Top Level Open Source Projects and Technologies to watch closely in 2015.

Preamble:

Open Source Cloud Technologies are evolving quickly and are fueling growth and innovation across industries. Open Cloud Projects have made great progress over the past few years, in an effort to build an Enterprise alternative to large proprietary public clouds that are most of the time closed system and expensive in licensing fees. In this article we will present a snapshot of some of the projects that have gained momentum and have contributed to the revolution of the Cloud Computing today.

What is the Open Cloud?

To us, and to many in the Open Source Community, a project is considered to be part of the Open Cloud movement if:

  • Every component (the software to the APIs), used by the application is open to everybody (vendors and customers alike).

  • The project or application is released under an Open Source License, and approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) which guarantees full and unrestricted access to its code base. Examples of such license include the GPL used by the Linux kernel or the Apache and MIT licenses.

  • The active community of users and contributors around the project is vibrant and contributes openly.

Open Cloud Technologies have contributed greatly in the technological innovation that the Cloud Computing is enjoying today. From individuals, Startups, to Companies that participate in the Open Cloud Projects, all enjoy the same advantages as those involved in pioneering Open Source Projects. Open Cloud Projects are well adopted due to the following:

  • Improved code quality.

  • Increased security with the ability to find and fix vulnerabilities.

  • Visibility in every layer of the Stack.

  • Unrestricted access to the Code base in order to add features and influence the direction of the technology.

  • Insurance against vendor locked in.

  • Lower cost through shared development.

  • And more

Although Open Source Technologies are in their early age, Companies have already begun to assess the potential of implementing these projects in their production environment.

Cloud Technologies to Follow:

The purpose of this list is to serve as a starting point for users considering which projects to use in building, managing and deploying their own Open Cloud Solution.

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Hypervisors and Containers:


Docker Container
Description: Docker automates the deployment of applications inside a lightweight Linux container.
History: Docker was written and released by dotCloud (now Docker, Inc) in 2013.
Website: www.docker.com
Key Contributors Citrix, Docker (formerly dotCloud), Google, Kickstarter, Microsoft, Red Hat
Commercial Support: Docker
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Go (88%)
Key Users: Baidu, eBay, Gilt, Google, Microsoft, Red Hat, Citrix New Relic, Rackspace, Spotify, Yandex, Yelp, and many others.


KVM Hypervisor
Description: KVM is a lightweight hypervisor that was accepted into the Linux kernel in February 2007.
History: KVM was originally developed by Qumranet, a startup that was acquired by Red Hat in 2008. In 2013 the Open Virtualization Alliance began an initiative to increase awareness and adoption of KVM as the preferred Hypervisor of choice.
Website: www.linux-kvm.org/page/Main_Page
Key Contributors: HP, IBM, Intel, NetApp, Red Hat
Commercial Support: HP, IBM, Red Hat.
Project License: GPL
Primary Programming Language: C (95%)
Key Users: HP, IBM, Illumos, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SmartOS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu, and many others.


Linux Containers (LXC)
Description: Lightweight containers with cgroups, namespaces and security modules. Userspace tools coordinate kernel features and manipulate container images to create and manage system or application containers.
History: The effort to develop container functionality in the upstream Linux kernel began in 2006. Userspace tools, including Lxc and libvirt-lxc (both initially developed at IBM), quickly appeared for better managing containers. LXC 1.0, was released in February 2014, and was the first production-ready version of the LXC toolset.
Website: linuxcontainers.org
Key Contributors: Canonical, IBM, Oracle
Commercial Support: Canonical
Project License: LGPLv2.1+
Primary Programming Language: C
Key Users: Canonical, Debian, Heroku, Oracle, SUSE, and many others.


Xen Project
Description: Xen is a cross-platform software hypervisor that runs on BSD, Linux and Solaris.
History: Xen was originally written at the University of Cambridge by a team led by Ian Pratt. Then, in 2013m tt became a Linux Foundation collaborative project.
Website: www.xenproject.org
Key Contributors: Amazon, AMD, Cavium, Citrix, Intel, Linaro, NSA, Oracle, SUSE, Verizon.
Commercial Support: Citrix, Oracle.
Project License: GPL
Primary Programming Language: C (84%)
Key Users: BAlibaba, Amazon, Citrix, GlobalLogic, Google, IBM Softlayer, Oracle, Rackspace, SUSE Linux, Verizon and many others.

