What you missed in Cloud: Open-source greatness

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The open-source movement has become the driving force behind cloud computing over the past few years, and Red Hat Inc. intends to keep it that way. Its ambitions came to the fore once again last week following a strategic investment in an obscure partner called Tesora Inc. that is working to make OpenStack, the community-developed infrastructure-as-a-service platform, more scalable.

The Cambridge-based startup hopes to achieve that through Trove, an emerging component of the project that provides a framework for automating the installation and provisioning of databases. That has historically been one of the most labor-intensive chores for OpenStack administrators and thus among the main barriers to adoption, which Red Hat has a keen interest in removing.

The company is actively trying to monetize the platform with its commercial distribution, which adds value-added features and support services to the core functionality in order to make it easier for organizations to take advantage of the project. Making open-source software easier to consume is a goal that Red Hat shares with Facebook Inc., which also made waves in the community last week.

The social giant released a major update to OpenBMC, firmware developed internally to handle data from the sensors installed in the hardware powering its internal cloud and released for free earlier this year, that introduces several new management capabilities. Chief among them is a new interface that allows administrators to securely and programmatically carry out maintenance operations such as pulling diagnostics information.

The efficiency afforded through Facebook’s innovations in the backend reaches all the way to the edge of the network where the connected devices on which Salesforce.com Inc. is focusing its attention exist. The cloud giant unveiled a series of five business applications for the Apple Watch last week designed to help workers become more productive away from the office.

One aims to help users connect with peers working on similar projects as they, while another displays caller information to help busy salespeople prioritize more effectively. Salesforce plans to follow-up the launch with 15 more apps, but hasn’t provided a time frame or pricing information as of yet.

Photo via Adina Voicu