Bitrock on center stage with its Network Service

Every open-source company needs a Network. BitRock has one. The question is whether you'll get one from little-known BitRock or industry heavy Red Hat. Either way, choice is on the rise.

You may never have heard of BitRock, the company that has traditionally competed with OpenLogic, SpikeSource, and SourceLabs in the "open-source stacks" business but has seen much more success with its excellent installers, which upwards of 60 percent of commercial open-source projects use including SugarCRM, JasperSoft, Ringside Networks, and more. The name may be unfamiliar to you, but not for long.

Why? Because BitRock is about to claim the center of the open-source world's attention, as Stephe Walli, an advisor to BitRock, pointed out two months ago following the Open Source Business Conference. It's called the Network, you're likely to be buying into one very soon, if you haven't already.

As open-source companies seek ways to monetize their code, a common theme has emerged: Networks. Red Hat has Red Hat Network. JBoss developed the JBoss Operations Network (recently graduating to 2.0 status). MySQL has its Monitor. And so on.

The problem with this approach is twofold: 1) It forces vendors to reinvent the Network wheel over and over again and 2) It leaves both vendors and customers isolated within one vendors Network offering. BitRock resolves this by providing a common infrastructure upon which the open-source vendor community can build, as Stephe notes:

The BitRock Network Service provides the platform of tools and infrastructure on which companies can build their own profitable network solutions around their open source software offerings. Companies can provide value-added subscription services like updates, monitoring and (soon) backup without having to build the solution from scratch.

Faster time to Network/market through BitRock should enable more open-source companies to scale revenue faster which, in turn, should result in more open-source code being written. What's not to like?

Here's what the service looks like:

The BitRock Network BitRock

There's one company that could throw a wrench into the BitRock cogs, however, and that's Red Hat, in partnership with Hyperic. Red Hat and Hyperic recently open sourced the JBoss Operations Network code (which was founded on Hyperic's technology), dubbing it the RHQ Platform Project.

BitRock has the benefit of being a neutral "Switzerland." Red Hat has the benefit of brand and RHX, a central meeting place for open-source companies.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but at least open-source companies won't need to go it alone in building their Network services any longer.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

    ARTICLE DISCUSSION

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    Hot on CNET

    CNET's giving away a 3D printer

    Enter for a chance to win* the Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer and all the supplies you need to get started.