Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

VCs Back Open-Source Upstarts

Filed under
OSS

Kim Polese has a history of spotting a hot tech market and getting venture capitalists to pony up the money to back her ideas. After making a tech-boom splash in the 1990s with Marimba Inc., Polese now has her sights set on an emerging area of the open-source software market that has investors dusting off their checkbooks.

Her new company, SpikeSource Inc., emerged last week from two years of startup incubation funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and offers software and services that marry different open-source software with each other and with proprietary packages.

As the market for open-source software matures, companies such as SpikeSource are attracting the interest of well-heeled VCs such as Kleiner Perkins and of IT industry veterans. Several are doing so with a strategy similar to SpikeSource: Rather than tie themselves to particular open-source software such as Linux, Apache, or JBoss, they're trying to help companies integrate these applications into their existing IT infrastructures.

SpikeSource's technology is designed to ensure that different open-source software works in unison and to track and analyze the performance of open-source software environments. While these functions can be performed today by more traditional systems integrators, SpikeSource wants to provide an automated approach, says Polese, who in 1996 co-founded Marimba, a maker of software-management apps that in 2004 was acquired by BMC Software Inc.

SpikeSource isn't saying how much venture capital it received from Kleiner Perkins, but the company boasts a lot of star power on its advisory board. Ray Lane, a general partner at the venture-capital firm and former president and chief operating officer of Oracle, serves as SpikeSource's chairman. MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, Mozilla Foundation president Mitchell Baker, and Brian Behlendorf, a primary developer of the Apache Web server, sit on the advisory board.

GroundWork Open Source Solutions Inc., a provider of open-source-based IT-management software and services, late last month revealed $8.5 million in series B funding, led by Mayfield Fund and Canaan Partners. GroundWork has raised a total of $11.5 million to expand its product and services offerings, as well as build out its marketing and sales programs.

GroundWork's Monitor product is a combination of open-source packages. At its core is the Nagios open-source host, service, and network-monitoring application. On top of Nagios, GroundWork has included PerfParse to facilitate the storage and analysis of binary performance data produced by Nagios. Other open-source components include Network Mapper, or Nmap, a utility for network exploration or security auditing; Cacti network-graphing software; Jetspeed portal software from Apache Software Foundation; and the MySQL database.

Some question the sustainability of the open-source vendor model. After all, if users have access to the source code, what's to stop them from modifying a program beyond the vendor's ability to support it? Not a problem, says Will Winkelstein, marketing VP at GroundWork. Of GroundWork's 45 customers, he has yet to come across anyone who has gone in and changed the code.

Polese is aware that companies aren't likely to abandon the proprietary software investments they've made over the years. Instead, they're looking to make coexistence of proprietary and open-source software easier. "We don't expect that suddenly the enterprise will use a pure open-source environment," she says.

So is this venture-capital interest all too reminiscent of the dot-com era, when easy money created startups without clear profit or purpose? There's one big difference, Polese says: "Companies are already using open source. The dot-com stuff was mostly speculative."

Source.

More in Tux Machines

OpenELEC 8.0.2 Embedded Linux Entertainment OS Is Out with Mesa 17.0.4, More

The OpenELEC 8.0 open-source embedded Linux entertainment operating system received its second maintenance update, versioned 8.0.2, which fixes various issues reported by users lately and updates some core components. Read more

Red Hat Financial News

  • Red Hat announces latest version of Ansible
  • Red Hat On An Expansion Spree In India
    Red Hat is aggressively expanding its operations in India. The company recently announced the opening of two new offices in Bangalore and New Delhi. With the opening of the new offices, Red Hat is expanding its footprint in India with a goal of supporting interest for open source solutions and services from customers and partners and further promoting the benefits open source solutions can offer enterprises in India. Red Hat now has six offices in India, including additional facilities in Bangalore and New Delhi, and offices in Mumbai and Pune. Red Hat’s new Bangalore office is a 14,000 sq. ft. facility at Lavelle Road. It is designed to act as a training and enablement center for customers and partners. Through the new facility, which features a cafeteria, and space for networking, meetings, training and certification exams, and an indoor game zone, Red Hat aims to bring its open, collaborative culture to life. The additional New Delhi office is a 12,405 sq.ft facility located close to the international airport at Aerocity, designed with an eye toward enabling collaboration with customers throughout the region.
  • Somewhat Positive Press Coverage Very Likely to Affect Red Hat (RHT) Stock Price
  • Red Hat Inc (RHT) Releases Q1 Earnings Guidance

