Platinum? That’ll do nicely – AWS drops big bucks on Apache Software Foundation

After years of dabbling, AWS has become a full-blooded platinum sponsor of the legendary Apache Software Foundation.

AWS said Tuesday it’s become a platinum level ASF sponsor, paying $125,000 a year to ASF in return for a basket of branding and marketing opportunities.

AWS had been a “targeted” sponsor of two years in addition to offering credits for projects to use its cloud servers and services.

AWS joins Google, Microsoft, Facebook and six others in this premier league of ASF patronage.

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The AWS dollars will be likely be channelled into a variety of ASF costs associated with starting, supporting and sustaining 350 open source projects at the group.

This will include such mundane but critical items as servers and network pipes.

AWS staffers had contributed to ASF since 2006 on projects including ActiveMQ, Hive, Pig, Drill, Lucene and Soir. AWS claims more than 30 of its people are engaged on ASF projects.

AWS also – according to AWS – “encouraged” the MXNet Machine Learning framework project to join Apache in early 2017, where it became subjected to ASF’s structured and rigorous development processes. MXNet was AWS’ chosen ML framework runner against TensorFlow, and became a large contributor – hiring many of the committers and mentors.

Announcing Tuesday’s news, AWS head of open-source strategy Zaheda Bhorat acknowledged the importance of mentors in coaching new comers to open source.

She paid tribute, too, to the role ASF has played in incubating and championing open source projects, a role that started 20 years ago with the famous web server.

AWS has attracted some flak over its attitude to open source. MongoDB instituted a new form of license – SSPL – after AWS refused to open source its as a service implementation of the database. However, AWS responded by launching its own MongoDB compatible service, and a handy migration service.

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