Infrastructure

Open Technology Summit focuses on contributors

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The Open Technology Summit, now in its fifth year, has become an annual state of the union for the established and budding open source projects that IBM supports.

The conclusion drawn at Sunday’s OTS during IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas is that the state of open tech is strong and getting stronger.

The event brought together leaders from some of today’s top open source cloud projects: OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, the Linux Foundation, JS Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation, plus the IBM leaders that support these projects.

“The open source community is only as good as the people who are contributing,” Willie Tejada, IBM Chief Developer Advocate, told the capacity crowd.

Judging by the success stories shared on stage, contributor quality appears to be quite high. In short, the open source community is thriving.

Finding success in the open

The Linux Foundation has become one of the great success stories in open source, thanks largely to the huge number of contributors it has attracted. In his talk, the organization’s executive director, Jim Zemlin, told the crowd that across its various projects, contributors add a staggering 10,800 lines of code, remove 5,300 lines of code and modify 1,875 lines of code per day.

Zemlin called open source “the new norm” for software and application development.

Cloud Foundry Foundation executive director Abby Kearns stressed her organization’s commitment to bringing forward greater diversity among its community.

“When I think about innovation, I think about diversity,” said Kearns, who took over as executive director four months ago. “We have the potential to change our industry, our countries and the world.”

Like Cloud Foundry, the OpenStack community has seen tremendous growth in its user community thanks to increased integration and cooperation with other open source communities. OpenStack Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce and Lauren Sell, vice president of marketing and community services, shared their community’s pithy, tongue-in-cheek motto:

The community, which aims to create a single platform for bare metal servers, virtual machines and containers, has seen 5 million cores deployed on it. Contributors have jumped from 323 in 2014 to 531 in 2016.

Sell echoed several of the other speakers, when she noted that we’re living in a “multi-cloud world,” and that open technologies are enabling it.

IBM: Contributors, collaborators, solution providers

While it’s well known that IBM has helped start and lead many of the open source communities that it supports, the company also offers a robust set of unique capabilities around these technologies. The company is constantly working to expand its offerings around open technologies.

For example, IBM Cloud Platform Vice President and CTO Jason McGee previewed the announcement that Kubernetes is now available on IBM Bluemix Container Service.

“This service lets us bring together the power of that project and all of the amazing technology in the engine with Docker and the orchestration layer with Kubernetes and combine it with the power of cloud-based delivery,” McGee said.

David Kenny, senior vice president, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, also spoke about “the power of the community to move the technology faster and to consume it and learn from it.”

“We’re very much committed as IBM to be participants,” he said. “Certainly IBM Cloud and IBM Watson are two pretty big initiatives at IBM these days, and both of those have come together around the belief that open source is a key part of our platform.”

Moving forward as a community

Looking toward the future of open tech, it was clear that its success will depend on the next generation of contributors.

Tejada went so far as to call the open source movement a religion. “The most important piece is to understand the core premises of the religion.” He identified those as:

  • Embrace the new face of development
  • Acknowledge and adapt to the new methodologies of application development
  • Seize the opportunity to do more with less at an accelerated rate

For more on IBM work in open technology, visit developerWorks Open.

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