Many rival firms simultaneously collaborate and compete in the open-source arena, i.e. open-coopetition (Teixeira and Lin 2014). How do rival technology vendors joint-develop the OpenStack Cloud Computing platform?
Do firms like Rackspace, VMware, IBM, HP really collaborate all together in the OpenStack open-source project?
Or otherwise, each of them work on its own niche/piece of OpenStack?
We combined and virtual-ethnography (VE) with a Social Network Analysis (SNA) over publicly-available and naturally-occurring open-source data that allowed us to re-construct and visualize the evolution of the OpenStack collaboration in a sequence of networks.
We started by screening, by ethnographic manners, publicly available data such as company announcements, financial reports and specialized-press that allowed us to gain insights of the industrial context.
|http://www.openstack.org/||OpenStack Open Source Cloud Computing Software|
|http://slashdot.org/||Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters|
|http://www.zdnet.com/||ZDNet | Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals|
|http://news.cnet.com/||Technology News - CNET News|
|http://www.computerworld.com/||Computerworld - IT news, features, blogs, tech reviews, career advice|
|http://techcrunch.com/||TechCrunch - The latest technology news and information on startups|
|http://bitergia.com/||Software development analytics for Open Source projects - Bitergia|
|http://stackalytics.com/||Stackalytics | OpenStack community contribution in Juno release|
|http://cloudarchitectmusings.com/||Loud Architect Musings | Musings On Cloud Computing and IT-as-a-Service|
|http://www.bbc.co.uk/||British Broadcasting Corporation|
|http://www.nytimes.com/||The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia|
|http://www.todayonline.com/||TODAYonline | Comprehensive Singapore and international news and analysis|
|http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/||The Korea Times|
|http://www.nation.co.ke/||Daily Nation: Home - Breaking News, Kenya, Africa, Politics, Business|
|http://elpais.com/||EL PAÍS: el periódico global|
|http://www.folha.uol.com.br/||Folha de S.Paulo - Jornal on-line com notícias, fotos e vídeos|
|Oct 21, 2010||Austin|
|Feb 3, 2011||Bexar|
|Apr 15, 2011||Cactus|
|Sep 22, 2011||Diablo|
|Apr 5, 2012||Essex|
|Sep 27, 2012||Folsom|
|Apr 4, 2013||Grizzly|
|Oct 17, 2013||Havana|
|Apr 17, 2014||Icehouse|
The OpenStack foundation governs dozens of open-source projects. We started by addressing the OpenStack NOVA project, the biggest and most “core” project in OpenStack .
OpenStack NOVA is a cloud computing fabric controller, the main part of an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) system. The project originally started at the NASA Ames Research Laboratory, but it further evolved to an inter-firm high-networked open-source project developed by dozens of firms and thousands of developers.
We addressed the TOP10 commercial firms contributing to the OpenStack NOVA project. The selection was based on OpenStack's own empirical measures: the number of commits; the number of committed lines of code; and the number completed blueprints.
|cannonical||The makers of Ubuntu. Provider of support services for Ubuntu deployments in the enterprise.|
|citrix||Multinational software company that provides virtualization, networking, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and cloud computing technologies.|
|cloudscale||Services and open-source products company selling custom cloud infrastructure for large service providers, chiefly telecom service providers.|
|hp||Multinational IT company. Provides hardware, software and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises.|
|ibm||Multinational technology and consulting corporation.|
|mirantis||North California software company specialized on OpenStack.|
|nebula||North California hardware and software company specialized on cloud computing.|
|rackspace||Multinational IT hosting company.|
|vmware||Software company that provides cloud and virtualization software and services.|
|redhat||Multinational software company providing open-source software products to enterprises.|
After attaining a better understanding of the the competitive dynamics of the Cloud Computing Industry, we started extracting and analysing the social network of the OpenStack community leveraging SNA (Scott, 2012; Wasserman and Faust, 1994), which is an emergent method widely established across disciplines of social sciences in general (Borgatti and Foster, 2003; Uzzi, 1996; Wasserman and Faust, 1994; Watts, 2004)
The visualisation power of our approach that data-mines the OpenStack source-code and its version-control-system change-log is is illustrated in the following video:
Inputs for our analysis were the OpenStack source-code and its version-control-system change-log. An archived version of the raw-data is here available within a single Tarball. We covered contributions to the OpenStack source-code from 30 of May 2010 to 17 of April 2014 (circa 4 years longitudinal data). Data-cleansing efforts took several weeks, as OpenStack does not have very strict code-commit policies.
Python scripts scrapping the OpenStack change-log are available here within a single Tarball.
The first networks were constructed ad-hoc "in-code" to the dl (UCINet), GraphML and Pajek formats.
