Cisco Becomes a Top Linux Kernel Contributor - page 2
Partnering With Community
Enescu also noted that Cisco is a member of the Linux Foundation and is actively benefiting from it. One of the efforts that Cisco is involved in is the Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) initiative where Cisco is helping to define requirements. Dreier noted that as a customer of MontaVista Linux, Cisco is helping to fund development to meet CGL requirements.
While Cisco is influencing the direction of Linux development, Enescu pointed out that Cisco is not looking for special treatment.
"We take a lot of time when dealing with MontaVista and the people in the Linux community explaining that we don't want any special modification or secret sauce just for Cisco," Enescu said. "We want to participate in the usual way that people contribute to open source. The value for us is to have the contributions be generally accepted and not a one off thing that only benefits Cisco."
Cisco's other open source contributions
Beyond Linux, Cisco is also contributing to and benefiting from open source in a variety of ways. Enescu noted that Cisco's IronPort division has benefited from the Apache Spam Assassin effort. Cisco is also a contributor to the open source Eclipse Foundation with the Tigerstripe framework for Model Driven Engineering (MDE).
Cisco also recently acquired instant messaging vendor Jabber and e-mail vendor PostPath, two vendors whose technologies are heavily dependent on open source.
Additionally, Cisco is now ramping a new microgrant program to provide financial grants in support of open source initiatives. Enescu noted that the FreeBSD community has benefited from Cisco microgrants in support of some developer work to improve 10 gigabit Ethernet network optimizations. Cisco is also supporting a GCC conference and the Ottawa Linux Symposium.
"With the Microgrants program, we want to open wide for anyone that wants to get involved with us in development projects that end up as contributing to open source and/or contribute to a standard that others can benefit from," Enescu said.
Enescu noted that the open source microgrants program is still in its infancy, but he is hoping to build on it in the future.
While Cisco sees a lot of benefits from open source, it has encountered at least one issue. This past December, Cisco was hit by a lawsuit from the Free Software Foundation, alleging that Cisco was in violation of the GPL (GNU General Public License) with some of Cisco's Linksys home networking products. The legal discussions are still ongoing and Enescu was unable to comment directly on the situation.
"We take these things very seriously. Shortly you'll see that our relationship will actually get better," Enescu said.
Open at Cisco
While Cisco hasn't made much noise to date on its open source activities, Enescu claimed that it's really just an extension of what Cisco has been doing for the past twenty years
"One of the fascinating things about Cisco is we have always been prominent in standards organizations since standards are so important in the networking world," Enescu said. "But as an open source company, Cisco never really went out of its way to have a strong presence or visibility out there."
Enescu argued that open source participation is the other side of the open standards coin and that one effort feeds the other.
"It's an excellent engine for growth and innovation, that's what open source is," Enescu commented. "It's about collaboration and shared development on a scale we haven't seen before."
Article courtesy of InternetNews.com
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