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From established company to up-and-comer to flat-out project, here is a list of 11 open source-oriented efforts that corporate IT should keep its eyes on.
Founded: Incorporated in 2008 in Oslo, Norway; incorporated in United States, June 2009.
Location: Oslo, Norway; St. Petersburg, Fla.
Product company offers: Cfengine 3, the community edition, is a server configuration management technology. Cfengine Nova, the commercial edition, is server life-cycle management software for building, deploying managing and auditing.
Why it is worth watching: An open source product for 16 years, the company added technical support and commercial-based support just this year for software that includes a unique policy-based, real-time repair feature. The company now has a version designed for full server life-cycle management.
How the company got its start: Cfengine's began in 1993 as a way for author Mark Burgess (then a post-doctoral fellow of the Royal Society at Oslo University) to get his work done by automating the management of a small group of workstations in the Department of Theoretical Physics. Subsequently, he developed the notion of convergent operators, which remains the core of Cfengine's reliability to this day.
CEO and background: Thomas Ryd has worked with technology start-up companies for a number of years and serves on the board of directors at such companies as XT Software AS and Encap AS. Other senior executives include Bob Whirley, president and COO for U.S. operations, and Mark Burgess, chairman, founder and CTO, who also is a professor of network and system administration at Oslo University College.
Funding: Private and self-funded with plans to evaluate a finance round in the spring of 2010.
Who uses the product: The customer list includes AT&T, AMD, Bloomberg, Chevron, Disney, Ebay, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, PayPal and Yale University.
Location: Burlingame, Calif.
Product company offers: Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop is a packaging of the Apache Hadoop open source project for massive data processing. It is designed for easy installation, configuration and upgrading. Cloudera Desktop is a uniﬁed GUI for Hadoop applications delivered in a Web browser. The client is focused on collaboration and extensibility.
Why it is worth watching: Cloudera offers commercial support and extensions for the Hadoop project, a de-facto industry standard for data-driven computing. Hadoop does deep analysis and parallel processing of massive amounts of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, to support distributed applications. It runs on data center infrastructure -- clusters of inexpensive commodity servers. Hadoop co-creator Doug Cutting, who named the project after his child's stuffed elephant, joined Cloudera in September.
How the company got its start: Three of the four co-founders were leading data teams at Facebook, Google and Yahoo. They were using Hadoop and saw the opportunity to bring that power to the enterprise.
How the company got its name: The company is convinced that dynamic, elastic computing infrastructure (internal or external) is the future of the data center -- it is the era of the cloud (in other words, cloud + era).
CEO and background: Prior to Cloudera, Mike Olson worked at Oracle as vice president for embedded technologies after his former company, Sleepycat Software, was acquired by Oracle in 2006.
Funding: $11 million total, including $6 million in Series B funding in June from Greylock Partners and Accel Partners.
Who's using the product: Cloudera's Distribution for Hadoop is popular in a number of verticals, including advertising, biotech, Web, financial services and telecom. Cloudera does not release a customer list.
Location: Redwood City, Calif.
Product company offers: CubeTree is a free enterprise collaboration suite built on a social networking platform. The platform provides profiles, activity feeds, micro-blogging, wikis, blogs, polls, file sharing, link sharing and search. It integrates with other platforms including Twitter, Google Docs and Salesforce.com, and the standard version has basic security including SSL. The premium version adds access restrictions based on IP addresses or browser, password policies and the ability to turn features on and off. Its open .source stack includes Debian, MySQL, memcached and Ruby on Rails. There is a CubeTree API for developers.
Why it is worth watching: CubeTree is banking that the next generation of enterprise collaboration will be built on enterprise social networks. The platform is a cloud service and includes a "Feedback" widget to collect user innovations.
How the company got its start: Carlin Wiegner (CEO and co-founder) and Ross Fubini (chief evangelist and co-founder) worked together at Symantec. The pair believes there is an opportunity to change the way employees in large, geographically distributed companies interact and innovate.
How the company got its name: Everyone in the enterprise should have a voice, that is, it helps bring the folks in cubicles into the conversation.
