- Buy Now!
30 Aug 2012
Open Source - Myths and Reality
There is some controversy around open source versus vendor (proprietary) lock-in technology in the Drupal hosting. Is the open source a Golden Hammer? Let’s try to check facts and see if this is a real controversy or maybe just a myth or misunderstanding?
Both Acquia.com and GetPantheon.com use proprietary tools and systems, so you can’t just download a copy of their servers configurations and code of their control panels to use it on your own server, while Omega8.cc not only uses fully open source control panel (Aegir Hosting System), but also server/system level configuration is fully open sourced, even with insanely easy to use installer available, so anyone can replicate Omega8.cc hosting, either for internal needs or to build competitive hosting business.
This is really drastic difference in the business model between vendors analyzed in this comparison, but does it matter anything for you as a hosting client?
Now, one could go straight to conclusion that both Acquia.com and GetPantheon.com are basically classic lock-in vendors, using closed source, proprietary systems and the only thing which is not vendor locked-in is the hosted sites code (which is more than obvious and not really any selling point or anything).
But, think again and ask yourself: would you really benefit from some open-sourced hosting system which is designed from the top to bottom and makes sense only when used by some large scale hosting provider? What would be the point in having Valhalla distributed filesystem or DROPs how-to recipes/installers open sourced, other than to replicate GetPantheon.com business?
With Acquia.com system/stack level configuration and control panel it’s a bit less obvious, since theoretically both could be used also for your small, one-server private hosting needs. The tools available at Acquia.com don’t look like they would make sense only when used on a large scale – at least when you ignore individually configured and priced Managed Cloud option, which could be probably similarly useless for your one-server private hosting needs like Valhalla and DROPs from GetPantheon.com.
The point is that open source is not a Golden Hammer you should expect always available and apply blindly. Sometimes it is not only against business owners and investors interest, but simply doesn’t make any sense, unless they would like to invite someone else to come and get them out of business with even bigger investors/money, which, obviously, would be silly.
Both approaches have their inherited pros and cons, but none of them are really important to any hosting client. These pros and cons are interesting only for those who would like to open their own hosting business, but this is something already beyond the scope of this comparison, so let’s leave it as a side note only.
Do you agree that any controversy around open source versus vendor (proprietary) lock-in in the Drupal hosting is rather a myth than a real problem? Let us know in your comments on Twitter or App.net.
!We post new articles daily (Monday-Friday), so you may want to subscribe to this feed
in your favourite RSS reader to follow up and post your comments on Twitter or App.net.
The Pricing – does it have to be complex? « Previous | Next » Innovation, Target and Focus