Open source breakaway as cloud management vendor turns its back on community roots

Cloud computing software provider Enomaly's move away from its open source roots has so enraged one open source supporter that he has developed OpenECP, a competing version of the company's software.


Cloud computing software provider Enomaly's move away from its open source roots has so enraged one open source supporter that he has developed OpenECP, a competing version of the company's software.

Toronto-based Enomaly severed its links with open source software with the release of the latest version of its Elastic Computing Platform (ECP). Not only did the company remove all traces of the open source Community Edition from the product but it also moved ECP from the open source repository, SourceForge, moves which caused great disquiet among the company's customer base. 

Enomaly also signed up to be part of the Intel Cloud Builder programme - another move guaranteed to raise the hackles of the open source community. Enomaly has also since closed down its open source site. 

"OpenECP was developed because there was a prime need for open source virtual machine management software. Enomaly staked out the ground first and we've been watching what they were doing with the software - their migration from the LGPL to the AGPL should have been warning enough, but I don't think any of us expected them to eradicate the code altogether," said Sam Johnston, the person behind the OpenECP initiative.

Enomaly's move wasn't solely to move away from open source. It has claimed that the new software includes a number of new features including greater scalability, the ability to create VLANs, automated provisioning, and tighter security. Johnston admits that the company has dealt with some long-standing issues although he believes that some problems remain.

In his blog, Johnston explained why he thought that the issues hadn't been dealt with and that Enomaly's claims had no substance. "The reason I'm naturally suspicious of such claims is that I've already discovered a handful of critical security vulnerabilities in this product (and that's without even having to look beyond the startup script," he wrote.

Johnston denied that the creation of OpenECP was some sort of political stunt. "Enomaly claims to have some 15,000 ECP customers left high and dry by the decision to move away from the open source product. I'm providing a choice for those customers who want to stick with open source. "There's already been a lot of work done on setting up the domain and site, not to mention fixing the security issues and meticulously stripping thousands of references to Enomaly trademarks - far more work than necessary for a political stunt."

So far, Johnston is the sole driving force behind OpenECP but he hopes those 15,000 users will give it some impetus. "I don't have the bandwidth to manage everything myself, but I'll put in what's necessary to get off the ground. If we get critical mass we can add open standard APIs like the Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI), support for other hypervisors and cloud infrastructure services, such as Amazon EC2, as well as billing and monitoring.

We asked Enomaly for a comment, but the company has yet to respond.

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