In the cloud native world, open source solutions are popular and widely used. Velero, an open source software, is quickly becoming a standard for Kubernetes backup and has been pulled over 100M times from Docker Hub! It is the most popular choice amongst Kubernetes community for backup and recovery.
In a recent episode of TFiR, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Sathya Sankaran, Chief Operating Officer at CloudCasa by Catalogic, to talk about the power and potential of open source ecosystem. In this blog about the video, we review what is driving open source adoption to succeed in the cloud-native computing world, with insights from Sathya on what drove CloudCasa to fully embrace Velero backup.
Factors Driving Adoption of Open Source Cloud Solutions
Sathya mentions that trust and community collaboration, drive open source adoption in the cloud
- Trust: The Foundation of Open Source
Trust is a key element of open source software because it allows users to see and use the source code without any hidden agendas or restrictions. Users can verify the quality, security, and functionality of the code themselves, or rely on the feedback of other users. There is also no risk of vendor lock-in or licensing issues with open source software, which makes it more attractive for cloud users who value flexibility and choice.
- Community: The Engine of Open Source
Community is another crucial factor for open source adoption because it creates a network of users, contributors, maintainers, and advocates who collaborate and share their knowledge and experience with the product. Community members can help each other with issues, provide feedback, report bugs, fix errors, add features, improve documentation, and promote the product to others. A strong and active community can increase the trustworthiness, reliability, and popularity of an open source product.
Velero Backup: Open Source Solution Built on Trust and Community
In the video interview, Sathya explains how trust and community collaboration have been critical for the success of open source solution, Velero. Velero backup is built on trust and community values and aims to make Kubernetes data protection easy and reliable. It was originally created by Heptio, a company that was acquired by VMware in 2018. Velero has active maintainers from VMware, Red Hat, Microsoft, Dell and CloudCasa and the Velero community itself has over 200 contributors. This creates a shared development model that ensures Velero’s openness and diversity and helps to future-proof how Velero gets used.
Velero has a large and growing community of users who trust and use Velero for their mission-critical workloads. Velero recently reached 100 million Docker pulls, which is a remarkable milestone for any software or technology. This shows how much demand and adoption there is for Velero backup in the cloud-native ecosystem. Let’s review the different types of open source projects to get more insights into why Velero is so popular.
Understanding Open Source Project Types and Their Commercial Opportunities
Open source software is a diverse and dynamic phenomenon that can take many forms. Different open source projects have different patterns of user and contributor growth, which affect their potential for commercialization. Sathya talks about Nadia Eghbal’s book, Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, that identifies four types of open source projects:
- Pet projects: These are projects with low user growth and low contributor growth. They are usually personal projects that are open sourced by their creators, but do not attract much collaboration from others.
- Clubs: These are projects with low user growth but high contributor growth. They are niche projects that appeal to a small group of users who also become contributors and are good for socializing and learning from peers.
- Stadiums: These are projects with high user growth but low contributor growth. They are popular projects that are used by millions of people (e.g. Velero backup) but developed by a few core contributors.
- Federations: These are projects with high user growth and high contributor growth. They are often standard-setting software that defines an industry or a domain, such as Linux or Kubernetes, and involve people from different companies.
These open source project types have implications for the commercial opportunities and challenges that projects face. By understanding these project types, we can better appreciate the diversity and dynamics of open source software in the cloud-native ecosystem. For example, Velero backup is a Stadiums project with sophisticated software that requires specialized skills to contribute to. That’s why it is a good project for offering support or consulting services, as they demand expertise and assistance from the users.
Different Ways to Contribute to an Open Source Community
Sathya discusses the different ways that companies can contribute to an open source community and benefit from it by:
- Contributing with writing code, and helping with bug fixes, feature additions, core development.
- Participating in forums and community events and supporting users in a Slack channel by answering questions to help people successfully adopt the open source technology.
- Building a service that allows people to manage some of the challenges and limitations of open source software, such as the lack of UI, configurability, and democratization.
- Providing commercial support so that companies can pick up the phone and speak to experts to troubleshoot.
The level of contribution by a company will be driven by the importance of open source to their business strategy or solution.
Why Support is a Key Consideration for Switching to Open Source
Open source software can offer many benefits for enterprises, such as transparency, flexibility, and innovation. However, choosing a solution is not a simple decision; it requires careful evaluation of the costs and benefits involved.
According to Sathya, a recent poll by CloudCasa by Catalogic showed that most respondents preferred open source solutions with paid support as the best model. He explains that enterprises need to consider support services before switching to open source. Experts are needed to configure and troubleshoot the open source software to fit the enterprise’s unique environment, which may require specific skillsets that are not readily available. Support services are needed to provide assistance and guidance for the users of the software, as well as to ensure its reliability and security. He believes that paying for support services or managed services on top of open source software is a win-win situation for enterprises, as they can get a more trusted and widely adopted technology for a lower price than proprietary software.
How CloudCasa for Velero Adds Value to Velero Backup Users
At the recent KubeCon, CloudCasa launched CloudCasa for Velero, a new offering that fully embraces and supports Velero. CloudCasa, the leading Kubernetes Backup, is happy to full engage with this wonderful community and offer an enterprise support and service option for Velero backup users. CloudCasa offers both Velero management as a service as well as affordable support for customers adopting Velero. We provide value to existing Velero users by offering services that enhance the user experience and accessibility of open source software, such as a centralized UI, a guided recovery path, and commercial support for multi-cluster and multi-cloud environments.
If you use Velero backup today, we’d love to demonstrate how we your day to day life easier. Our team knows Velero well and we have a ton of expertise in protecting EKS, AKS, and GKE environments. To get more immediate support from our experts, sign up for CloudCasa for Velero plan to get Standard support for Velero.
Watch the TFiR Interview on “Trust and Community Collaboration Drive Open Source Adoption in the Cloud”.