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Cloud Operating Systems:


Apache Mesos
Description: Mesos is an open source cluster management tool also described as an Operating System kernel for the Data Center.
History: It began as a UC Berkeley research project, which was adopted commercially by Twitter. In 2013 tt became a top-level Apache Foundation project.
Website: mesos.apache.org
Key Contributors: Mesosphere, Twitter
Commercial Support: Mesosphere
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: C++
Key Users: AirBnB, Atlassian, eBay, Hubspot, Netflix, PayPal, Twitter, and many others.


CoreOS
Description: A lightweight Linux distribution designed to be implemented in large-scale cluster deployments. Applications run inside containers that are isolated from the host operating system.
History: Founded by Alex Polvi, Brandon Phillips and Michael Marineau in 2013.
Website: coreos.com
Key Contributors: CoreOS
Commercial Support: CoreOS, Inc.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Go
Key Users: Deis, MemSQL, ModCloth, Rackspace, and many others.


OSv
Description: OSv is an Open Source Cloud Operating System designed to run an application stack on top of a hypervisor (Xen, KVM, and Vmware).
History: Released in 2013 by former KVM developers and founders of Cloudius Systems. The project.s beta version was released in late 2014.
Website: osv.io
Key Contributors: Cloudius Systems
Commercial Support: Cloudius Systems
Project License: BSD-2-Clause .FreeBSD.
Primary Programming Language: C and C++
Key Users: Not Available


Project Atomic
Description: Project Atomic integrates tools, patterns of container-based application and service deployment, to better deploy and manage containerized applications (Docker) quickly, reliably, and securely.
History: Project Atomic started in April 2014 and sponsored by Red Hat, Inc. Project Atomic has less time under its belt, but is emerging as a lightweight RHEL distribution based OS for quickly, reliably, and securely running Docker containers.
Website: www.projectatomic.io
Key Contributors: Red Hat, RHEL/CentOS/Fedora Community.
Commercial Support: Not Available.
Project License: GPL
Primary Programming Language: Go
Key Users: Not Available.

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Infrastructure as a Service:


Apache CloudStack
Description: CloudStack is an open source IaaS platform with Amazon Web Services (AWS) compatibility.
History: CloudStack was originally created by Cloud.com (formerly known as VMOps), a startup company that was purchased by Citrix in 2011. In April of 2012, Citrix donated CloudStack to the Apache Software Foundation.
Website: cloudstack.apache.org
Key Contributors: Citrix, Clogeny, Cloudera, McAfee (Intel), Schuberg Philis, ShapeBlue, Solidfire.
Commercial Support: Citrix
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Java (75%)
Key Users: Alcatel Lucent, British Telecommunications, CenturyLink, Datapipe, Edmunds.com, Fujitsu, IBM (Softlayer), Nokia, NTT, Orange, TATA Communications, TomTom, Verizon, WebMD, Zynga, and many more.


Eucalyptus
Description: Eucalyptus is an open-source IaaS platform with AWS compatibility.
History: Eucalyptus began as a research project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It was commercialized in January 2009 and acquired by HP in 2014.
Website: www.eucalyptus.com
Key Contributors: HP
Commercial Support: HP
Project License: GPLv3
Primary Programming Language: Java (54%)
Key Users: AppDynamics, MemSQL, Mosaik Solutions, NASA, Nokia.


OpenNebula
Description: OpenNebula is an open-source IaaS platform for private and public cloud services.
History: OpenNebula began as a research project in 2005 authored by Ignacio M. Llorente and RubéS. Montero. Publicly released in 2008, development today is via the open source model.
Website: www.opennebula.org
Key Contributors: OpenNebula Systems (formerly C12G Labs).
Commercial Support: ClassCat, Inovex, Netways, OpenNebula Systems, Terradue
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: C++ (32%), Ruby (26%), Javascript (20%)
Key Users: Akamai, BBC, Blackberry, CentOS, China Mobile, Deutsche Post ESA, Produban-Santander Bank, and many others.


OpenStack
Description: OpenStack is an open source IaaS platform.
History: In July of 2010, NASA and Rackspace joined forces to create the OpenStack project, with a goal of allowing any organization to provide cloud services similar to those available from public cloud providers.
Website: www.openstack.org
Key Contributors: Cisco, HP, IBM, Mirantis, NEC, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE.
Commercial Support: Aptira, Canonical, Cisco, CloudScaling, EasyStack, eNovance, HP, IBM, Metacloud, Mirantis, Oracle, Piston, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE, SwiftStack.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Python (71%)
Key Users: Bluehost, Canonical, CERN, Cisco, GoDaddy, HP, HubSpot, IBM, Intel, PayPal, SUSE, Wells Fargo, and many others.

