Click here to close now.


Linux Containers Authors: Tim Hinds, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Flint Brenton

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( It's also hoping to drive reporting standards by making the Test Upload Interface (TUI) and the Test Results Publication Interface (TRPI) public.

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 ( 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

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 ( 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
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.