Welcome!

Linux Authors: Pete Pickerill, AppDynamics Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Trevor Parsons, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: Linux

Linux: 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...