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MesosCon is an annual conference held in three locations around the globe and organized by the Apache Mesos community in partnership with The Linux Foundation. The events bring together users and developers of the open source orchestration framework to share and learn about the project and its growing ecosystem.

The MesosCon program committee is now seeking proposals for MesosCon North America and MesosCon Europe from speakers with fresh ideas, enlightening case studies, best practices, or deep technical knowledge.

All MesosCon events this year will be held directly following Open Source Summit in China, North America, and Europe. Event dates and locations are as follows:

MesosCon Asia June 21 – 22, 2017 in Beijing, China

MesosCon North America September 14 – 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, USA

MesosCon Europe October 26 – 27, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

Last year, experts from Uber, Twitter, PayPal, and Hubspot, among many others shared how they use Apache Mesos at MesosCon North America.

Best practices, lessons learned, and case studies are again among the topics the program committee is seeking for 2017. Some sample proposal topics include:  

  • Best practices and lessons on deploying and running Mesos at scale

  • Deep dives and tutorials into Mesos

  • Interesting extensions to Mesos (e.g., new communication models, support for new containerizers, new resource types and allocation models, etc.)

  • Improvements/additions to the Mesos ecosystem (packaging systems, monitoring, log aggregation, load balancing, service discovery)

  • New frameworks

  • Microservices design

  • Continuous Delivery / DevOps (automating into production)

Submit a proposal to speak at MesosCon North America » The deadline is May 20.

Submit a proposal to speak at MesosCon Europe » The deadline is July 8.

The deadline has passed for submitting proposals for MesosCon Asia.

Not interested in speaking but want to attend? Linux.com readers receive 5% off the “attendee” registration with code LINUXRD5.

Register for MesosCon Asia » Save $125 through April 30.

Register for MesosCon North America » Save $200 through July 2.

Register for MesosCon Europe » Save $200 through August 27.

Apache, Apache Mesos, and Mesos are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in the United States and/or other countries. MesosCon is run in partnership with the ASF.

On Friday, March 31, The Linux Foundation will kick off a new initiative. No, it’s not a new project, event, or training course, although there are plenty of those in store. Instead, the foundation will begin a monthly Twitter chat, called #AskLF, with leaders at the organization.

With #AskLF, we aim to increase access to the bright minds and community organizers within The Linux Foundation. While there are many opportunities to interact with staff at Linux Foundation global events, which bring together over 25,000 open source influencers, a live Twitter Q&A will give participants a direct line of communication to the designated hosts.

The first host will be Arpit Joshipura, the General Manager of Networking & Orchestration appointed in late 2016. His #AskLF session will take place in advance of Open Networking Summit, where he will speak on two keynote panels alongside Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin, ON.Lab/ONF Executive Director Guru Parulkar, and others. @linuxfoundation followers are encouraged to ask Joshipura questions related to the open source networking ecosystem.

Sample questions might include:

  • What is the goal of SDN? What can a network admin do in an SDN environment?

  • How can my company investigate the benefits of SDN/NFV?

  • How does The Linux Foundation help the open source community implement open networking at the individual and corporate level?

Here’s how you can participate in the first #AskLF:

  • Follow @linuxfoundation on Twitter: Hosts will take over The Linux Foundation’s account during the session.

  • Save the date: March 31, 2017 at 10 a.m. PT.

  • Use the hashtag #AskLF: To ask Joshipura your questions while he hosts, simply tweet it with the hashtag #AskLF on 3/31 between 10 am & 10:45 am PDT.

  • Draft questions in advance: Read about The Linux Foundation’s open networking strategy, Joshipura’s background, and upcoming speaking engagements in the links below. We can’t guarantee that he will have time to answer every inquiry, but every attempt will be made!

  • Consider attending Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara next month: This #AskLF session will prepare you to engage in the topics at ONS and you’ll get a chance to hear Joshipura speak live. Click here for registration details and discount info (that means you, students and academics!)

