Mesosphere flings Data Center OS code at open sourcers to fill in gaps

Build your own Airbnb infrastrucutre, or complete ours

Software upstart Mesosphere has open-sourced its commercial Datacenter Operating System – DC/OS – with the backing of 60 big names in tech.

Mesosphere says it is throwing open the doors on its code to “put its power in as many people’s hands as possible.” DC/OS has been deployed on massive scale at Apple, Airbnb, Yelp, Netflix, and Twitter.

“We are big believers,” Mesosphere wrote in a blog post, here. “Having a vibrant community of users, partners and contributors means we can continue to advance DC/OS as a new requirements and use cases emerge.”

DC/OS 1.7 is in beta with plans to incorporate community code contributions to hit general availability by the third quarter of this year. The software is distributed under the Apache 2.0 license on GitHub.

Lining up behind the news were Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cisco. Microsoft announced on Tuesday the general availability of its Azure Container Service with support for DC/OS. Cisco will use Mesos for its Mantl.io microservices architecture

Mesosphere's software gets people excited because it makes deploying clouds and micro-services easier in massive data centers. Inevitably, this has attracted interest from the likes of Microsoft.

It lets you run and manage clustered data center workloads. It abstracts away the need to manage individual components such as servers, networks and load balancing. Popular packages already running on Mesosphere's platform include Cassandra, Chronos, HDFS, Jenkins, Kafka, MemSQL, Spark, Storm and Weave.

DC/OS is built on Mesos, which is an open-source distributed systems kernel that handles job scheduling and resource management. It's used to abstract management of data center elements making clouds easier to develop applications for and to administer, in theory.

This core part was devised by Benjamin Hindman while studying for a PhD at UC Berkeley in 2009. He donated Mesos to the Apache foundation a year later. (DC/OS also employs Apache’s Marathon container orchestration and application platform.)

A proprietary GUI and load balancer – named Minuteman – were developed by Hindman’s employer Mesosphere that made DC/OS easier to install and run. Mesosphere the company was founded by Florian Leibert in 2010 and has drawn $126m in venture funding from, among others, Andreessen Horowitz – home to startup bubble denier Marc Andreessen. The business model, presumably, was to build a company around developing and supporting the proto-datacenter operating system.

It was only in June last year that Mesosphere released a free community edition of DC/OS.

Mesosphere said taking the whole kit and caboodle open-source had always been the firm’s strategy. And obviously nothing to do with competition from rival cluster orchestration tool Kubernetes, spawned from Google. ®

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