CEO and background: CEO Wiegner, an avid cyclist and Kindle addict, previously served as vice president and general manager at Symantec, where he was responsible for the strategy, development and delivery of the e-mail, instant messaging and Web gateway security software. Previously, he was with Brightmail, Oblix, Vitira and was CEO at StarCode Software.
Funding: CubeTree is a private company funded by Trinity Ventures (Series A venture round) and Mitch Kapor (seed round). It has raised $3.5 million to date.
Who uses the product: SAP is its largest customer. It deployed CubeTree in 2008 within a small workgroup at SAP Labs U.S. in Palo Alto, and now has 6,000 users worldwide.
Founded: January 2009
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Product company offers: Eucalyptus is an open source system for implementing on-premise private and hybrid clouds that turn data center resources such as computers, networks, and storage into a cloud that is controlled and customized by IT. Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition with VMware support enables customers to implement Eucalyptus using VMware's vSphere, ESX or ESXi. It also supports Xen and KVM in the cloud. With Amazon Web Services interface compatibility, Eucalyptus EE with VMware is used in the same way customers use the Amazon EC2 public cloud.
Why it is worth watching: Eucalyptus is distributed with every release of Ubuntu, including the new Karmic Koala version that was released last month, and is the underlying technology that powers the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC). The software can be deployed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Debia and OpenSUSE. Customers announced include Eli Lilly and NASA.
How the company got its start: In the fall of 2007, Eucalyptus started as a research project in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The first release of Eucalyptus was May 2008.
How the company got its name: Internally there was a contest to create an acronym from Eucalyptus, a popular tree in Santa Barbara. The winner: Elastic Utility Computing Architecture Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems.
CEO and background: Woody Rollins is an entrepreneur with a varying background in finance and real estate.
Funding: Series A, $5.5 million; April 2009 by Benchmark Capital and BV Capital
Who uses the product: Customers announced include Eli Lilly, NASA and a collection of "Global 2000 companies with household names" that Eucalyptus does not reveal. Verticals include government, finance/banking, pharmaceutical, high-tech and telecommunications.
Founded: 2005, first shipment January 2007
Location: Milpitas, Calif.
Product company offers: GlusterFS is a clustered file system for storing unstructured data. It features a global namespace, but does not have a centralized meta-data server. Instead, GlusterFS uses an index to look up files, employing a hashing algorithm to find a unique identifier for each file. Each server in the cluster knows where every file is stored. GlusterFS runs on commodity hardware and can scale from a few terabytes to multiple petabytes.
Why it is worth watching: GlusterFS delivers scalability and performance using a unique architecture. The file system is not embedded in the kernel but rather installs on top of the operating system to simplify installation and configuration. The architecture means file system functions can be combined in a modular way to build configurations for nearly any workload.
How the company got its start: The founding team came together at California Digital Corporation (CDC) in 2003 to build a supercomputer for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory called "Thunder." When put into production in 2004, it was the second fastest supercomputer in the world, achieving 22.9 Teraflops. The GlusterFS prototype was produced in 2007.
How the company got its name: Gluster is a combination of GNU plus cluster.
CEO/CTO and background: Hitesh Chellani is co-founder and CEO. Prior to Gluster, he ran business development and systems engineering for California Digital Corporation, where he helped deploy the Thunder supercomputer. Anand Babu Periasamy, co-founder and CTO, has an extensive background in clustered computing and storage. Prior to Gluster, he was CTO of California Digital and led the engineering team behind Thunder.
Funding: Series A funding of $4 million from Nexus Venture Partners and Index Ventures.
Who's using the product: Noble Energy, i-cubed, Atria Communication, Health Insight Technologies, Iowa Telecom and Stanford University. GlusterFS has been downloaded over 180,000 times and has an open source community of 800 members.
Founded: September 2004
Location: Bellevue, Wash.
Product company offers: Likewise provides integration and identity management software for mixed environments. It is focused on security, operational efficiencies and regulatory compliance. Likewise Open integrates authentication across Linux, Unix and Mac environments with Microsoft's Active Directory as the hub. Likewise Enterprise includes the core authentication and adds migration, group policy, auditing and reporting modules.
