tom callaway (spot) wrote,
tom callaway

FUDCon Thoughts - Eucalyptus

At FUDCon, Greg DeKoenigsberg said something that resonated with me (and I paraphrase), but it was this: After 10 years of being at Red Hat, it is easy to forget that most of the rest of the world, even in the IT industry, doesn't really understand Open Source. To most folks at Red Hat, it is intuitive, something we understand/accept, myself included.

In listening to Greg talk about Eucalyptus, I forced myself to set aside any biases I may have had about that company or their history, and really try to remember that for better or worse, they were a company founded by graduate students, who really didn't understand business or open source, and they initially operated on the assumption that in order to survive as a new company, they needed to make decisions to establish the business. A lot of those decisions weren't Open Source friendly, but it is far more likely that this was out of ignorance than malice.

When I look at Eucalyptus today, I see two very smart decisions, and those decisions have names: Andy Grimm and Greg DeKoenigsberg. I've worked with both for years, and I have a huge amount of respect for both. Even above that: I know that they truly get Open Source, and that neither of them sees it as a loss leader for a proprietary offering, or a "Childrens Edition". By bringing them onboard at Eucalyptus, at least in my eyes, it shows that the decision makers at Eucalyptus:
* Realize that they're not operating as a true Open Source Company today
* Want to change that sooner rather than later (understanding that change doesn't happen overnight)
* Are empowering people with the right expertise to enact that change

I respect that greatly. Greg told me about some interesting changes coming soon for Eucalyptus, and since I'm not sure what is public and what is not, I will keep those under my hat, but I am definitely going to be watching them closely over the next year or so. Actions speak louder than words, but so far, they're moving in a better direction. I hope that it leads them away from an Open Core model.

ADDENDUM: It has been pointed out to me that there are other awesome Eucalyptus folks who understand Open Source, like Garrett Holmstrom, it was in no way my intent to omit them, or imply that all Eucalyptus employees who are not Greg or Andy do not understand Open Source, this is obviously false.
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