Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Ruxit Blog, Liz McMillan, Adrian Bridgwater

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
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
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, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC 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. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
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 environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
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 Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. 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 Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...