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WSO2 Donates Stratos to the Apache Foundation

by Abel Avram on Jun 24, 2013 |

Apache Stratos has entered incubation with contributors from Cisco, NASA, Citrix and Engine Yard, among others. WSO2 still keeps their open source middleware under their control.

WSO2 has donated Stratos to the Apache Foundation which accepted it into incubation, opening the way for other parties interested to contribute to this already open source PaaS. The main components entering Apache’s supervision are:

  • an IaaS-agnostic layer based on JClouds
  • Stratos Controller – responsible for interacting with the underlying IaaS, managing and monitoring jobs
  • Stratos Foundation Services – messaging, logging, security, registry and billing
  • A number of pre-built cartridges: MySQL, PHP and Tomcat. More on cartridges in this InfoQ post.

The project is to be called Apache Stratos. The initial list of committers includes several core WSO2 developers, but also developers from SUSE, Cisco, Citrix, NASA JPL, Sungard and Engine Yard. Being a good choice for many enterprises interested in building a private PaaS, it is no wonder to see contributors to Stratos from Cisco, NASA or Sungard, but it is interesting to see Citrix and Engine Yard. Citrix donated CloudStack, a IaaS solution, to Apache in early 2012, the project becoming a top level project last month, while Engine Yard has operated a Ruby, PHP and Node.js PaaS for years. Citrix’s contribution to Apache Stratos may indicate their intent to enter the PaaS market, while Engine Yard may perhaps want to expand their PaaS business. And that is pretty easy with Stratos’ cartridge architecture enabling third parties to deliver virtually any runtime on a multi-tenant infrastructure.

WSO2 will continue to offer a customized PaaS solution based on Apache Stratos.

We wanted to find out more details about Apache Stratos and WSO2’s future, so we contacted WSO2 which responded through Jonathan Marsh, WSO2 VP of Business Development & Product Design.

InfoQ: A Gartner Report calls you a "visionary" on three project types -Systematic SOA Application, SOA Infrastructure, Systematic Application Integration -. How are you going to make sure that your vision lives on now that Stratos is in an Apache Committee's hands?

JM: WSO2 traces its roots back to the Apache Software Foundation, and has modeled our business after it in significant ways – including exclusively using the Apache License for releases, maintaining our development process following the Apache way including complete public transparency on our development and architecture lists and adopting the Apache governance process for granting committer rights to external parties.  We continue to be active in a number of Apache projects where we had initial leadership, such as Axis2 and Synapse.  So in fact for our day-to-day development on Stratos will not be dramatically affected nor difficult to coordinate with our other development activities.  We welcome the chance to interact more directly with the broader community that is more comfortable contributing to and ASF-hosted project than a WSO2-hosted project.  We regularly consider whether a particular bit of functionality would be best served by contributing it to an external open source entity.

Our vision which is simply stated to create the best middleware platform in the world under a 100% open source business model is advanced by expanding the community and building momentum and a broader ecosystem around the platform.  While the Stratos Foundation itself has significant value, but believe the value to WSO2 will be increased by opening up that value proposition to others – it’s not a zero-sum game!  The donation of Stratos to Apache serves all these aims and we feel is equally as positive a step for WSO2 as it is for the industry as a whole.

InfoQ: What are the Stratos components that you are handing over to Apache, and what are the components that remain in your development and will be part of your WSO2 PaaS offering?

JM: WSO2 will donate to Apache the Stratos Framework, which includes WSO2 Stratos PaaS Controller & Foundation; and cartridges for PHP, MySQL and Tomcat.  We are not at this time donating WSO2 Carbon Middleware cartridges which can be plugged into Stratos to provide multi-tenant ESB, App Server, API Management, and so forth (complete list of WSO2 Carbon products can be found at http://wso2.com/products/carbon), although all of these will continue to be available under the Apache 2.0 license for download from the WSO2 web site.  We will continue to offer support directly for Apache Stratos as well as in conjunction with supported Carbon middleware cartridges, as well as introduce new solutions that leverage Stratos (e.g. WSO2 App Factory, now in beta, which is a DevOps platform leveraging multiple Stratos installations to accommodate a complete Development, QA, Production lifecycle management.)

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