Open source changed computing and all that it touches (which is to say just about everything). It redefined the economics of IT and gave control over their software back to users. But the effects went far beyond the source code. Ultimately, open source made possible a style of community-led development that hadn’t really been possible previously. It effectively turned what had been a top-down vendor-led approach to designing and delivering product into one that springs from ideas coming from everywhere. Open source development can look messy compared to integrated proprietary products, but time and time again, the choice, flexibility, and innovation stemming from open source have won out.
Furthermore, open source has helped stimulate the creation of the truly open and extensible standards, protocols, and APIs which make the modern interconnected computing world possible. The Internet as we know it would not be possible without open source, and neither would cloud computing. It isn’t that the cloud wouldn’t have developed as quickly or that it would cost more or not become as functional: it’s that cloud computing simply would not exist without open source. The majority of leading public cloud providers rely on open source, and that reliance on open source is permeating many other cloud computing-related projects and products as well.
But cloud isn’t just another software development project done the open source way. It extends the idea of sharing code to sharing compute resources, networks, and storage. It recognizes that IT isn’t just about the enterprise datacenter—or just about a particular public cloud provider. It taps the wellspring of innovation wherever that innovation is taking place rather than depending on one company’s engineering team. It puts users, not vendors, in the forefront of technology decisions and directions. It enables new approaches to developing, delivering, and integrating applications and data across distributed environments.
This book provides historical perspective, technical depth, and user insight. It brings together the thoughts of industry luminaries, it provides a context for how cloud computing fits with important industry trends including big data, mobility, and open source. Drawing on his years of experience with helping clients navigate the technology landscape, author Gordon Haff places cloud computing within a framework that consider's both computing's past—and its future.
About the author:
Gordon Haff is cloud evangelist for Red Hat, the leading provider of commercial open source software. He is a frequent speaker at customer and industry events. He also writes extensively on and develops strategy for Red Hat’s portfolio of open hybrid cloud solutions.
Prior to Red Hat, as an IT industry analyst, Gordon wrote hundreds of research notes, was frequently quoted in publications such as The New York Times on a wide range of IT topics, and advised clients on product and marketing strategies. Earlier in his career, he was responsible for bringing a wide range of computer systems, from minicomputers to large Unix servers, to market while at Data General. Gordon has engineering degrees from MIT and Dartmouth and an MBA from Cornell’s Johnson School of Management.
He lives west of Boston, Massachusetts in apple orchard country and is an active hiker, skier, sea kayaker, and photographer.
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