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Linux Foundation: Microsoft Buying Seats and Another Branch Started for Edge Openwash

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OSS
  • The 2 Problems Facing Linux (and Open Source) in 2020

    Some of the largest and, arguably, most influential organizations within the Open Source world are heavily funded by companies who are predominantly opposed to Open Source as a concept.

    Microsoft and Facebook fund the Open Source Initiative. Facebook, VMWare, Microsoft, Comcast, and Oracle (all companies that focus on Closed Source almost entirely -- the vast majority of their work is closed and some of these firms take drastic legal action against Open Source projects and their users) all fund the Linux Foundation (and have seats on the Linux Foundation board).

    Some of these seats cost half a million dollars per year.

    Companies don't throw around that kind of money without expecting something in return.

    That's not a conspiracy theory... that's just good, obvious business. If Microsoft, for example, simply wished to be generous, they would donate the half million dollars, issue a press release about how nice they are, and be hands off. Instead, they are paying for board positions to give them greater control over activities and stances of organizations like the Linux Foundation.

    Again. Not a conspiracy. I'm not claiming anything unfounded or unproven. Simply pointing out the business relationships that have formed -- and that companies don't typically pay half a million dollars (per year) for nothing in return.

    I want to also stress this point: None of this makes these companies, like Microsoft, evil. I don't view Microsoft as evil... simply a company focused (primarily) on Closed Source software and with a track record of attacking those that threaten their core businesses. They're just doing the business they do. Looking at how the business needs (real or perceived) of such a company can impact the organizations they have some control over (such as the Open Source Initiative and the Linux Foundation) is, regardless of your views of any of these entities, the prudent thing to do.

    To me, Microsoft buying seats on the Linux Foundation board feels like a cigarette company buying a seat on the board of an organization focused on helping people quit smoking -- in that their interests are not (by and large) aligned. Or Tesla buying a seat on the board of a chain of gas stations.

    Note: I have reached out to both The Linux Foundation and Microsoft repeatedly over the last several months. I genuinely want their viewpoint. To date, no response has been given.

  • Linux Foundation pitches DENT to simplify enterprise edge networks

    The Linux Foundation today announced a new open-source project aimed at simplifying enterprise networking software at the edge.

    The DENT initiative‘s goal is to create a network operating system for disaggregated network switches used in remote enterprise locations such as retail stores. The project is being backed by a number of companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Cumulus Networks Inc., Delta Electronics Inc., Marvell Technology Group, Mellanox Technologies Ltd. and Wistron NeWeb Corp.

    DENT’s founders say they’re trying to facilitate “open networking” at the network edge based on the idea of “disaggregation.” That refers to the evolution of switching and routing appliances from proprietary, closed hardware and software sourced from a single provider toward totally decoupled, open components combined to form a complete switching and routing device.

    [...]

    Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said the battle for the edge is in full swing and it’s not surprising that some companies are choosing to wage it on the standards front too.

    “The Foundation has a good track record on standards so far, and enterprise executives want to see cross-vendor endorsed standards win in the marketplace to power their next-generation applications,” he said.

  • DENT Launches To Simplify Enterprise Edge Networking Software

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the launch of DENT, a project to enable the creation of Network OS for Disaggregated Network Switches in campus and remote enterprise locations. Under the Linux Foundation, DENT hopes to unify and grow the community of Silicon Vendors, Original Design Manufacturers (ODM), System Integrators (SI), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and end users to create an ecosystem of contributors around a full-featured network operating system. The initial use case will focus on the retail industry with premier members including Amazon, Cumulus Networks, Delta Electronics Inc, Marvell, Mellanox, Wistron NeWeb (WNC).

    Networking solutions today are customized for each market and each use case, whether telecom, cloud or enterprise data center markets. They use proprietary silicon (ASIC) for packet processing and closed operating systems to enable workloads and applications on a network switch. Disaggregation is the new way for Open Networking and has been well accepted in data centers and telecom infrastructures. However, in enterprise networking– especially with distributed locations– nothing currently exists for Enterprise Edge properties that fall outside the traditional public cloud as they have very specific requirements to take advantage of disaggregation and the networking stack.

    Remote campus locations and retail stores require a simple networking OS stack that is low cost and Linux-based. DENT is an Open Source project that will enable the community to build this solution without complicated abstractions. It uses the Linux Kernel, Switchdev and other Linux based projects to allow developers to treat networking ASICs and silicon like any other hardware. It simplifies abstractions, APIs, drivers and overheads that currently exist in these switches and on other open software.

Amazon Leads Linux Foundation's Edge NOS Project News

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