More dates and details for future #AskLF sessions to come! We’ll see you on Twitter, March 31st at 10 a.m. PT.

More information on Arpit Joshipura:

http://www.telcotransformation.com/author.asp?section_id=401&doc_id=731007&

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3147937/linux/linux-foundation-adds-an-open-source-networking-specialist-to-the-team.html

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/qa-arpit-joshipura-head-networking-linux-foundation/2017/01/

*Note: Unlike Reddit-style AMAs, #AskLF is not focused around general topics that might pertain to the host’s personal life. To participate, please focus your questions around open source networking and Arpit Joshipura’s career.

This week in open source news, SDxCentral calls The Linux Foundation crucial to the networking evolution, the cloud should be central in kickstarting your business, and more! Read on for more Linux and OSS headlines.

1) “With the importance of open source and SDN, virtual switches, and open software stacks, the Linux Foundation has become highly relevant to the next-gen data center networking evolution.”

Web Titans Have Big Influence on Data Center Networking Efforts– SDxCentral

2) The cloud can help developers achieve great success while keeping costs down. The Register delves into how startups, PaaS, and blockchain factor in.

How the Cloud Can Kickstart Your Business– The Register

3) Karl-Heinz Schneider claims that there are no good reasons to migrate back to Windows, after a back and forth city debate.

Munich IT Chief Slams City’s Decision to Dump Linux For Windows– The Inquirer

4) A dangerous flaw in the kernel allowed attackers to elevate their access rights and crash systems.

Another Years-Old Flaw Fixed in the Linux Kernel– BleepingComputer

5) “Dramatic changes in the use of open source require modifications to organizations’ application security strategies.”

Security in the Age of Open Source– DarkReading

The previous article in this series covered how to establish a baseline for open source software compliance by finding exactly which open source software is already in use and under which licenses it is available. But how do you make sure that future revisions of the same product (or other products built using the initial baseline) stay compliant once the baseline is established?

This is the concept of incremental compliance: you need to ensure compliance of whatever source code changes took place between the initial compliant baseline and the current version.

Maintaining open source license compliance throughout code changes is a continuous effort that depends on discipline and commitment to build compliance activities into existing engineering and business processes. And it’s a process that involves maintaining both the open source code, as well as the open source culture of an organization.

Below are some recommendations, based on The Linux Foundation’s e-book Open Source Compliance in the Enterprise, for some of the best ways to maintain compliance as your organization’s code and company evolves.

Maintaining Code Compliance

First, companies can maintain open source code compliance through processes and improvements aimed at the development process:

  • Adherence to the company’s compliance policy and process, in addition to any provided guidelines

  • Continuous audits of all source code integrated in the code base, regardless of its origins

  • Continuous improvements to the tools used in ensuring compliance and automating as much of the process as possible to ensure high efficiency in executing the compliance program

Maintaining a Culture of Compliance

In addition to the code, companies need to take steps to maintain compliance activities as the organization itself grows and ships more products and services using open source software. They must institutionalize compliance within their development culture to ensure its sustainability. Below are a few ways that companies can maintain the culture of compliance, as well as code compliance.

Sponsorship

Executive-level commitment is essential to ensure sustainability of compliance activities. There must be a company executive who acts as ongoing compliance champion and who ensures corporate support for open source management functions.

Consistency

Achieving consistency across the company is key in large companies with multiple business units and subsidiaries. A consistent interdepartmental approach helps with recordkeeping, and also facilitates sharing code across groups.

Measurement and analysis

Measure and analyze the impact and effectiveness of compliance activities, processes, and procedures with the goal of studying performance and improving the compliance program. Metrics will help you communicate the productivity advantages that accrue from each program element when promoting the compliance program.

Refining compliance processes

The scope and nature of an organization’s use of open source is dynamic — dependent on products, technologies, mergers, acquisitions, offshore development activities, and many other factors. Therefore, it is necessary to continuously review compliance policies and processes and introduce improvements.

Furthermore, open source license interpretations and legal risks continue to evolve. In such a dynamic environment, a compliance program must evolve as well.

