Alibaba Blinks: Building an open source, data-driven cloud empire in real-time

Alibaba Blinks: Building an open source, data-driven cloud empire in real-time

Acquiring data Artisans, the vendor leading development of open source Apache Flink framework for real-time data processing, is the latest move from Alibaba. Where does this fit in Alibaba’s strategy to grow its cloud?

Open source business comes and goes, clouds are here to stay. That’s one lesson 2018 has offered, and part of the reason why vendors trading in open source/open core software are adjusting their strategy. Last year saw a number of said vendors change their licensing, adding clauses meant to restrict cloud vendors from “strip mining“: Taking open source platforms and offering them as managed services.

The reasoning behind this strategy (Commons Clause) that has spurred debate in the open source world is that cloud vendors are getting something for free, and then making money out of it. In addition, in many cases this creates competition with platform vendors, who also offer managed versions of their software, creating a “frenemy” situation.

In the case of Alibaba and data Artisans, the conflict ended before it began: Alibaba just acquired data Artisans for a total of €90 million. Data Artisans is the vendor leading development of the open source Apache Flink framework for real-time data processing, as it employs a major part of its core committers.

Flink is one of the key players in data streaming frameworks, enabling processing of data in real-time. Such frameworks are becoming increasingly important, set to eventually become the de-facto entry point for data ingestion and processing. All major cloud vendors at this point either have their own offerings, or offer managed versions of open-source frameworks such as Apache Kafka or Apache Spark, or both.

Read the full article on ZDNet

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