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Will EMC Wrap Products In Open Source?

If people are skeptical about open source on the desktop or in mobile spaces, the one place where open source has generated a good deal of consensus is in that amorphous place so commonly referred to as "the cloud". Just ask EMC, judging from its most recent open source acquisition.

If people are skeptical about open source on the desktop or in mobile spaces, the one place where open source has generated a good deal of consensus is in that amorphous place so commonly referred to as "the cloud". Just ask EMC, judging from its most recent open source acquisition.

EMC is best known as the owners of a slew of intriguing outfits that all center more or less around infrastructure-related computing. Their most prominent brand is VMware, now facing serious challenges from both open source (Linux, VirtualBox) and proprietary (Microsoft) competitors.

I didn't think VMware would ever go open source as a competitive strategy, but nothing rules out EMC picking up open source companies and having them provide open source complements to VMware's proprietary core. That may well turn out to be EMC's long-term strategy: you pay for the core platform or apps and maybe for some other services, but all the add-ons and management stuff and bonuses are not only free but open source as well.

The company EMC just picked up, SourceLabs, is described this way in the above-linked ChannelWeb piece: "... a developer of technology that makes it easier for systems administrators, developers and quality assurance managers to solve issues related to Linux and open-source Java." That sounds like folks who are more than capable of delivering very powerful open source tools to manage and add value to most anything -- like, oh, a proprietary cloud computing infrastructure? Sounds about right to me.


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