A compliance program is of no value unless it is enforced. An effective compliance program should include mechanisms for ongoing monitoring of adherence to the program and for enforcing policies, procedures, and guidelines throughout the organization. One way to enforce the compliance program is to integrate it within the software development process and ensure that some measurable portion of employee performance evaluation depends on their commitment to and execution of compliance program activities.

Staffing

Ensure that staff is allocated to the compliance function, and that adequate compliance training is provided to every employee in the organization. In larger organizations, the compliance officer and related roles may grow to be FTEs (full time equivalents); in smaller organizations, the responsibility of open source management is more likely to be a shared and/or a part-time activity.

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Read the first article in this series:

An Introduction to Open Source Compliance in the Enterprise

In today’s rapidly evolving markets, companies that consistently innovate, most quickly and at the least cost, will win. And, as you’ve seen in our ongoing series, using Open Source Software (OSS) enables rapid, low-cost innovation. But it can also introduce operational challenges and legal risks.

We’re at a point now that OSS has become such a mainstream phenomenon that not using open source almost certainly places your organization at a disadvantage. So you must learn how to navigate the challenges and risks in order to remain competitive.

“Open source is ubiquitous, it’s unavoidable… having a policy against open source is impractical and places you at a competitive disadvantage.” — Gartner.

In this post, we’ll explore how open source became the de facto way to build software. Then we’ll cover the challenges this new method of software development has introduced for organizations. You can download the entire series now in our Fundamentals of Professional Open Source Management sample chapter.

The open source development revolution

From innovative beginnings in academic research and the GNU tools project started roughly four decades ago, OSS has grown into a major phenomenon that has reshaped multiple industries. Today, there are more than 1.5 million unique open source projects offering terabytes of working code to software developers. The availability of these resources and the trends toward modular software and software reuse have radically changed the way most companies develop software.

Not so long ago, we developed most of our software products in-house. We might have used a few third-party components for connectivity to other systems or some specialized processing, but these were acquired through a carefully controlled procurement process.

Today, we develop more complicated software faster by using open source components freely available on the Internet. Most of our activity has shifted from specifying and implementing our own custom software to integrating already available working pieces. We only code the parts that are truly unique to our application.

But now, instead of a few carefully controlled code acquisitions, we are repeatedly downloading code from the Internet to evaluate, prototype, and integrate. Although this approach speeds up development, it has created some significant new challenges.

6 OSS operational challenges

While using OSS brings many advantages, it can introduce risks and ​additional operational complexity to software development lifecycles.

● Organizations must deal with many new software sources, including commercial and noncommercial suppliers – some use OSS acquired from hundreds of different sources.

● The cornucopia of available open source components drives a higher volume of third-party software acquisition decisions. Where are these decisions being made? Many developers are not qualified to consider all of the necessary aspects including software license analysis, but a heavy-weight process like the old procurement approach is too expensive and time consuming to apply to the new volume of acquisitions.

● Integration of a large number of third party components can create complexity. One area of complexity is software version consistency across multiple interdependent stacks of code.

● Open source projects run the gamut from amateur exercises to professionally developed and tested releases. Your organization must ensure that appropriate levels of quality are chosen for each application.

● How will your organization obtain technical support and updates for all of these different open source components? Healthy open source communities provide excellent support and maintenance, but the self-service model of open source requires consistent participation on the part of your developers.

● Commercial relationships can reinforce your requirements with suppliers by adding a financial incentive, but influencing open source project direction is dependent upon multiple aspects of participation.

In our final article, we’ll discuss the legal issues and risks that come when companies incorporate OSS into their own software projects. And we’ll introduce the spectrum of open source license types with which organizations should become familiar.

Open source software management

Read more:

What Is Open Source Software?