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Platform as a Service:


Apache Stratos
Description: Apache Stratos is an open source enterprise PaaS framework that helps run Apache Tomcat, PHP, and MySQL applications.
History: Developed by middleware company WSO2, Stratos became an Apache project in 2013 and reached top-level status in May 2014.
Website: stratos.apache.org
Key Contributors: Cisco, Citrix, Indiana University, SUSE, WSO2.
Commercial Support: WSO2.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Java
Key Users: Cisco, WSO2.


Cloud Foundry
Description: Cloud Foundry is an open source PaaS for managing application deployment and ongoing operations. Cloud Foundry provides extensible support for deploying many programming languages and runtimes as Linux containers across cloud infrastructures.
History: Cloud Foundry was developed within VMware, and launched in April 2011. Pivotal became the steward of Cloud Foundry in 2012, and collaborated with the open source ecosystem to make Cloud Foundry a community driven standard cloud platform. Cloud Foundry became a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project in December 2014.
Website: cloudfoundry.org
Key Contributors: Canonical, CenturyLink, IBM, Intel, Pivotal, VMware.
Commercial Support: ActiveState, AppFog (CenturyLink), HP, IBM, Pivotal.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Ruby (32%), Go (30%), Java (11%), JavaScript (8%)
Key Users: AT&T, Baidu, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Monsanto, NTT Communications, Rakuten, SAP, Verizon, and many others.


Deis
Description: Deis is an open source PaaS that builds upon Docker and CoreOS to provide a lightweight PaaS with a Heroku-inspired workflow.
History: Deis was written by OpDemand and released in 2013.
Website: deis.io
Key Contributors: OpDemand.
Commercial Support: OpDemand.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Python and Go
Key Users: Pylon, ShopKeep, SOFICOM.


OpenShift Origin
Description: OpenShift Origin is the upstream open source project for Red Hat.s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. OpenShift is a platform where developers and teams can build, test, deploy, and run their applications.
History: The OpenShift technology came from Red Hat.s acquisition of start-up Makara (founded in May 2008) in 2010. OpenShift was announced in May 2011 and open-sourced in April 2012.
Website: openshift.redhat.com/app
Key Contributors: Red Hat.
Commercial Support: Red Hat.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Ruby (64%)

Key Users: Boeing, Cisco, FICO, PayPal.

Note: Flynn is also a Docker and CoreOS based PaaS platform to keep under your watch. It is currently in pre-production beta. Flynn lets you deploy apps with git push and Docker containers, and it is 100% free and open source.

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Provisioning and Management Tools:


Ansible
Description: Ansible is an Open Source Cloud automation software for application deployment and configuration management on multi-tier architectures.
History: AnsibleWorks (now Ansible Inc.) was founded in 2012 by Red Hat veterans Said Ziouani and Michael DeHaan. Ansible 1.0 was released in 2013.
Website: www.ansible.com
Key Contributors: Ansible Inc., Rackspace, Suncorp.
Commercial Support: Ansible Inc.
Project License: GPLv3
Primary Programming Language: Python (90%)
Key Users: Atlassian, Care.com, EA, Evernote, GoPro, Motorola, NASA, Spotify, Twitter, Verisign, Weight Watchers, and many more.


Chef
Description: Chef is a configuration-management tool, controlled using an extension of Ruby.
History: Introduced to the world by Chef Software (formerly Opscode) in January 2009.
Website: www.chef.io/chef/
Key Contributors: Chef Software.
Commercial Support: Chef Software.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Ruby (92%)
Key Users: Disney, Etsy, Facebook, GE, Nordstrom, Riot Games, Splunk, Yahoo, and many more.


Juju
Description: Juju is a service orchestration management tool.
History: Juju was first released by Canonical under the name Ensemble in 2011.Then later that year it was renamed to Juju.
Website: juju.ubuntu.com
Key Contributors: Canonical.
Commercial Support: Canonical.
Project License: AGPL
Primary Programming Language: Go (75%)
Key Users: Canonical, Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Yahoo! Japan, and many more.


Kubernetes
Description: Kubernetes is an orchestration and management tool for Docker container-based clusters.
History: Developed by Google and released as an open source project in 2014, Kubernetes is currently in pre-production Beta.
Website: kubernetes.io
Key Contributors: Docker, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, VMWare.
Commercial Support: Google.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Go (91%)
Key Users: CoreOS, Docker, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Mesosphere, Red Hat, SaltStack, VMWare, and many more.