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday
  • Recursive DNS Server Fingerprint Problem

    Our goal is to identify hijacked resolvers by analyzing their fingerprints, in order to increase safety of Internet users. To do that, we utilize data collected via RIPE Atlas (atlas.ripe.net).

  • Online developer tutorials are spreading XSS and SQL injection flaws

    The researchers, from across three universities in Germany and Trend Micro, checked the PHP code bases of more than 64,000 projects on Github and uncovered more than 100 vulnerabilities that they believe might have been introduced as a result of developers picking up the code that they used from online tutorials.

  • BrickerBot, the permanent denial-of-service botnet, is back with a vengeance

    BrickerBot, the botnet that permanently incapacitates poorly secured Internet of Things devices before they can be conscripted into Internet-crippling denial-of-service armies, is back with a new squadron of foot soldiers armed with a meaner arsenal of weapons.

  • Reproducible Builds: week 104 in Stretch cycle
  • Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files
    Webroot's security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering PCs in the process. Not only were people's individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service providers (MSPs), meaning companies and organizations relying on the software were hit by the cockup. Between 1200 and 1500 MST (1800 and 2100 UTC) today, Webroot's gear labeled Windows operating system data as W32.Trojan.Gen – generic-Trojan-infected files, in other words – and moved them into quarantine, rendering affected computers unstable. Files digitally signed by Microsoft were whisked away – but, luckily, not all of them, leaving enough of the OS behind to reboot and restore the quarantined resources.
  • How The Update Framework Improves Security of Software Updates
    Updating software is one of the most important ways to keep users and organizations secure. But how can software be updated securely? That's the challenge that The Update Framework (TUF) aims to solve. Justin Cappos, assistant professor at New York University, detailed how TUF works and what's coming to further improve the secure updating approach in a session at last week's DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas. Simply using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure a download isn't enough as there have been many publicly reported instances of software repositories that have been tampered with, Cappos said.
  • Security Updates for Ubuntu Phone to End in June
    Security updates for Ubuntu phone and tablet will end this June, Canonical has confirmed. Current OTA updates are currently limited to critical fixes and security updates — a decision we were first to tell you back in January. But after June 2017 Canonical “will no longer deliver any further updates”.
  • Canonical to stop supporting Ubuntu Phone in June
    Canonical had already announced development of its Ubuntu Phone software was ending. Now we know when the final nail goes in the coffin: June.
  • Malware Hunts And Kills Poorly Secured Internet Of Things Devices Before They Can Be Integrated Into Botnets
    Researchers say they've discovered a new wave of malware with one purpose: to disable poorly secured routers and internet of things devices before they can be compromised and integrated into botnets. We've often noted how internet-of-broken-things devices ("smart" doorbells, fridges, video cameras, etc.) have such flimsy security that they're often hacked and integrated into botnets in just a matter of seconds after being connected to the internet. These devices are then quickly integrated into botnets that have been responsible for some of the worst DDoS attacks we've ever seen (including last October's attack on DYN).

GNOME/GTK News

  • The Way GNOME Handles Wallpapers Really Annoys Me
    I love GNOME Shell — and no, not just because I’ve little choice now that is Ubuntu’s default desktop! But the more I use GNOME the more I learn that the desktop environment, like every other, has its own share of quirks, bugs and inconsistencies. Like the following appreciably niche niggle in the the way GNOME handles desktop wallpapers.
  • Drag-and-drop in lists
    I’ve recently had an occasion to implement reordering of a GtkListBox via drag-and-drop (DND). It was not that complicated. Since I haven’t seen drag-and-drop used much with list boxes, here is a quick summary of what is needed to get the basics working.