Using Open Source Software to Speed Development and Gain Business Advantage

6 Reasons Why Open Source Software Lowers Development Costs

Why Using Open Source Software Helps Companies Stay Flexible and Innovate

Companies that use Open Source Software (OSS) find that it offers the most flexibility of any third-party software alternative. You are, for example, never locked into a vendor, their costs, their buying structures, or their re-distribution terms. Open Source enables vendor independence.

In addition, using OSS speeds development, lowers costs, and keeps companies on the cutting edge of technology by facilitating innovation. Open source communities provide a low-cost medium for incubation and testing of new capabilities. While open source ecosystems direct ownership and accountability back to the development teams.

All of this adds up to a competitive advantage for organizations that use OSS.

Previously in this series, we’ve discussed why OSS is faster and more cost effective. This time we’ll cover why open source software is also more flexible and supports innovation.

Why Is Open Source Software More Flexible?

Open Source offers the most flexibility of any third-party software alternative. Here’s why:

● Vendor independence — as mentioned above,  you are never locked into a vendor.

● No contractual limits on deployment — OSS often has very liberal terms attached to it for deployment, so you have the greatest possible flexibility on platforms, numbers of users, number of processors, or any other scaling factor that could impact the price of proprietary software.

● Source code allows customization — Because you’re in possession the source code, you may also customize OSS to meet your needs. And if your customizations are of value to others, the community may support your modifications in future releases.

● Open source communities encourage and facilitate customization — making it easier to extend the solution for particular use cases or to integrate with other products.

● Ongoing collaborative community support and maintenance – healthy Open Source communities provide ongoing support and encourage input and suggestions for improvements.

How Does Open Source Software Support Innovation?

OSS was originally conceived as a way to facilitate development and innovation through collaboration. The open source approach has proven so effective for innovation, that many leading edge software technologies are driven by open source communities. For example:

● The Internet has been developed primarily as a large collection of individual, but related, open source projects.

● Software development tool innovation and integration is largely an open source domain.

● The incredible rate of innovation in the mobile communications space is only possible through OSS. Although Android is the primary example, even proprietary platforms like Apple’s iOS are largely built from open source components, like BSD Unix.

● Like the rest of the Internet, social media software has emerged from and grown through open source.

● The arena of scientific computing and massively parallel computing are almost exclusively open source domains.

Many open source communities exhibit rapid evolution that can be harnessed through participation to speed your company’s or your organization’s innovative processes. The open source ethos of bottom-up meritocracy directs ownership and accountability back to development teams. One of the best ways to introduce a new software idea, test new capabilities, and grow an active user base is through an open source community.

And finally, the innovation that open source enables is not just in the technical arena. The lack of contractual constraints in open source licensing allows for creative new uses, new distribution schemes, flexible and creative packaging and pricing approaches, and other forms of business and market innovation.

In today’s rapidly evolving markets, companies that consistently innovate, most quickly, at the least cost, will win. NOT USING open source software may place your organization at a disadvantage.

However, there are some operational challenges that companies must face when they embrace the open source development revolution. We’ll cover some of these challenges next week and then finish up the series with an overview of some of the legal risks involved with poorly managed OSS.

Open source software management

Read more:

What Is Open Source Software?

Using Open Source Software to Speed Development and Gain Business Advantage

6 Reasons Why Open Source Software Lowers Development Costs

Communication is one of the seven essential elements to ensure the success of open source license compliance activities. And it’s not enough to communicate compliance policies and processes with executive leadership, managers, engineers, and other employees. Companies must also develop external messaging for the developer communities of the open source projects they use in their products.

Below are some recommendations, based on The Linux Foundation’s e-book Open Source Compliance in the Enterprise, for some of the best ways to communicate open source license compliance both internally and externally.