ManageIQ
Description: ManageIQ is a hybrid cloud management tool to manage services running on the cloud and virtualization platforms.
History: Developed as a proprietary system, ManageIQ, was acquired by Red Hat in 2012, it is the upstream community of Red Hat.s CloudForms offering and was released as open source in June, 2014.
Website: manageiq.org
Key Contributors: Booz Allen Hamilton, Chef, CiRBA, Navteca, Synnefo, Cloudsoft, Red Hat.
Commercial Support: Red Hat.
Project License: Apache 2.0, GPL
Primary Programming Language: Ruby (84%)
Key Users: Booz Allen Hamilton, Cox Automotive, Navteca, Synnefo, and many more.


oVirt
Description: oVirt provides a complete management system, via web, command-line or APIs, for virtualized servers with advanced capabilities for hosts and guests.
History: Red Hat first announced oVirt as part of its emerging-technology initiative in 2008, then re-launched the project in late 2011 as part of the Open Virtualization Alliance, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.
Website: www.ovirt.org
Key Contributors: Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, NetApp, Red Hat, SUSE.
Commercial Support: Red Hat, UDS Enterprise, Wind River.
Project License: Apache 2.0, GPL
Primary Programming Language: Java (62%)
Key Users: Alterway, Brussels Airport, IT-Novum, JProfiler, Nimbus Concept, Nieuwland Geo-Informatie, and many more.


Puppet
Description: Puppet is a configuration-management tool, controlled using a domainspecific language.
History: Founded by Luke Kanies in 2005.
Website: www.puppetlabs.com
Key Contributors: Puppet Labs.
Commercial Support: Puppet Labs.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Ruby (98%)
Key Users: CERN, Cisco, Citrix, GitHub, Intel, NetApp, New Relic, NYSE, Oracle, PayPal, Racksapce, Red Hat, Salesforce, Twitter, Verizon, and many more.


Salt
Description: Salt is an open source tool for data center automation, cloud orchestration, server provisioning, and configuration management.
History: Salt was written by Thomas Hatch and first released in 2011.
Website: www.saltstack.com
Key Contributors: Saltstack.
Commercial Support: Saltstack.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Python (91%)
Key Users: Adobe, HP, LinkedIn, Photobucket, Rackspace, Samsung, and many more.


Vagrant
Description: Vagrant is an open source configuration management tool for virtual development environments.
History: Vagrant was written in 2010 by Mitchell Hashimoto and John Bender.
Website: www.vagrantup.com
Key Contributors: Changepoint, Hashicorp, Reaktor, SUSE, VMWare.
Commercial Support: Hashicorp.
Project License: MIT
Primary Programming Language: Ruby (79%)
Key Users: BBC, DISQUS, Expedia, Mozilla, Nokia, O.Reilly, and many more.

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Large Scale Storage and Database:


Apache Cassandra
Description: Cassandra is a highly scalable, eventually consistent, distributed, structured key-value store.
History: Cassandra was developed at Facebook and released as open source in 2008.
Website: cassandra.apache.org
Key Contributors: DataStax.
Commercial Support: Cubet Technologies, DataStax, Impetus Technologies, Instaclustr, ONZRA, Palomino, Sohum, URimagination, Workware Systems.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Java (96%)
Key Users: Apple, Constant Contact, CERN, Comcast, eBay, GitHub, GoDaddy, Hulu, Instagram, Intuit, Netflix, Reddit, The Weather Channel, and many more.


Ceph
Description: Ceph is a distributed object store and file system.
History: Ceph was originally created by Sage Weil for a doctoral dissertation in 2004. In 2012, Sage Weil and others formed Inktank to deliver professional services and support around Ceph. Red Hat then acquired Inktank in 2014.
Website: ceph.com
Key Contributors: Red Hat.
Commercial Support: Red Hat.
Project License: LGPL
Primary Programming Language: C++ (70%)
Key Users: CERN, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, DinCloud, DreamHost, and many more.


CouchDB
Description: CouchDB is a distributed document database system.
History: Created in 2005 by Damien Katz, who self-funded the project for two years before releasing it as an Open Source Project supported by Katz.s company CouchOne. It became an Apache project in 2008 and the first stable version was released in 2010.
Website: couchdb.apache.org
Key Contributors: Couchbase, IBM Cloudant.
Commercial Support: Couchbase, IBM Cloudant.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Javascript (55%), Erlang (34%)
Key Users: Couchbase, Docker Inc., IBM Cloudant, and many more.


