Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Mano Marks, Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

SpikeSource: Automated Open Source Testing and Certification

SpikeSource, Providing Open Source Software Testing Services, Wants To Embolden Enterprises To Use The LAMP Stack

SpikeSource, a starry Redwood City, California, start-up providing Open Source software testing services, wants to embolden enterprises to use the Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Python/Perl (LAMP) stack (www.spikesource.com). Their goal is to certify the LAMP stack and the applications that use it. At the heart of its value proposition is an automated testing bed, which lets software vendors and Open Source projects upload their applications and verify that there are no conflicts with the stack.

SpikeSource provides these tools for free and offers tools to integrate and manage Open Source assets. SpikeSource tools such as Spike Asset Manager (SAM) have been open sourced and are on Sourceforge (http://sourceforge.net/projects/spike-asset-mgr/). These services and software are free but complement the company's for-profit offerings:

  • Update Services - SpikeSource services include an update service (distribution and alerts) for a trusted source of software and screened updates for the SpikeSource core stack.
  • Technical Support - SpikeSource offers technical support for its certified stack with guaranteed service levels (SLAs) and an incident-based support model that gives customers a number of support incidents with differing degrees of response each year based on the level they bought.
  • ISV Certification - SpikeSource will certify applications built on its stack and offer alerting services to ISVs who rely on these "certified stacks" for their products to work. Qualified Open Source projects can benefit from certification at no cost.
When asked whether SpikeSource competes with enterprise Linux companies such as Red Hat and Novell, SpikeSource vice-president Nick Halsey said the company sees itself as complimenting those partner vendors. SpikeSource sees value in having Linux OS vendors and database provider MySQL AB as partners to provide a single point of contact for Open Source enterprise support. Besides interoperability, SpikeSource is trying to pull in partners that can help it mitigate other kinds of risk like the proverbial IP risk with the help of Black Duck Software (www.blackducksoftware.com). Overall its mission is to provide one-stop shopping for a complete LAMP solution.

The SpikeSource team boasts some high-profile management talent in CEO Kim Polese, who sold Marimba to BMC software in April 2004 for $239 million. Ms. Polese is not the only Silicon Valley heavy hitter on the team. There's SpikeSource founder and CTO Murugan Pal who was entrepreneur-in-residence at premier venture capital house Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, SpikeSource's backer. And topping the list is SpikeSource's chairman, none other than former Oracle president, Ray Lane. The challenge for these folks is to take their historical success into the competitive Open Source space where software royalties are being replaced by service contracts as the main source of revenue.

SpikeSource made a lot of noise with its recent product announcement but it's been working for two years crafting its test bed for Open Source solutions that runs a reported 22,000 automated tests nightly. The start-up has also certified its Core Stacks with 63 Open Source components running on six platforms and six supported languages. There are already 109 queued packages that can be included in the stack including Computer Associates' once commercial, now Open Source Ingres database. Inquiries have been made about an Open Source stack for non-LAMP applications like embedded Linux but Halsey says the company wants to focus on its first stack before it moves into other areas.

Not only does SpikeSource support the LAMP stack but the same "AMP" combination running on Windows and Java on the same stack with Tomcat servlet container and a partnership with JBoss (www.jboss.com). Founder Murugan Pal hasn't entered this business model lightly and the SpikeSource team has done an incredible amount of research among CIOs. It found that many of them have in-house staff piecing together and testing these stacks on their own. These IT executives figure the 30% savings on IT procurement costs they get using Open Source is eaten away by increased support costs compared to commercial offerings. SpikeSource's theory is that automated testing and certification will reduce the labor costs incurred in implementing these solutions while giving customers a sense of security about deploying Open Source solutions.

Commitment to Making Quality Open Source
SpikeSource tests code coverage, load balancing, scalability, and security but its primary focus - and heaviest thrust of its tests - is on the interoperability between packages. After testing it will publish the test results on its Web site. If an error is found or a security risk arises, it will contact the vendor or Open Source project like it recently did with MySQL AB. It has open sourced a testing upload interface and reporting interface that feeds results to O'Reilly's CodeZoo (www.codezoo.com/). It's also hoping to drive reporting standards by making the Test Upload Interface (TUI) and the Test Results Publication Interface (TRPI) public.

Summary
SpikeSource has a unique approach in moving all the heavy lifting of certification to an automated process. It's also striving to aggregate the knowledge and educational resources in a freely accessible library (www.spikesource.com/sitemgr/resources.php). Ms. Polese says that the time for Open Source implementations has arrived because the applications are here and production-ready though, according to her, "What has changed is the need for interoperability and the ongoing version management for the stack that companies are now deploying in production networks."

It's also her opinion that vendor lock-in is one aspect of what's driving the adoption of Open Source. That leads to the next logical step, which is testing and vendor-neutral certifications that allows enterprise users to know what their options are and how well competing technologies might work in their infrastructure. Another observation is that Open Source often has a grassroots start in the enterprise because of its high availability and low acquisition costs. System administrators know they can quickly implement these products because they sidestep formal procedures like purchase orders and budgetary approvals. CIOs aren't opposed to this but they want some kind of structure around what software is coming into their company.

More Stories By Mark R. Hinkle

Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
LinuxWorld News Desk 07/16/05 04:25:00 PM EDT

SpikeSource: Automated Open Source Testing and Certification
SpikeSource, a starry Redwood City, California, start-up providing Open Source software testing services, wants to embolden enterprises to use the Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Python/Perl (LAMP) stack (www.spikesource.com). Their goal is to certify the LAMP stack and the applications that use it. At the heart of its value proposition is an automated testing bed, which lets software vendors and Open Source projects upload their applications and verify that there are no conflicts with the stack.

@ThingsExpo Stories
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...