Open Source Plays Well in the Cloud

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    Drivers and Challenges of Enterprise Integration Revealed

    SaaS applications and mobile applications are big business drivers for a faster, more agile approach to the integration layer, says Chris Purpura, vice president and general manager for MuleSoft’s CloudHub integration-as-a-service platform.

    I recently interviewed Purpura to learn why—in this age of the cloud—MuleSoft would be offering cloud-based regional integration.

    Cloud-based services that are marketed with regional locations is something I’ve noticed a couple of companies offering. For example, real-time analytics company InfoChimps offers regional data centers in North America as a way to improve latency for analyzing large volumes of data.

    In MuleSoft’s case, the regional integration runs on Amazon’s global servers. The co-location option is really more about helping customers remain in compliance with government security and privacy regulations, although it also helps with failover.

    But one of the other items we talked about is MuleSoft’s open source business model. I wondered how that worked in the cloud.

    Quite well, it turns out. The primary difference: Customers don’t want the source code.

    “We still make our open source engine available, and then we have a commercial product built around it from on the ground and then our cloud platform uses that engine at the core of it, but the cloud hub itself is a big SaaS application, right?” Purpura explained.  “So it’s a little bit apples and oranges, but what’s cool about it, what I like about it and I think is very interesting, is [that] the adoption model and the customer models are the same.”

    “In other words, you can start for free and you can see the value and you only pay for something once you’re getting value. Even then, you’re paying a subscription that renews every year, but in terms of the relationship between the company and a customer it’s, in my opinion, a much more honest business relationship in the sense that we have to re-earn the business every year, 100 percent of it.”

    In other words, what they have in common is that both offer a free adoption model but profit from an annual subscription model, as opposed to the traditional approach, where software is licensed up front.

    “Maybe six months later they actually get to production or something and at that point, you know, or maybe a year or maybe two years or maybe the project fails, but they’ve already spent all the money,” Purpura said. “One thing I like about open source and SaaS together is they’re both sort of this free adoption model and then it’s an annual subscription model. 

    “I think they’re very symbiotic and aligned and I think it’s a much better model for technology going forward in general.”

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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