There are many companies that are parasites on the open source community. They take, take, take but don’t give anything back to the open source community in spite of their protests that they “are big supporters of open source.” Then there are companies like CenturyLink. Following in the tradition of Google, Facebook and Rackspace, CenturyLink has donated to the open source community 3 new projects that grew out of their own development efforts for internal projects.
The three projects that CenturyLink open sourced are:
- Chef provisioning driver for vSphere simplifies the process to provision Chef nodes on VMware vSphere infrastructure, filling a gap for enterprise developers who use VMware for their core virtualization technology.
- Lorry.io, a tool for creating, composing and validating Docker Compose YAML files, makes it easy to share and deploy entire applications composed of Docker containers.
- ImageLayers.io enables developers to visualize Docker images and the layers that compose them, see how each command in the Dockerfile contributes to the final image and compare multiple Docker images side-by-side.
I had a chance to speak with Richard Seroter, VP platform product about the three new open source tools. Richard told me that two of them deal with working with Docker and one is on using Chef in a vSphere environment. All three come out of CenturyLink’s own internal development teams usage. The team there developed and used these solutions, improving them to the point that they would have value to others doing similar tasks.
This is to me the classic use case of companies giving back to the community. Google has done it with any number of projects, Facebook as well. Even Apple and dare I say, Microsoft have donated internally developed software tools to the open source community.
This is also not the first time that CenturyLink has released internally developed projects to the open source world. Last year they released Panamax, a Docker management tool. They have also released Dray, another a Docker management tool (Docker workflows).
All of these open source tools are available at the CenturyLink Innovation Labs.
Another interesting thing about CenturyLink releasing these tools is it gives us insight into what they are doing around IT and development for their own business. Seems pretty obvious that CenturyLink is very into Docker for their own infrastructure. If you are looking for a partner/host for your own Docker based systems, you would want one that understands Docker as well as CenturyLink does.
You have to respect any company that eats its own dog food and then donates it as open source for others to use as well. Kudos to CenturyLink.