharing productively with other open source projects? Are we continually adding value to the commons of open source software? Are we innovating? Most importantly: are we solving the problems of our users?”

        And this, right here, I think is the reason there is and will continue to be confusion. When you are calling Eucalyptus an open source company, I think there are many people out there that attach certain expectations to that claim. (And then they will go out and tweet that “Eucalyptus is now an open source company!!!”) At least for me, an open source company is something like Red Hat, who is committed to selling completely and only open source products. Eucalyptus otoh doesn’t come off as being more of an open source company than say Facebook or Oracle, both of whom make valuable contributions to the open source community, and then build a proprietary business out of it.

        Like we have discussed, it does seem to be the case that your proprietary feature set is currently quite narrow, and targeted at compatibility with other proprietary products. But from where I’m standing I cannot distinguish whether this just happens to be the case today, or whether there is actually a commitment from Eucalyptus to at least commit to some level of minimalism (if not complete purity) when it comes to closed source. Having worked for your CEO at MySQL, and having corresponded with him after that, I have no reason to believe such a commitment is to be expected either. That’s why I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when the entire twitterverse congratulates you for having now become an open source company.

        Everything else you say in the above quote is of course true. Most closed source companies today add value to the open source commons. (And this is a huge achievement!) And they have learned to be good citizens in the open source community, a few patent lawsuits notwithstanding :-) Most importantly, for a business the most important thing is to deliver value to your customers, and in this respect Eucalyptus seems to be doing rather well, so you can feel proud about that.

  4. Matt Aslett (@maslett) said, on July 3, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Since our business strategy framework is being treated as some kind of definitive work here (thanks for that) I thought I might add a perspective.

    Firstly, the strategy Eucalyptus is using is not what we described as ‘open platform’. However, I don’t think anyone other than us has used the term ‘open platform’ in this way, and I had to look it up to remember what exactly I was referring to :-) so I wouldn’t criticise anyone for using the same term to describe something else.

    Based on what I have read I disagree with the suggestion that Eucalyptus’s strategy is “text book open core”. According to Andrew Lampitt’s original definition http://alampitt.typepad.com/lampitt_or_leave_it/2008/08/open-core-licen.html open core is a variant of the dual licensing strategy where the closed source edition has features that are not available in the open source edition.

    It seems to me that Eucalyptus has shifted away from separate code bases towards a single open source licensing strategy. Since it is not dual licensing, it’s can’t be open core. While the plug-ins might be closed source the plug-in architecture described above is a prime example of what we called a “value-add subscription” revenue strategy.

    Some people might argue that the result is very similar to open core. That depends on your perspective, but based on Greg’s description, Andrew Lampitt’s definition of open core and our business strategy framework it seems pretty clear to me that Eucalyptus is not using an open core licensing strategy.

    • Henrik Ingo said, on July 3, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Ah yes, this is the same difference we’ve had before. While we generally agree with the concept of open core, as before, I don’t see why the internal architecture of the product’s code base matters to you. (But I know you handled MySQL the same way.) To you, if a proprietary feature is delivered together with the main package, you categorize it as open core, but if the same code is delivered as a separate package it is not. To me it feels very artificial to treat these two as different just because of an internal architectural decision.

      Eucalytpus’ strategy is *also* a value-add subscription strategy. This is a form of revenue strategy. Open core on the other hand is a form of product licensing strategy. It would be interesting to know how you’d then categorize the new Eucalyptus model, if not open core. Is it “open complement”? (I always thought of open complement as something like MonYog or InnoDB Hotbackup is for MySQL – separate products.)

      • Matt Aslett (@maslett) said, on July 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

        It’s not about an architectural decision, it’s about the licensing of the core code base. If it is dual licensed and the closed source version is a superset of the open source version, that’s open core. Otherwise, it’s not.

      • Henrik Ingo said, on July 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

        Ok, re-reading your original article I now finally understand your logic. I think my approach would have been more useful (separating by how product brand is used) but I now have to concede that you at least built a coherent categorization.

        In that case, Eucalyptus is “open complement” then, in your framework. I now also realize in your framework you analyze copyright ownership as a separate variable – ie whether you sell proprietary software as a complement to your own or someone else’s open source product is – in your framework – an independent variable. (I think I had never realized that. I now understand how products like EnterpriseDB and Cloudera’s Hadoop Distribution can be categorized. They are “open complements” of a Foundation/Distributed core.)

        In practice I fear people will just call any mix of open source and proprietary licensing as “open core” – and who knows, “the people” might be right in doing so – so I suppose it is now a good time to stop hogging Greg’s blog for a discussion that probably interests 2 people in the whole world.


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