GlusterFS
Description: GlusterFS is a scale-out NAS file system.
History: GlusterFS was originally developed by Gluster Inc., then by Red Hat after its purchase of Gluster Inc. in 2011.
Website: www.gluster.org
Key Contributors: Red Hat.
Commercial Support: Red Hat.
Project License: GPL 3
Primary Programming Language: C (93%)
Key Users: Brightcove, Cutting Edge, Intuit, Picture Marketing, and many more.


MongoDB
Description: MongoDB is a high performance document database.
History: Created by former DoubleClick employees who later co-founded 10gen (Now MongoDB Inc.) in 2007. They released the software as open source in 2009.
Website: www.mongodb.com
Key Contributors: Gameplay, MongoDB Inc., SourceForge, Stripe.
Commercial Support: MongoDB, Inc.
Project License: Apache 2.0 and AGPL 1.0
Primary Programming Language: C++
Key Users: ADP, Bosch, City of Chicago, Crittercism, Expedia, Forbes, MetLife, Otto, The Weather Channel, and many more.


Redis
Description: Redis is an open source key value store and cache.
History: Redis was developed by Salvatore Sanfilippo and Pieter Noordhuis.
Website: redis.io
Key Contributors: Pivotal, Redis Labs.
Commercial Support: Pivotal.
Project License: BSD
Primary Programming Language: C (66%)
Key Users: Hulu, Microsoft, Pinterest, Redis Labs, Twitter, Viacom, and many more.


Riak CS
Description: Riak CS is an open source storage system built on top of the Riak key-value store.
History: Riak CS was originally developed by Basho and launched in 2012, with the source subsequently released in 2013.
Website: basho.com/riak-cloud-storage
Key Contributors: Basho.
Commercial Support: Basho.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Erlang (93%)
Key Users: Best Buy, Boundary, Bump, Queep, Rovio, and many more.


Swift
Description: Swift is a highly available, distributed, and consistent object store. It is developed as part of the OpenStack project but can be used independently.
History: Swift was created in 2010 by Rackspace, which contributed the code to create OpenStack Object Storage.
Website: wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Swift
Key Contributors: HP, Intel, Rackspace, Red Hat, SwiftStack.
Commercial Support: Swiftstack.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: Python
Key Users: Comcast, Disney, eBay, HP, IBM, Mercado Libre, NTT, Rackspace, Time Warner Cable, Vimeo, Wikipedia, and many more.

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Software-Defined Networking & Network Functions Virtualization:


OpenContrail
Description: OpenContrail is an open source software-defined networking project that provides all the necessary components for network virtualization including an SDN controller, virtual router, analytics engine, and published northbound APIs.
History: Juniper Networks released the Contrail code library for open source development in 2013.
Website: opencontrail.org
Key Contributors: CertusNet, Cloudwatt, Codilime, ENovance, IPNett, Nokia, Piston, TCP Cloud, Semihalf Embedded Systems.
Commercial Support: Cloudscaling, CloudStack, IBM, Juniper Networks.
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: C++
Key Users: Cloud Dynamics, Gencore Systems, Mirantis, Scalr, Ubuntu, and many more.


OpenDaylight
Description OpenDaylight is an open source platform for network programmability to enable SDN and NFV. The software components include a fully pluggable controller, interfaces, protocol plug-ins and applications.
History: Founded in 2013 by industry leaders and hosted as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, OpenDaylight had two software releases in 2014.
Website: www.opendaylight.org
Key Contributors: Brocade, Cisco, Inocybe, NEC, Noiro Networks, Pantheon, Radware, Red Hat.
Commercial Support: ADVA Optical, Brocade, Calient, Ciena, Cisco, Cyan, Citrix, Dell, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, HP, IBM, Intel, Inocybe, Meru, Microsoft, Midokura and Oracle
Project License: EPL-1.0
Primary Programming Language: Java
Key Users: Not Available.


Open vSwitch
Description: Open vSwitch is an open source virtual switch designed to enable massive network automation while still supporting standard management interfaces in distributed computing.
History: Released as open source in 2009 by Nicira which was later acquired by VMware in 2012.
Website: openvswitch.org
Key Contributors: VA Linux, VMware.
Commercial Support: Citrix (XenServer), VMware (NSX).
Project License: Apache 2.0
Primary Programming Language: C
Key Users: Apache CloudStack, Citrix, KVM, OpenNebula, openQRM, OpenStack, oVirt, Proxmox VE, VirtualBox, and many more.

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