Server-Side Licensing Leads to The Rising in Public Cloud Prices

When we look at the newest server-side types of licensing, we are starting to see a pattern that they are actually starting to hurt some public cloud customers, and this is evident in a new study that looks at the move away from open-source licensing. More than half of the IT professionals that took part in a recent Vanson Bourne survey for Percona said that public cloud providers need to do more to support open-source companies.

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The public clouds are known for relying heavily on open-source IT infrastructure, and given the fact that big providers do indeed contribute some of the internal technology they have to the open-source community, there has actually been a trend to developed managed services which is based on the popular open-source products.

These services are created with the intention of competing directly with the managed services which are offered by the original open-source developer of the products. In effect, through providing rival managed services, some industry commentators have argued that the public cloud providers are essentially killing off the original developer’s revenue streams.

Now, The Vanson Bourne and Percona research found that 58% of all of the IT professionals that took part in the survey cite competition from public cloud companies that end up using open source projects, but do not contribute back to them, and this is one of the top three challenges that is currently faced by the open-source companies.

Computer Weekly has actually reported that a number of open-source software providers have introduced new licensing, especially to combat the threat from public cloud providers.

We’ll be using MongoDB for this example, where it has a server-side public license (SSPL) which charges cloud providers a fee when providing the software as a service throughout their platform.

Even Grafana Labs has recently managed to relicense its open-source projects from the Apache License 2.0 to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) v3. It has a revenue-sharing agreement with AWS, while the fees AWS pays Grafana Lans are classed as discretionary.

Two-thirds of them or 67% of the IT professionals that ended up taking part in the research also said that they were aware of the different licensing schemes which were available from open-source software providers. One-third or 32% said that they understood the situation, but would need to do some further research, and the others did not think that there was a difference in the types of licenses offered by the open-source providers.

The survey shows that many respondents are confident in the fact that they are aware of the differences between open source and source available licenses.

When asked how public cloud providers contribute back to open-source:

  • 59% of them said that they could do so by providing security.
  • 48% said that they could do so by encouraging open-source collaboration.
  • 43% said that they could do so by improving existing code quality.
  • 43% said that they could do so by enabling open-source to actually run on their cloud.

Percona noted that the survey actually showed that positivity towards the public cloud companies is actually unjustified as many respondents agree that open-source companies need to be able to protect themselves against the public cloud influence.


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