Internal Communication

Companies need internal compliance communication to ensure that employees are aware of what is involved when they include open source in a commercial software portfolio. You also want to ensure that employees are educated about the company’s compliance policies, processes, and guidelines. Internal communications can take any of several forms:

  • Email communication providing executive support and of open source compliance activities

  • Formal training mandated for all employees working with open source software

  • Brown-bag open source and compliance seminars to bring additional compliance awareness and promote active discussion

  • An internal open source portal to host the company’s compliance policies and procedures, open source related publications and presentations, mailing lists, and a discussion forum related to open source and compliance

  • A company-wide open source newsletter, usually sent every other month or on quarterly basis, to raise awareness of open source compliance

External Communication

Companies also need external compliance communications to ensure that the open source community is aware of their efforts to meet the license obligations of the open source software they are using in their products.

External communications can take several forms:

• Website dedicated to distributing open source software for the purpose of compliance

• Outreach and support of open source organizations which help the company build relationships with open source organizations, understand the roles of these organizations, and contribute to their efforts where it makes sense

• Participation in open source events and conferences. This can be at various levels ranging from sponsoring an event, to contributing presentations and publications, or simply sending developers to attend and meet open source developers and foster new relationships with open source community members.

Open Source Compliance

Read the other articles in this series:

The 7 Elements of an Open Source Management Program: Strategy and Process

The 7 Elements of an Open Source Management Program: Teams and Tools

How and Why to do Open Source Compliance Training at Your Company

Basic Rules to Streamline Open Source Compliance For Software Development

In some organizations, faster development is the primary motivation for using Open Source Software (OSS.) For others, cost savings or flexibility is the most important factor.

Last week, we detailed how OSS speeds development. Now let’s explore how open source software reduces development costs.

6 reasons OSS is lower cost                    

Using OSS can significantly reduce development costs in a number of proven ways. It can be much less expensive to acquire than commercially-licensed software or in-house developed software. These cost savings start with acquisition, but extend to deployment, support, and maintenance. Using open source software:

1. Saves 20-55% over commercial solutions, according to our Linux Foundation Consulting clients

2. Avoids functionality overkill and bundling — Many proprietary products have an overload of capabilities that clients rarely use, need, or even want. Often, they’re bundled, so that they must be paid for anyway.

● Avoids unwieldy closed system deployments – OSS eliminates the costly pricing games and traps that come with commercial sales and negotiations.

● Helps prevent vendor lock-in. Even where commercial OSS vendors provide a channel to deliver and support Open Source, customers have the freedom to switch vendors or even drop commercial support entirely, without changing the application or code in use.

● Avoids proprietary solutions consulting traps — OSS also helps with consulting, training and support costs because there is no exclusive access to the technology. You can often multi-source support, or even receive support from a vibrant community of developers who are actually working with the code on a daily basis.

● Benefits from ongoing community support — Active communities often provide higher quality support than commercial support organizations, and what’s more, community support is free.

Whether your organization chooses OSS for its speed of development, lower costs, flexibility, or because it keeps you on the leading edge of technology, OSS provides a competitive advantage.

Next up in this series, we’ll discuss why open source software is more flexible. You can also download the entire series today in our Fundamentals of Professional Open Source Management sample chapter.

Open source software management

Read more:

What Is Open Source Software?

Using Open Source Software to Speed Development and Gain Business Advantage

Why Using Open Source Software Helps Companies Stay Flexible and Innovate

There are many compelling reasons to use Open Source Software (OSS), all of which add up to a competitive advantage for the organization.

Using OSS:

  • Speeds delivery of software and hardware solutions

  • Saves money

  • Provides flexibility

  • Helps companies stay on the leading edge of technology development

This is the second part of our ongoing series of articles that explains the basics of open source for business advantage and how to achieve it through the discipline of professional open source management.

Last week, we started by defining “Open Source” in common terms — the first step for any organization that wants to realize, and optimize, the advantages of using open source software (OSS) in their products or services.  In the next few articles, we will provide more details about each of the ways OSS adds up to a business advantage for organizations that use and contribute to open source. First, we’ll discuss why many organizations use OSS to speed up the delivery of software and hardware solutions.

How does OSS speed up development?

Open Source Software has proven instrumental in speeding software development cycles. One of the most striking examples is in the mobile device market, where we see major new products being released in six-month cycles. Open Source is essential to rapid, evolutionary, incremental delivery…

So how does OSS speed up development?

