A necessary preamble

I had in mind to write something about Tanzu CE for a while: I felt the itch immediately after its release and even more after having played with it a bit. The initial idea was to write about my testing experience but then I realized that I would have produced another useless how-to post. At the same time, I began thinking “above the keyboard” and I put together a few thoughts and personal considerations about how VMware got to this point and came up with a small dissertation instead! So, please forgive me for the length and mind though that these are just my personal, free thoughts based on what I have understood “from the outside”; I might be completely wrong or inaccurate… any feedback is welcome and I’d be happy to change my mind if it will make sense… so without further ado…

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NetApp opened Tech Field Day 14 with a presentation by Andrew Sullivan and Kapil Arora, entirely focused on the company’s efforts in the Open Source field. One might imagine that a company like NetApp – or any other big IT vendor – would consider Open Source as a menace to their business or, in the best possible scenario, just as a fad worth to exploit until the advent of the next hype. Well, this could have made some sense until just a few years ago but today we live in the GitHub age and it is evident that no company can afford not to share some of their own open code with the public.

NetApp is no different from any other company and they are probably doing this for many reasons similar to those of their competitors – what it is worth investigating here is where their motivation comes from and what is driving their efforts.

NetApp’s involvement with Open Source begins in 2011 with their support to OpenStack and their contribution to the Cinder and Manila projects; the team has evolved – mostly in the past 18 months – into something bigger called the “Open Ecosystem”, also friendly referred to as “The Pub”. The focus has expanded well beyond OpenStack and now covers Containers, Automation and Orchestration, Configuration Management, CI/CD and Agile Development tools.

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