Both our community visualisation and sub-community detection approaches (network clustering) relied on 8 networks, each capturing different phases of the OpenStack development.
For understanding the evolution of the code-based collaboration, we connect developers who work on the same file, constructing a network of collaboration activities among developers. With the visualization of the network over time, we gain insights on collaboration and rivalry within the software project.
|OpenStackSNA_AB||From Austin release to Bexar release||OpenStackSNA_AB.graphML|
|OpenStackSNA_BC||From Bexar release to Cactus release||OpenStackSNA_BC.graphML|
|OpenStackSNA_CD||From Cactus release to Diablo release||OpenStackSNA_CD.graphML|
|OpenStackSNA_DE||From Diablo release to Essex release||OpenStackSNA_DE.graphML|
|OpenStackSNA_EF||From Essex release to Folsom release||OpenStackSNA_EF.graphML|
|OpenStackSNA_FG||From Folsom release to Grizzly release||OpenStackSNA_FG.graphML|
|OpenStackSNA_GH||From Grizzly release to Havana release||OpenStackSNA_GH.graphML|
|OpenStackSNA_HI||From Havana release to Icehouse release||OpenStackSNA_HI.graphML|
Visualizations were performed with the Pajek, Visone and Gephi specialized SNA tools
Network structural properties were calculated with Pajek, Visone and R with the statnet package. Some additional network structural measures were also calculated using LibreOffice spreadsheet software.
Main used methods were:
The selected network-measures were:
The number of nodes (number of networked developers) increased over time until the Havana release. The number of edges (collaboration between networked developers) also increased over time. However the social graph got less dense over time revealing a trend towards community sub-grouping. According to a number of social network scholars (White 2002; Friedkin 2004; Zou & Yilmaz 2011; Prell 2012) density is a rough measure of cohesiveness in large networks (a cohesive network is assumed to be less vulnerable to the removal of any one individual).
From the Diablo to Essex release, and from the Folsom to the Grizzly release, the social graph density increased with the group size. Even if the the number of developers increased, the community got more cohesive. Given such momentum of cohesive group dynamics, those releases do not provide interesting data for performing sub-community detections in the OpenStack Nova project. Therefore to better capture the different sub-communities from the OpenStack case, we opted to us data from the last OpenStack releases (Grizly, Havana and Icehouse). A higher project maturity and a steady diminution of group cohesion (i.e. tendecy for sub grouping) drove then our releases-sample selection for sub-community detection.
|Number of nodes||14||21||35||61||66||90||136||101|
|% of developers||8.16%||3.33%||8.14%||3.91%||2.97%|
|% of developers||21.43%||23.81%||11.43%||14.29%||5.00%||4.65%||2.34%||0.99%|
|% of developers||4.76%||2.86%||2.04%||6.67%||3.49%||0.78%||0.99%|
|Group Eigenvector Centrality Degree||14.669709712||35||49||32.1948635968||65.0387348609||120.950022755||4.2423630161|
|% of developers||8.57%||16.33%||18.33%||16.28%||14.84%||13.86%|
|% of developers||2.04%||21.67%||29.07%||33.59%||31.68%|
|% of developers||2.86%||2.04%||1.67%||1.16%||13.28%||9.90%|
|% of developers||1.67%||1.16%||0.00%||0.00%|
|% of developers||78.57%||71.43%||68.57%||38.78%||28.33%||16.28%||12.50%||11.88%|
|% of developers||16.33%||13.33%||19.77%||14.06%||16.83%|
|% of developers||3.91%||10.89%|
Moreover, our research reiterates the power of the open-source fork concept as a nexus enabling both features of competition and collaboration, confirming previous results (Teixeira and Lin 2014).
The importance of forking in OpenStack case was is also highlighted in some of our internet-retrieved materials.
As in an official document from Red Hat, one of the TOP contributors to OpenStack:
"Red Hat is continuing its fully open source philosophy with all development done upstream in OpenStack rather than as proprietary, closed source add-ons. This keeps new-innovation in the core code and prevents unnecessary forking, interoperability, and incompatibility issues" (IDC report downloaded on the 3rd of May 2014).
The idea of this research project surged by pure serendipity at the Inforte seminar on Big Data and Social Media Analytics by Sudha Ram and Matti Rossi. The researchers thank the financial support from the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (grant SFRHBD615612009), Liikesivistysrahasto (grant 3-1815) and Marcus Wallenberg Säätiö (open-coopetition R&D management strategy) Acknowledgements also for Lero - the Irish software engineering research centre were part of this research was conducted. A last word to the OpenStack developers for developing cool, open and research-friendly technologies.