Faster, easier acquisition processes – there are no purchase orders, contracts, or SOW negotiations.

Quicker deployments – Unlike commercial installation, configuration, and implementation cycles, which are often long and cumbersome, Open Source comes from a download-and-go culture.

Rapid evolution and innovation – with community-driven features, instead of revenue-driven management.

Higher quality – Because it is subjected to broad community testing. Mature OSS quality met or exceeded expectations 92 percent of the time, according to a recent Forrester Research study.

Ease of customization – through access to source code, a collaborative community, interfaces, and tools.

Evolutionary delivery – means OSS is usually up and running in hours, instead of weeks or months.

In other organizations, cost savings are the most important factor. While some organizations choose OSS for the flexibility it affords or the desire to stay at the leading edge of development.  Next week, we will provide more details about each of these reasons for using OSS.

Open source software management

Read more:

What Is Open Source Software?

6 Reasons Why Open Source Software Lowers Development Costs

The following is adapted from The Linux Foundation’s e-book, Open Source Compliance in the Enterprise, by Ibrahim Haddad, PhD.

Companies will almost certainly face challenges establishing their open source compliance program. In this series of articles, based on The Linux Foundation’s e-book, Open Source Compliance in the Enterprise, we discuss some of the most common challenges, and offer recommendations on how to overcome them.

The first challenge is to balance the compliance program and its supporting infrastructure with (existing) internal processes while meeting deadlines to ship products and launch services. Various approaches can help ease or solve such challenges and assist in the creation of a streamlined program that is not seen as a burden to development activities.

Companies should streamline open source management upon two important foundational elements: a simple and clear compliance policy and a lightweight compliance process.

Mandate basic rules

It’s important to first have executive-level commitment to the open source management program to ensure success and continuity. In addition, policies and processes have to be light and efficient so that development teams do not regard them as overly burdensome to the development process. Establish some simple rules that everyone must follow:

  • Require developers to fill out a request form for any open source software they plan to incorporate into a product of software stack.

  • Require third-party software suppliers to disclose information about open source software included in their deliverables. Your software suppliers may not have great open source compliance practices, and it is recommended that you update your contractual agreement to include language related to open source disclosures.

  • Mandate architecture reviews and code inspections for the Open Source Review Board (OSRB) to understand how software components are interrelated and to discover license obligations that can propagate from open source to proprietary software. You will need proper tooling to accommodate a large-scale operation.

  • Scan all incoming software received from third party software providers and ensure that their open source disclosures are correct and complete.

Integrate Rules Into the Existing Development Process

Once the basic rules have been established, the most successful way to create compliance is to incorporate the compliance process and policies, checkpoints and activities as part of existing software development processes.

The priority for all organizations is to ship products and services on time while building and expanding their internal open source compliance infrastructure. Therefore, you should expect to build your compliance infrastructure as you go, keeping in mind scalability for future activities and products. The key is thoughtful and realistic planning.

Plan a complete compliance infrastructure to meet your long- term goals, and then implement the pieces stepwise, as needed for short-term execution.

For instance, if you are just starting to develop a product or deliver a service that includes open source and you do not yet have any compliance infrastructure in place, the most immediate concern should be establishing a compliance team, processes and policy, tools and automation, and training your employees. Having kicked off these activities (in that order) and possessing a good grip on the build system (from a compliance perspective), you can move on to other program elements.

The next challenge to establishing an open source compliance program is clearly communicating your organization’s efforts to meet its open source license obligations with others inside and outside the company. In the next article, we’ll cover some practical ways to approach communication.

Get the open source compliance training you need. Take the free “Compliance Basics for Developers” course from The Linux Foundation. Sign up now!

Read the other articles in this series:

The 7 Elements of an Open Source Management Program: Strategy and Process

The 7 Elements of an Open Source Management Program: Teams and Tools

How and Why to do Open Source Compliance Training at Your Company