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KDnuggets Exclusive: Marten Mickos, SVP, HP on the Role of Open Source in Cloud industry


In an exclusive interview with KDnuggets, Marten talks about HP’s Open Source strategy, evolution of Open Source production model, learning from the success of Open Source in Web, trends and more.



Eucalyptus, the open source private cloud software firm focused on building clouds compatible with Amazon Web Services APIs, was acquired by HP in September 2014, citing common vision for the future of cloud in the enterprise. With this, Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos moved to HP, leading the HP Cloud organization and building out the HP Helion portfolio, based on OpenStack technology.

Marten recently delivered a keynote at RICON 2014 on “Full victory for open source”. The video of his talk is available here.

The first part of this interview (along with Marten’s bio) is available here.

Here is the second and final part of my interview with him:

Anmol Rajpurohit: 5. How do you differentiate HP's Open Source strategy from that of the other players in the Enterprise Cloud market?

Marten Mickos: First I could perhaps state that a benefit of open source is that you are aligned with your competitors, openstacknot just differentiated. You share a lot of basic platform technology. We work very closely with Red Hat, for instance, on hardening the OpenStack code.

Once in a commercial environment where we sell our offerings, we are of course happy to compete against anyone. HP’s open source strategy is more comprehensive than that of other vendors. We also focus more on reliability (including high availability) and on security.

AR: Q6. Given your extensive background with Open Source, how do see the evolution of Open Source based business models in the last decade? Where do you think it is headed now?

MM: I have always said that open source is not a business model. It is a production model.

The main difference is that 10 years ago, open source was novel and only the bravest would use it. Today, enterprises state open source as one of their first criteria for any infrastructure they will use.

AR: Q7. Is there any learning from how Open Source played a vital role in the success of Web that can be applied while using Open Source for Cloud software and services?

LAMPMM: Yes, absolutely. The LAMP stack won the web war, marginalizing players like Microsoft and Oracle in the market for web infrastructure. Now we are about to do a similar thing in cloud. We must build a strong ecosystem of open source projects, and we must encourage each project or product to excel in its own area. Too much coordination is not good; each project must succeed on its own merits. But we also cannot let the overall architecture become sloppy. So we must have a clearly thought-out balance between freedom and control.

AR: Q8. What are some changes that you would like to see in Open Source software development model in the next few years?

Open_SourceMM: We have great tools and processes for handling code commits, bug reports, bug fixes, and continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD). But the art of designing the architecture of a software product is still just an art form. Ideally we should invent new tools and governance processes for achieving the best possible software architecture in a meritocracy. It’s not easy, but I think it can be done.

AR: Q9. What recent trends in cloud computing are of the most interest to you?

Cloud TrendsMM: Everything is changing in the shift to cloud, so the list will be very long! But perhaps an area that deserves special mention is the telecom side of cloud. We see huge focus on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) these days. This bodes well for carriers, long-term. Another hot topic is containers. They bring a fresh new approach to the granularization of application workloads.

AR: Q10. If you were a fresher starting in the Cloud industry today, how would you shape up your career?

MM: Jump in, learn fast, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes! good-strategy-bad-strategy-richard-rumelt

AR: Q11. What was the last book that you read and liked? What do you like to do when you are not working?

MM: Good strategy, Bad strategy by Richard Rumelt. A brilliant book.

Mostly I just work. But when I don’t work, I read books, I enjoy photography, I ride my bike, and I go hiking. And I enjoy good food and wine in the company of great friends.

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