Here’s what you need to know about open source software and WebOps

Here’s what you need to know about open source software and WebOps

Open source project creation jumped 40% between 2019 and 2020, according to GitHub. In a post-pandemic world, many enterprises consider open source software essential for the future of their business. We only expect this trend to accelerate. According to a 2022 Red Hat report, 92% of IT leaders feel that open source will be critical for solving their post-COVID-19 challenges. 

An open source approach helps companies big and small collaborate to leverage innovative and creative talent both inside their businesses as well as externally. If two brains are better than one, then imagine what many brains focused on a common goal can achieve! By now it is clear that open source solutions fuel growth and community improvement, and still foster a healthy sense of competition. 

Putting aside the complex conversations around open source licensing, at base open source software is source code that anyone can see, modify, and share because it’s all in the public domain. This means that if someone makes an improvement or an update to open source software everyone can see it, use it, and even build on it. So many people can benefit from someone else’s innovation. 

Licensing costs associated with using open source software are generally zero. And generally, there are no up-front costs to use open source software. This is because open source software is developed through community efforts with collaborative forums and public participation. The main “cost” associated with open source software is the time developers will spend contributing or editing the source code as well as maintaining and securing the installation of the software.

Developers and experts around the world donate their time and contribute to these open source projects, often making it easier to have errors and bugs squashed. If someone can identify a bug and fix it, the whole open source community benefits from the update.

In fact, many top technology companies pay their employees to contribute to the open source projects which they depend on, including amazee.io! Some other top companies contributing to open source are Red Hat, Google, and Microsoft.

What is open source doing right? Here are the key benefits of using open source software for users, developers, and organizations.

Accessibility; Security; No ownership or vendor lock-in; Flexibility; Total cost of ownership (TCO)

  • Transparency. Since open source is a public-facing solution, anyone, anywhere can access it. It’s available to everyone, and no one technically owns the software. This means that businesses all over the world can reap the benefits of open source software.

  • Security. Anyone who is observing open source code can identify errors and fix flaws. This means there is a large, built-in, self-motivated network of contributors who can quickly fix errors. Since the inspection base is so large, it’s likely that issues or errors in open source software will be identified and rectified much faster than other software options.

  • No ownership or vendor lock-in. Since open source is freely available, no singular entity or company owns it. This means that no one utilizing open source code is locked into any agreements, licenses, or vendors.

  • Flexibility. Open source software can be customized to fit your business’s needs. It can be changed to work for your needs, based on the original. However, a key here is that you’ll need to have someone (internally or externally) to make these changes. 

  • Total cost of ownership (TCO): With open source software, the TCO is generally low because of the lower usage cost, lack of licensing fees, and lower levels of maintenance required to maintain the software vs. deciding to purchase proprietary software. 

Open source software fosters creativity and innovation by giving programmers and developers a chance to improve the code and even create their own additions. Combined with the community aspect, open source contributors often experience a higher level of support and collaboration. 

In my opinion, open source is often a driver of continuous improvement. This is a significant reason why amazee.io’s solutions are open source - we want developers to see what’s under the hood and continue learning, growing, and improving for themselves, the community, and the Lagoon software!

Open source software for the COVID-19 pandemic and global growth

Because of the importance that open source places on innovation, collaboration, and improvement, several pieces of open-source software were heavily relied upon during the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 first hit, the open source community worked hard to create apps and dashboards to help track the virus and its spread. 

An open source approach is also helping tech innovators globally push to new heights - even space! In fact, NASA’s next lunar rover will run open source software - which could move the space industry towards less expensive, more accessible software. The software behind the robot is fully open-source, which isn’t typical for the space industry. Recent space industry demand for technologies that are less expensive and more advanced have driven the adoption of more open source components. 

Open source vs. proprietary software

Closed source software, or proprietary software, can only be used, copied, or changed by the owners or those licensed to make changes. When using closed software, users typically must agree that they won’t alter or edit the software in any way. Often the code is not publicly available or accessible, and getting access to it can be significantly more expensive for users. 

If closed source software isn’t doing what a developer wants it to do, there’s often no way to make the necessary changes. Fixing bugs with closed source software can take a lot longer, since there may only be a few teams or developers available to support and maintain the software. This service may not even be available for some clients or is only accessible to the highest-paying or most cherished customers. 

The cost of using closed source software is typically much more expensive due to licensing fees, integration fees, and locked-in ongoing support costs. Open source code may not be 100% designed to fit your needs, but it can be adopted, adapted, and improved for free. 

Why is amazee.io’s Lagoon software open source? 

Open source and DevOps, the closely-related parent of WebOps, have had a long history. Open source is flexible, community-based, and relies on the spirit of contribution and improvement. 

Amazee.io’s Lagoon software is an open source company because we truly want developers to use the platform with a full understanding of what’s going on, and to maximize their opportunity to participate in its continual improvement.

The amazee.io WebOps platform leverages multiple open source components under the hood and hosts many open-source websites and web apps like Drupal, WordPress, Laravel, Symfony, Gatsby - the list goes on and on! So we felt it just made sense to be open source ourselves - to be the changes we wanted to see in the WebOps platform world: Improvement, innovation, and transparency. 

What benefits do amazee.io clients experience from the open source platform?

Open source software fosters better processes and workflows through collaboration. Our clients and their engineers are able to access source code themselves, make improvements, and suggest changes if necessary. We believe transparent collaboration leads to the best outcomes. 

With open source hosting, our partners can play a role and have a voice in the development of features and enhancements to our platform (without waiting for the developer team of a closed-source vendor). In other words, it allows our community of users more control and freedom to collaborate with us and with each other. 

Security is one of our highest priorities here at amazee.io. With a broad community contributing to finding, analyzing, and fixing problems, bugs and security flaws are often addressed more quickly. 

A reliable WebOps platform from an open source web hosting is simply the most conducive to flexibility, transparency, security, and continuous improvement of your hosting platform. This leads to smoother hosting processes, better management and maintenance, improved monitoring, saved time, and an overall general improvement of your websites and web apps. 

Open source WebOps that solves problems for tech teams 

amazee.io’s Dedicated Cloud is our open source WebOps solution which can be run in your own Infrastructure-as-a-Service or even on-premises. From Symfony to Laravel, to Drupal, to NextJS and Gatsby, our solution supports all web major web technologies, languages, and frameworks out there. It’s truly an all-in-one web development, web hosting, and web maintenance solution that leaves control in your hands while amazee.io does the heavy lifting. 

If you’re ready to learn how your web development teams could benefit from open source WebOps software, reach out to us and we’ll walk you through it, step by step. 

Keep up with our conversations about open source by connecting with Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter.


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