Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

VCs Back Open-Source Upstarts

Filed under
OSS

Kim Polese has a history of spotting a hot tech market and getting venture capitalists to pony up the money to back her ideas. After making a tech-boom splash in the 1990s with Marimba Inc., Polese now has her sights set on an emerging area of the open-source software market that has investors dusting off their checkbooks.

Her new company, SpikeSource Inc., emerged last week from two years of startup incubation funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and offers software and services that marry different open-source software with each other and with proprietary packages.

As the market for open-source software matures, companies such as SpikeSource are attracting the interest of well-heeled VCs such as Kleiner Perkins and of IT industry veterans. Several are doing so with a strategy similar to SpikeSource: Rather than tie themselves to particular open-source software such as Linux, Apache, or JBoss, they're trying to help companies integrate these applications into their existing IT infrastructures.

SpikeSource's technology is designed to ensure that different open-source software works in unison and to track and analyze the performance of open-source software environments. While these functions can be performed today by more traditional systems integrators, SpikeSource wants to provide an automated approach, says Polese, who in 1996 co-founded Marimba, a maker of software-management apps that in 2004 was acquired by BMC Software Inc.

SpikeSource isn't saying how much venture capital it received from Kleiner Perkins, but the company boasts a lot of star power on its advisory board. Ray Lane, a general partner at the venture-capital firm and former president and chief operating officer of Oracle, serves as SpikeSource's chairman. MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, Mozilla Foundation president Mitchell Baker, and Brian Behlendorf, a primary developer of the Apache Web server, sit on the advisory board.

GroundWork Open Source Solutions Inc., a provider of open-source-based IT-management software and services, late last month revealed $8.5 million in series B funding, led by Mayfield Fund and Canaan Partners. GroundWork has raised a total of $11.5 million to expand its product and services offerings, as well as build out its marketing and sales programs.

GroundWork's Monitor product is a combination of open-source packages. At its core is the Nagios open-source host, service, and network-monitoring application. On top of Nagios, GroundWork has included PerfParse to facilitate the storage and analysis of binary performance data produced by Nagios. Other open-source components include Network Mapper, or Nmap, a utility for network exploration or security auditing; Cacti network-graphing software; Jetspeed portal software from Apache Software Foundation; and the MySQL database.

Some question the sustainability of the open-source vendor model. After all, if users have access to the source code, what's to stop them from modifying a program beyond the vendor's ability to support it? Not a problem, says Will Winkelstein, marketing VP at GroundWork. Of GroundWork's 45 customers, he has yet to come across anyone who has gone in and changed the code.

Polese is aware that companies aren't likely to abandon the proprietary software investments they've made over the years. Instead, they're looking to make coexistence of proprietary and open-source software easier. "We don't expect that suddenly the enterprise will use a pure open-source environment," she says.

So is this venture-capital interest all too reminiscent of the dot-com era, when easy money created startups without clear profit or purpose? There's one big difference, Polese says: "Companies are already using open source. The dot-com stuff was mostly speculative."

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Kernel News

  • Linux Foundation smushes two smaller projects together to form Open Networking Automation Platform
    The Linux Foundation announced yesterday that it had combined open source ECOMP and the Open Orchestrator Project into ONAP, the Open Networking Automation Platform, with the aim of helping users automate network service delivery, design, and service through a unified standard. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said that ONAP should be a boon to enterprise IT departments, thanks to improved speed and flexibility.
  • Linux Foundation merges Open Source ECOMP, OPEN-O, further harmonizes virtualization group efforts
    Open source ECOMP and the Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) have merged to create the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project, further harmonizing the ever-growing array of disparate virtualization groups. ONAP will allow end users to automate, design, orchestrate, and manage services and virtual functions.
  • I am a Cranky, White, Male Feminist
    Today, I was re-reading an linux.com article from 2014 by Leslie Hawthorne which had been reshared by the Linux Foundation Facebook account yesterday in honor of #GirlDay2017 (which I was regrettably unaware of until it was over). It wasn’t so much the specific content of the article that got me thinking, but instead the level of discourse that it “inspired” on the Facebook thread that pointed me there (I will not link to it as it is unpleasant and reflects poorly on The Linux Foundation, an organization which is in most circumstances largely benevolent).
  • encyclopedia snabb and the case of the foreign drivers
    Peoples of the blogosphere, welcome back to the solipsism! Happy 2017 and all that. Today's missive is about Snabb (formerly Snabb Switch), a high-speed networking project we've been working on at work for some years now. What's Snabb all about you say? Good question and I have a nice answer for you in video and third-party textual form! This year I managed to make it to linux.conf.au in lovely Tasmania. Tasmania is amazing, with wild wombats and pademelons and devils and wallabies and all kinds of things, and they let me talk about Snabb.

Security News

  • Security updates for Friday
  • [Older] Microsoft Delays February Patch Tuesday Updates Until Next Month
    It was created by Microsoft as a way to have a standard delivery date/schedule for updates that were being provided for the companies software. This allowed a lot of stability for users and IT Pros so they could be prepared for the monthly distribution oof the updates. Well this month Microsoft has hit a snag with their monthly Patch Tuesday.
  • Watershed SHA1 collision just broke the WebKit repository, others may follow
    The bug resides in Apache SVN, an open source version control system that WebKit and other large software development organizations use to keep track of code submitted by individual members. Often abbreviated as SVN, Subversion uses SHA1 to track and merge duplicate files. Somehow, SVN systems can experience a severe glitch when they encounter the two PDF files published Thursday, proving that real-world collisions on SHA1 are now practical.
  • Cloudflare Reverse Proxies are Dumping Uninitialized Memory
    Thanks to Josh Triplett for sending us this Google Project Zero report about a dump of unitialized memory caused by Cloudflare's reverse proxies. "A while later, we figured out how to reproduce the problem. It looked like that if an html page hosted behind cloudflare had a specific combination of unbalanced tags, the proxy would intersperse pages of uninitialized memory into the output (kinda like heartbleed, but cloudflare specific and worse for reasons I'll explain later). My working theory was that this was related to their "ScrapeShield" feature which parses and obfuscates html - but because reverse proxies are shared between customers, it would affect *all* Cloudflare customers. We fetched a few live samples, and we observed encryption keys, cookies, passwords, chunks of POST data and even HTTPS requests for other major cloudflare-hosted sites from other users. Once we understood what we were seeing and the implications, we immediately stopped and contacted cloudflare security. "
  • Secure your system with SELinux
    SELinux is well known as the most sophisticated Linux Mandatory Access Control (MAC) System. If you install any Fedora or Redhat operating System it is enabled by default and running in enforcing mode. So far so good.

Android Leftovers

Entroware Launches Ubuntu-Powered Aether Laptop with Intel Kaby Lake CPUs

Softpedia was informed today, February 24, 2017, by Entroware, a UK-based hardware manufacturer known for building and selling desktops, laptops, and servers with the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system pre-installed, about a brand-new product. Read more