Google Partners For Open Source Tech On Cloud Platform

Google has announced “strategic partnerships” with seven leading open-source companies, whilst at the same time lamenting the approach to open source undertaken by some of its cloud rivals.

The search engine giant revealed it has signed deals with Confluent, DataStax, Elastic, InfluxData, MongoDB, Neo4j, and Redis Labs, to integrate their respective tech into the Google Cloud.

The deal comes amid a debate about corporate attitudes to open source. Late last year a study from DigitalOcean found that nearly three-quarters of employers expect their developers to use open source software to do their jobs, but that those same companies’ contribution to the open source world is relatively low, with only 25 percent contributing more than $1,000 (£768) a year to open source projects.

Open source partnerships

Google hinted at the relationship some businesses have when it announced in a blog post a number of partnerships with open source firms.

“Google’s belief in an open cloud stems from our deep commitment to open source,” Google said. “We believe open source is an essential part of the public cloud. Today, we’re taking our commitment to open source to the next level by announcing strategic partnerships with leading open source-centric companies in the areas of data management and analytics.”

“We’ve always seen our friends in the open-source community as equal collaborators, and not simply a resource to be mined,” said Google. “With that in mind, we’ll be offering managed services operated by these partners that are tightly integrated into Google Cloud Platform (GCP), providing a seamless user experience across management, billing and support.

“This makes it easier for our enterprise customers to build on open source technologies, and it delivers on our commitment to continually support and grow these open source communities,” said Google.

To this end Google cloud has signed deals with Confluent (event streaming platform), DataStax (distributed cloud database), Elastic (SaaS offerings), InfluxData (open-source time series database), MongoDB (database platform), Neo4j (native graph database platform), and Redis Labs (in-memory database).

Rival services

And this little dig at Google’s cloud rivals in the partnership announcement was expanded upon at Google’s annual Cloud Next conference in San Francisco.

At the opening keynote speech of the conference, Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian, explained Google’s position on open source, and touched upon its competitor’s interactions with the community.

“Google has a long history in building platforms that service ecosystems,” Kurian was quoted by Computer Weekly as saying. “So our view is that platforms that succeed with customers are the ones that enable ecosystems where the cloud providers’ technology is complimented with leading products that customers and developers want to use.”

“Google has had a long history of developing technology and making it available in open source to foster innovation by developers,” he reportedly said. “But recently the open source community has found that cloud providers are not partnering with them, but attempting to take away their ability to monetise open source.”

“Google does not believe that is good for customers, for the developer community or for software innovation,” he reportedly added.

The DigitalOcean study mentioned earlier also ranked which major tech companies embrace open source the most.

Most developers cited Google, at 53 percent, followed by Microsoft at 23 percent, Amazon at 4 percent and Apple at only 1 percent.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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