Why it is worth watching: Likewise functions in a hybrid open source model, with Open as a free version and Enterprise as proprietary software. The industry will have to wait to see if that trend catches on, but until then they can consider Likewise's sales and revenue growth of slightly more than 100% during the past year. The company has distribution deals with Red Hat, Novell and Canonical/Ubuntu, and partners in Apple, Citrix, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun and VMware.
How the company got its start: Enterprises with Windows and Linux servers needed integration and management and Likewise stepped in with integration hooks along with Windows-based management tools.
How the company got its name: In December 2007, the company name was changed from Centeris to Likewise Software to build on the success of the Likewise product brand with large enterprise customers.
CEO and background: Barry Crist has 21 years of experience in technology sales and operations at Mercury Interactive, Network Associates (now McAfee), Trusted Information Systems and Apple Computer.
Funding: October 2005: $5 million in Series A financing from Ignition Partners. March 2006: $11.5 million in Series B financing from firms including Trinity Ventures, Intel Capital and Ignition Partners. March 2009: $10 million Series C round; lead by Ignition, Trinity and Intel Capital.
Who's using the product: More than 30,000 organizations use Likewise and some 325 enterprise customers, which include British Petroleum, Delta, Disney, GAP, Kraft, Morgan Stanley, NASA, NBC Universal, New York Stock Exchange, Safeway/Safeco, and the U.S. Senate.
Location: San Mateo, Calif.
Product company offers: Lucid Imagination, the first commercial entity dedicated to the Lucene/Solr open source search technology, provides commercial platforms, support, training and consulting along with certified, tested versions of Lucene and Solr.
Why is it worth watching: More than 4,000 organizations worldwide use Lucene/Solr technology to develop sophisticated full-text search applications. Many of the key contributors and committers to the Lucene/Solr project are on staff at Lucid Imagination. The Lucene search library is a Top 15 open source project, according to the Open Source Census.
How the company got its start: The company was launched in February 2008 and is a venture funded company.
How the company got its name: A word play on the term Lucene; it is designed to show to that the company can help users take clear advantage of their Lucene/Solr implementations.
CEO and background: Eric Gries, a 20-year high-tech veteran, joined Lucid Imagination after serving as an executive-in-residence at Granite Ventures. Prior to Granite, Eric was president and CEO of XACCT, a network mediation firm. Eric also has served as general manager of Compuware's Network and Systems Management division, worked for ACI, Cullinet Software and DEC.
Funding: A $6 million round of Series-A funding from Granite Ventures and Walden International. Also, a strategic investment from In-Q-Tel (IQT), an independent strategic investment firm that identifies innovative technology to support the CIA and the broader U.S. intelligence community.
Who uses the product: The Lucene/Solr project is used by Orbitz, MTV, mySpace, LinkedIn, Comcast Interactive Media, AOL, Ticketmaster and Zappos. The company is working with several of these companies, but does not publicly identify which ones.
Location: San Diego
Product company offers: MindTouch Standard, Enterprise and Core deliver a platform for creating, aggregating and sharing information regardless of form. It is part wiki, portal and application server, and includes integration with Microsoft productivity tools, database and CRM adapters, charting tools and directory integration.
Why it is worth watching: In 2009, MindTouch was cited as a Forrester Wave Strong Performer and the best product alternative to Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus. "It is kind of like an app server with a wiki-like interface," says Aaron Fulkerson, CEO and former distributed systems researcher at Microsoft.
How the company got its start: The founders, Fulkerson and Steve Bjorg, wanted to keep working together after Fulkerson left Microsoft. Once Fulkerson finished his bachelor of science degree, they tossed around some ideas and the concept of bringing wikis to market struck a chord with them.
How did the company get its name: Bjorg happened to still own the domain name he had used for his senior project in college many years earlier. It was called "MindTouch" because it created a touch-based interface for a person with autism who couldn't talk .
CEO and background: It has taken co-founder and CEO Fulkerson less than three years to grow the small open source project into a top open source collaboration platform with tens of millions of users globally and a list of Fortune 500 customers and midmarket companies. Prior to MindTouch, Fulkerson was a member of Microsoft's Advanced Strategies and Policies division and worked on distributed systems research.
Funding: Private investment
Who's using the product: MindTouch serves more than 16 million users and its customers include Mozilla, Microsoft, Intel, Intuit, The Washington Post, EMC, Harvard, Timberland, The U.S. Army and The United Nations.
