Google announces strategic partnerships with data-centric open source companies

Go cloud computing

Google used the first day of its cloud conference Cloud Next to announce strategic partnerships with some of the companies best known for their efforts regarding data-driven open source projects.

Looking forward, Google will offer a range of managed services that are tightly integrated into its cloud platform operated by Elastic, DataStax, MongoDB, Confluent, Neo4j, Redis Labs and InfluxData.

In a canned statement, the company’s director open source Chris DiBona, and corporate VP global ecosystem and business development Kevin Ichhpurani claim that this is meant to show that “we’ve always seen our friends in the open-source community as equal collaborators, and not simply a resource to be mined” which can be seen as a dig into AWS’ direction.

The partnerships are also supposed to help “our enterprise customers to build on open source technologies, and it delivers on our commitment to continually support and grow these open source communities”. Unified billing across the partner’s fully managed services should give those contemplating a need for such offerings as well as support another nudge to open up their pockets.

The announcement couldn’t come at a more convenient time, since companies like MongoDB, Elastic and Redis Labs keep popping up in the debate of the state of open source licensing at the moment. In October 2018, MongoDB created a new license for its community edition to prevent cloud providers from offering its database as a service to customers. Redis Labs had similar issues and went through two license changes since August 2018.

As a reaction, Red Hat dropped MongoDB out of its Satellite infrastructure management platform and nixed support in RHEL 8.0. AWS, one of Google’s main competitors in the cloud sector, launched a MongoDB compatible service using an older version of the project’s API which wasn’t protected under the new license.

In another case, AWS even went as far as offering an alternative distribution of an open source project, claiming – in the case of Elastic – unclear conditions for its customers. The move left parts of the open source community baffled. An effort to show commitment to open source by becoming a platinum member of the Apache Software Foundation last December, didn’t get much attention – mostly because AWS’ attitude towards MongoDB earlier on didn’t help their credibility in that matter.