Open Source Software In Cloud Applications

Open Source Software In Cloud Applications

Open Source Software In Cloud Applications

Providers of cloud-based solutions will bring in more than $241 billion in 2020, according to Forrester Research’s report on “Sizing the Cloud”. Since the emergence of cloud solution providers like Amazon, Rackspace, IBM and Microsoft, software development and deployment is increasingly taking place in the cloud. And, in the next few years, we are likely to see more and more innovative technology companies completely suspended in the cloud.

What makes the cloud particularly attractive to enterprises is that it enables companies to lease access to infrastructure, platforms and software, drastically reducing their overall operating costs. The economies of scale associated with the cloud, costs that accurately reflect usage, elimination of maintenance costs, and increased ability of users to enjoy access to applications across a variety of devices including tablets and smart phones are additional drivers behind adoption of cloud applications.

While enterprises are shifting from legacy solutions towards the cloud, open source software is gaining significant traction for similar reasons. Desirable attributes such as faster time to market, lower development cost, better security, peer-reviewed quality, zero licensing cost, and multiple sources from mostly reputable suppliers have made open source the software of choice for commercial business applications, including cloud-based applications and collaboration solutions. As open source software becomes increasingly available in the cloud, it is important for enterprises to understand how the cloud environment changes open source license obligations.

There are two broad categories of open source licenses – permissive and restrictive. Permissive licenses such as MIT and BSD provide minimal obligations on code use, modification and distribution, enabling developers to incorporate open source code into open source or proprietary software with their choice of license terms. In contrast, restrictive licenses such as the GPL force users of covered code to distribute derivative works under GPL only, and require these users of GPL code to make their source code available to downstream users. This feature of restrictive licenses, with few exceptions, renders it impossible to incorporate open source code into proprietary offerings. Failure to comply with such obligations can lead to severe consequences, including paying damages for license infringement.

In the pre-cloud environment, software vendors made their products available to end users through software distribution, and the reciprocal aspects of GPL ensured that the its creators ideals of software freedom were maintained. With emergence of cloud services, users of SaaS applications technically are not receiving any code as software applications that use GPL in their internals are not distributed, hence the old GPL terms governing distribution of code would not apply.

In order to maintain the software-freedom aspect of GPL when code is deployed in a cloud, Affero GPLv3 (AGPL for short) was created. Under provisions of AGPL, any user of the cloud that uses an application containing AGPL-licensed code must be provided with the source code of the entire application.

In summary, with GPL covered code:

  • If you distribute the software, you must make your code available to users
  • If you offer SaaS through the public or private cloud, you do not have to make your code available to users

With AGPL covered code:

  • If you distribute the software, you must make your code available to users
  • If you offer SaaS through the public or private cloud, you must make your code available to its users

Given the new obligations imposed by the AGPL, it is critical for SaaS providers to take inventory of the open source code embedded in their product offerings, and to ensure that their intellectual property policies are in line with the obligations imposed by the various open source licenses covering their code.

A variety of automated scanning tools generically known as enterprise analyzers are available that can assist SaaS providers to manage open source obligations in the cloud. In addition, a structured Open Source Software Adoption Process (OSSAP) can be used to define acceptable intellectual property license policies for the organization, audit the current software portfolio and incoming code, and ensure compliance through all of the software development and procurement stages. These open source license management solutions are now available in both on-premises and hosted versions. Furthermore, these tools generally offer License Obligations Reporting, for a simplified “bulleted” view of the obligations associated with each open source package that is discovered in the SaaS code.

The emerging cloud-based SaaS model offers immense opportunities but also raises new risks for your organization’s intellectual property. If your organization’s intellectual property policies were developed for the traditional software distribution model, then they need to be re-assessed and updated to meet the distinct obligations associated with the cloud environment.

By Mahshad Koohgoli/Diana Marina Cooper

Mahshad Koohgoli is CEO of Protecode, Inc. (www.protecode.com), a provider of open source license management solutions, based in Canada. He has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, specializing in technology start-up businesses, and holds several patents in the computer and communications field.

Diana Marina Cooper is an open source corporate strategy consultant for Protecode (www.protecode.com). Cooper obtained a BA in Politics and Governance, a MA in Globalization Studies, and is currently a JD Candidate (2013), pursuing a concentration in Law and Technology.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. Saleforce.com chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence All businesses need a strategy and processes for governance, risk and compliance (GRC). Many still view GRC activity as a burdensome ‘must-do,’ approaching it reactively and managing it with non-specialized tools. GRC is a necessary business endeavor but it can be elevated from a cost drain to a value-add activity. By integrating…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Big Data’s Big Picture Big data allows marketing and production strategists to see where their efforts are succeeding and where they need some work. With big data analytics, every move you make for your company can be backed by data and analytics. While every business venture involves some level of risk, with big data, that risk…

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring One of the hottest topics in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the Internet of Things (IOT). According to the report of International Telecommunication Union (2012), “the Internet of things can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications. It is considered as a…

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing Successful digital marketing campaigns are being driven largely by trending technologies, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and The Cloud. These may be used for a huge number of marketing applications, from optimizing the performance of sports teams to improving science and research, even helping to aid law enforcement. Amazon Web…

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

The World of Data Science The nature of work and business in today’s super-connected world means that every second of every day, the world produces an astonishing amount of data. Consider some of these statistics; every minute, Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, YouTube users upload over 72 hours of content, Apple…

Cloud Security: The Top 8 Risks According To ENISA

Cloud Security: The Top 8 Risks According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does security in the cloud ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that,…

6 Tech Predictions To Have A Major Impact In 2016

6 Tech Predictions To Have A Major Impact In 2016

6 Tech Predictions To Have A Major Impact The technology industry moves at a relentless pace, making it both exhilarating and unforgiving. For those at the forefront of innovation it is an incredibly exciting place to be, but what trends are we likely to see coming to the fore in 2016? Below are six predictions…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Data Banking Fintech covers a range of financial fields such as retail banking, investments, and lending and thanks to the mobile and internet innovations of late is a thriving sector. Offering improvements which drive customer satisfaction and education in an area previously inscrutable and dictated by gigantic inflexible corporations, fintech is helping put the power…

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant The cloud is part of everything we do. It’s always there backing up our data, pictures, and videos. To many, the cloud is considered to be a newer technology. However, cloud services actually got their start in the late 90s when large companies used it as a way to centralize computing, storage,…

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Business Intelligence (BI) Software  How does your company track its data? It’s a valuable resource—so much so that it’s known as Business Intelligence, or BI. But using it, integrating it into your daily processes, that can be significantly difficult. That’s why there’s software to help. But when it comes to software, there are lots of…

Cukes and the Cloud

Cukes and the Cloud

The Cloud, through bringing vast processing power to bear inexpensively, is enabling artificial intelligence. But, don’t think Skynet and the Terminator. Think cucumbers! Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) conjures up the images of vast cool intellects bent on our destruction or at best ignoring us the way we ignore ants. Reality is a lot different and much…

Ransomware’s Great Lessons

Ransomware’s Great Lessons

Ransomware The vision is chilling. It’s another busy day. An employee arrives and logs on to the network only to be confronted by a locked screen displaying a simple message: “Your files have been captured and encrypted. To release them, you must pay.” Ransomware has grown recently to become one of the primary threats to…