At the Open Source Summit in San Diego last summer, a representative from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation enthusiastically declared that open-source was entering its “golden age.” This raises two questions: What will that “golden age” look like, and how will open-source deal with its success? The evidence for open-source popularity is hard to dispute. Whether it’s the purchase of Red Hat Inc. by IBM Corp. for $34 billion in 2018 or surveys that show that at least 85% of businesses are using open-source software in some form, open-source has entered the mainstream enterprise world.
However, success can also breed conflict with existing business models. In the electrical world, this clash is often called “impedance,” a measure of the opposition to the flow of alternating current through a circuit. For one prominent member of the open-source community, handling “impedance” in the form of conflict between legacy infrastructure and new technologies will be a key part of the open-source future.