Open as in Vendor-Lock

If you’re in the market for cloud software, specifically something based on Linux and Kubernetes, you’ll be penetrated by companies who claim their products would be open-source, and therefore would not lock you in.

Well, that’s a lie…

Let me explain that.

If you look at companies who claim to be the “biggest open-source company in the world” or “the biggest independent open-source company in the world“, their products are open-source. This means, one can look into their sources.

For most people, this implies it would impose no vendor lock on them. Because open-source. At least that is, what they interpret, when reading of “true open-source” or “open open-source”. Truth is, that this is a lie.

Obviously, Kubernetes and related technologies are open and actually impose no vendor locking on you. But if you were forced to run a specific Linux (which costs a lot and provides challenging subscription terms), then one would call this: A vendor lock.

Purposefully implemented vendor locks

This kind of vendor locking is considered to be very negative, since it is willingly imposed on a platform (Kubernetes or OpenStack or Cloud Foundry, just to name a few), which is actually open and on its own undemanding in regard of its underlying Linux flavour.

The same is true for something some companies call “Enterprise storage”, which typically is Ceph. Which is only running on these companies Linux distributions, opposite to what Vanilla Ceph is able to do. Or for company-specific versions of OpenStack or Cloud Foundry – all which are limited to the specific platforms.

The point is: These limitations are artifical. There might be reasons for doing that, but for whatever reason it is done – it still remains a vendor lock.

Open-Source != Vendor Agnostic

So, next time, when you look into one of their offerings, you should read what they actually say: “We offer you our heavily customized versions of those awesome vanilla projects, so you have to stick within our ecosystem”.

And you should remember, that “open-source” does not mean “vendor neutral” or “vendor agnostic”. These terms have nothing to do with each other – proprietary solutions can be vendor-agnostic and open-source software can be vendor-locking.

And you should consider deciding for a true open-source and vendor-agnostic solution. Which would be VanillaStack.

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