Product company offers: The core openQRM Team is four freelance programmers who also provide professional services for the platform: data center design and implementation; setup, customization and adaption to existing infrastructure; third-party tool integration; server templating and migration; long-term support/maintenance/ update-service; and training and workshops.
Why it is worth watching: openQRM is designed to fully automate data centers and manage them in a scalable way. Among its many characteristics is a unique architecture that unifies physical- and virtual-machine deployment within a single management console. OpenQRM integrates with Xen, KVM, Citrix Xen, VMware Server, VMware 2 and VMware ESX, and supports P-to-V, V-to-P and also V-to-V migrations. The software supports NFS, iSCSI, AOE, NetApp and EqualLogic. openQRM's storage integration uses snapshots to clone servers for rapid deployment, backup/restore, server versioning, disk re-sizing and persistent cloud storage. It also has an "N-to-1" failover allowing groups of servers to use a single "standby." It also has the ability to fail over from physical to virtual machines, and an open API to integrate with existing business processes and other data center related tools.
How the company got its start: QRM is based on a commercial product called dQRM that was developed by Qlusters, which shut down in 2008. Matt Rechenburg was the project manager when the company open sourced the software in 2006. In 2008, Matt and his team rewrote the entire server plus plug-ins and ported it all from Java to PHP.
How the company got its name: QRM = Qlusters Resource Manager
Leaders and background: Matthias Rechenburg manages the openQRM Project. Other core team members are Sascha, Thomas, Andre and Christoph.
Funding: "Yes, welcome," Rechenburg says.
Founded: 2009 ; Reductive LLC, 2003
Location: Portland, Ore.
Product/project offered: Develops Puppet, an open source data center automation framework. Puppet allows organizations to manage their computational resources with more consistency, flexibility and transparency by auditing and enforcing configuration policies. Reductive Labs provides training, support and implementation services.
Why it is worth watching: Puppet allows users to declare policies on how machines should be configured in a generic way. Puppet enforces meta data in order to prevent "configuration drift", especially in highly virtualized environments.
How the company/project got its start: Luke Kanies was a systems administrator frustrated with the state of available tools, which drove him to become an automation expert. As a consultant, he provided server automation training at Los Alamos National Labs. After years in the field, he built Puppet to support new levels of server automation.
How the company/project got its name: Puppet is a descriptive name for how the framework will do your bidding with the systems being managed.
CEO and background: CEO Kanies describes himself on Twitter as "Puppet author and recovering sysadmin."
Funding: A $2 million round from True Ventures and other investors in June 2009.
Who is using the product: Google, NYSE, Red Hat, Rackspace, Northrup Grummon, Digg, Oracle, Stanford University and Twitter.
Founded: August 2005.
Location: Los Altos, Calif.
Product company offers: Talend offers several open source data integration and data quality technologies. It offers freely downloadable versions
under the GPL license: Talend Open Studio for data integration and Talend Open Profiler for data quality. Talend also offers
enterprise extensions, technical support and IP indemnification to its Integration Suite, Integration Suite RTx, Integration
Suite MPx and Data Quality. The technology is available in software-as-a-service and cloud deployment.
Why it is worth watching: Talend started with data integration then added data quality and Master Data Management (MDM), which is the first open source MDM.
How the company got its start: Talend's founders, Bertrand Diard and Fabrice Bonan, were running the data integration practice for a systems integrator. Frustrated with the tools they were given and intrigued by the rise of open source, they decided to add an open source alternative to proprietary integration products.
How the company got its name: The founders wanted to include the letters ETL, which stands for Extract, Transform and Load in the data-integration market. They put the letter "D" at the end to signify that they perform integration differently than pre-existing vendors.
CEO and background: Diard is Talend's co-founder and CEO. Prior to Talend, he managed a business unit for one of Europe's largest systems integrators. He began his career at Manpower.
Funding: Talend has received over $20 million in total funding from Balderton Capital, AGF Private Equity and Galileo Partners.
Who's using the product: The company has more than 800 paying customers, including global organizations such as Yahoo, AOL, Sony Online Entertainment, Levolor (a division of Rubbermaid) and Fashion Institute of Merchandising and Design (FIDM).
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