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5 Open-Source Trends to Watch

Open source

… convergence along verticals.”

And as that continues, more networking trailblazers are contributing code to these core projects. After all, that involves their own developers in the projects they need to create for their own infrastructures. A win-win. Channel partners with dev chops have similar opportunities.

When it comes to container and Kubernetes trends, Kirksey sees their growth and development as a continuing evolution of companies’ move to the cloud.

“We’re seeing projects beginning to go up the stack, from Linux to OpenStack or Kubernetes in the cloud, to virtualization and to projects such as automotive-grade Linux,” she said.

At the same time, she said, “other things will open up new opportunities that no one has thought of yet.” Partners should follow these trends as well and be ready to jump in when they see opportunities for growth.

Kirksey also sees includes more efforts by open-source projects to gather input from the end users of their work.

“We’re seeing this trend with telecom operators and also in the form of end-user advisory groups,” she said. “We’re now getting those comments fed straight to the developer community.”

It makes sense: “As certain open-source projects become more strategic to their businesses, they want to have more comments and insights,” she said.

Functions as a Service

Interarbor Solutions' Dana Gardner

Interarbor Solutions’ Dana Gardner

Dana Gardner, principal analyst with Interarbor Solutions, told us the open-source trend he sees as most important today involves serverless computing, which includes functions-as-a-service (FaaS). The open-source project working on this technology, OpenFaaS, is a cloud-agnostic way to write code to one standard without having to worry about the underlying virtual servers or cloud providers, said Gardner.

“It gives you an upgrade path, despite being completely decoupled from any particular cloud provider’s platform,” he said. FaaS “has captured the interest of developers and operators, in enterprises big and small.” A major benefit of the project, like so many open-source efforts, is that it is aimed at keeping the lock-in potential low and reinforcing the ability to leverage new technology with low risk and low cost.

“With OpenFaaS you are baking functions into Docker containers so you can run those as standard microservices outside of the OpenFaaS platforms,” Gardner said. “This is not necessarily serverless. You still have to manage the underlying servers. But it does allow you to take advantage of your existing Kubernetes, Nomad or Docker Swarm Clusters.”

For the channel, this could be a growing market for bringing newfangled services to customers who are seeking new ideas in IT service delivery.

Market Stabilization Is Here

Gartner analyst Thomas Murphy sees the stabilization of the open-source marketplace as critical to open source becoming “either the foundation or complete solution” for companies. Stability is also key for getting partners to invest in skills and solutions.

According to Gartner, open source is so pervasive today that it is being used in …

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