In a steady fashion, almost all users of digital technology and devices are using open source, simply because so many open source software components help drive proprietary applications and platforms. The proliferation of open source components is starting to have a very positive effect on the cloud computing scene. As just one example, Netflix--which has a very robust cloud-based proprietary platform--has released Chaos Monkey and a number of other meaningful open source components that can make cloud deployments stronger.
The problem that MIT researchers are tackling is that cloud deployments often call for a lot of expensive hardware to deal with servers that are partitioned into virtual machines, large memory requirements and more. That's especially true for database-driven applications.