back to article NASA drops Ubuntu's Koala food for (real) open source

NASA is dropping Eucalyptus from its Nebula infrastructure cloud not only because its engineers believe the open source platform can't achieve the sort of scale they require, but also because it isn't entirely open source. NASA chief technology officer Chris Kemp tells The Reg that as his engineers attempted to contribute …


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  1. Cyfaill

    open core is NOT Open

    Just a notion, time will tell but ultimately open core is the kiss of failure.

    I think it falls into that camp called deception.

    Open Source is Open.

    Open Core is closed in any real functionality that avoids Vender lockin.

    it is about market capture using the sweet smell of functionality (but with the price of no choice)

    it is designed to snare the unaware. NASA is being smart in dumping open (trap) core for all of the obvious reasons.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    So basically an API compatible Amazon cloud clone

    But without the scalability and only semi-open.

    Might help to drive Amazon prices down a bit, which is no bad thing. It depends if the really *need* Amazon levels of scalability in the first place.

    Otherwise it looks like it fall between the *proper* open source people with *no* lock in and the ability ot change out the bits you don't like, and a fully proprietary solution.

    Seems like they need to re-think their marketing strategy.

    Thumbs down for market choice but not a fail *yet*.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I looked in vain for any reference to Ubuntu and then realised that it was a reference to the koala bear's preferred lunch. Sigh. And Ubuntu is on Lucid.

    For this entirely spurious reference I vote a resounding

    1. Charles 9


      It was Karmic that introduced Eucalyptus to Ubuntu; and Karmic was referenced in the article.

      And PS. Koalas aren't bears. They're not even mammals; they're marsupials, a whole other track.

      1. J 3

        @Charles 9

        ...and marsupials are classified as what, exactly? Unless it's changed since I was Vertebrate Zoology TA...

        Back to school with you! :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @J 3

          "...and marsupials are classified as what, exactly? Unless it's changed since I was Vertebrate Zoology TA..."

          But are they good eating? What sort of seasoning and cooking times do they need? Red or White wine?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the issue with OpenCore?

    It provides useful services like VirtualBox and Eucalyptus, and if NASA thought getting their patches into it was hard they should try submitting patches to fully open source projects like Pidgin - that's <i>hard</i>. Anyway, the Rackspace solution they're sitting on now is open core as well, it's just better modularized so you can write your own replacements for the closed bits more easily. All seems like a pretty artificial distinction to me.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @What's the issue with OpenCore

    It depends - done right (like MySQL or Qt) dual licensing works, it provides income to develop the free stuff and has corporate acceptance.

    But opencode can also mean Tivo-ilisation, which is what this seems like. The core engine was open but you couldn't effectively manage it or run a lot of stuff on it without the commercial add-ons.

  6. gnufreex

    Dual licensing and Open-Core are not same things

    Dual licensing is when you require copyright assingment on all contributions, and they offer same product under both GPL and proprietary license. It must be same product, bit for bit. This is valuable when you have something like database, so if people link it with proprietary programs, they will want to purchase proprietary license in order to avoid open sourcing stuff. If you use it with other GPL stuff (like LAMP stack), then you don't need proprietary license. MySQL used this model until Marteen Mickos decided to take it open-core route.

    Open core looks similar but its not. It also requires all code to be owned, but you have two products. A crippled good-for-nothing GPL version, and hyped up proprietary version which has more features. Open core make money only on proprietary software, selling proprietary version of their product. Open source version is there only for PR, there is no developer community; only the company paid devs work on the project. They reject outside contributions if they compete with their proprietary-only features. Open Core companies operate like any other proprietary company, except they claim to be open source.

    It is sad to see open core ruined another open source project. Marteen Micrkos destroyed MySQL and Eucalyptus. Another victim of Open-Core is Compiere who got bought by Consona for pocket change. Open Core model only drives developers away, and leaves project to die.

    Ex Microsoft employees have started some open core companies to compete with open source.

    1. Hungry Sean

      here here

      Never heard the term "open core" before, but I've definitely dealt with software that meets the description. Basically, the open source parts are a teaser. It offers a promise of a free version that will meet all of your needs, and since you've got some good engineers on your team and the guts are open, you're pretty confident that you can hack it. You develop a code base around the free version, and then realize that you're choking everywhere, your bug reports get ignored, and pretty soon you're punting the 40K yearly license fee for support and non-broken versions.

      In my case, I was at a small business with a handful of other engineers, we'd fallen for the promise of a free lunch and committed resources to developing a business intelligence stack around a "commercial open source" product only to realize that the documentation, stability, and feature set were so painful that we would spend more money in engineering effort to battle the open source stack than we would on paying up for a commercial license. In retrospect, we probably should have gone with (Ugh) Microsoft (I am so sorry for saying this, please forgive me), but by that time we had months of effort invested and migrating would have been prohibitive.

      I'm not really sure what the right business model is for open source, or if one exists. But I can't believe that open core is the right answer.

      1. gnufreex

        Let me guess: Jaspersoft?

        Try SpagoBI. True Free Software, developed by OW2 consortium.

        Pentaho, Jaspersoft, BIRT and likes are all rotten at the core. While I hate and detest Microsoft, I must say you are right. When you go with Microsoft, you at least know you are going to be screwed by them (even if they don't tell you :-)), while Rotten-Core folks are basically lying to you. Classic bait and switch. I hope some riped of customers team up with OSI and start class action suit against those companies. Those Rotten-Core bozos are severely down-valuing open source name.

        Stupid Bruce Perens, he didn't trademark it.

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