Software vendor embraces open-source model to clarify product line and enhance value proposition
There’s no more confusion over what’s open- and closed-source at Chef Software. The IT automation and dev ops software vendor is making its entire software portfolio open-source and free to use under the Apache 2.0 license. At the same time, Chef is introducing a new commercial management platform that ties together its various management and development applications through an entirely open-source software stack.
The Lowdown: Chef, which provides tools for developing applications and managing IT systems, is one of a handful of disruptive start-ups that leverage open- and closed-source software for the development of its applications. Chef reportedly decided to declare all its applications open-source in a bid to clarify with users and customers which pieces of its code are open and restricted. By going open-source, Chef is making its entire portfolio available to the open-source community.
At the same time, Chef introduced its new commercial integrated suite, Chef Enterprise Automation Stack, which unifies its existing products — Chef Automate, Chef Infra, Chef
The Details: The move to an open-source, unrestricted license will eliminate confusion among Chef users over what’s free for use and development and what’s commercially out-of-bounds. Additionally, Chef is looking to reap the benefits of the development community, which will now have full access to the source code and be able to contribute to product development. Competitors such as Redis, MongoBD, and Elastic are pursuing different strategies in which they make applications more restrictive to prevent cloud providers from tapping into their intellectual property.
The Impact: For Chef channel partners, the move to open-source is a potential boom. The model is akin to Red Hat’s, which enables partners to deliver integration, customization, and support services for open-source software. Shifting the value proposition from software rights to professional services will provide Chef partners with more latitude in customer engagements.
The Buzz: “Moving all of our code to open-source stays true to the philosophy that Chef was founded on, that a community of collaborators with the ongoing ability to create software for their shared purpose is good for all,” said Adam Jacob, co-founder and board member of Chef. “The value of that collaboration lies in the software, and everyone should have access to make what they want from it.”
“The future of high-performing, agile enterprises is collaboration through
“Chef is fully committed to enabling organizations to eliminate friction across the lifecycle of all of their applications, ensuring that, whether they build their solutions from our open-source code or license our commercial distribution, they can benefit from collaboration as code,” said Barry Crist, CEO of Chef. “Chef Enterprise Automation Stack lets teams establish and maintain a consistent path to production for any application, in order to increase velocity and improve efficiency, so deployment and updates of mission-critical software become easier, move faster, and work flawlessly.”