Linkerd jumped on the bandwagon

22 Feb 2024 · Two minute read · on Gianluca's blog

News! Tech related notes are NOW published to ShippingBytes. See you there! I always felt this was not the right place for me to write consistently about tech and tools. So if you want to read more about that see you at the other side

I am not here to say if service mesh is useful or not I am sure it depends. The press “Linkerd service mesh production users will soon have to pay” reports that we have lost another opensource project or at least there is a new drama in town.

Nothing bad but it comes at the perfect time with the meme we are all looking at those days. The timing is so perfect that I had to check the calendar, it is April 1st.

I am new to github and I have a lot to say

If you want your exe you will need to pay Buoyant for that!

I am being too shallow, only the stable releases will be on Buoyant! In practice they do what everyone else does, they have used GitHub as a platform to do category creation, community, and so on. Now is the time for the company to monetize.

Nothing to be surprised this is the evolution of the opensource ecosystem, or at least that’s what company founded by VCs relaying on GitHub for marketing want us to believe. We have all worked for some of those in the last 10 years.

Since I do opensource and I value this ecosystem I am wondering how such decision can be taken and communicated so poorly, the definition of opensource per se should avoid those standpoints. How can a company on its own define and change the release management for an opensource project? The company is not even called as the opensource project!

Can a single company can say something like this? What are the contributors and maintainers doing? At this point is Linkerd sustainable as opensource project behond Buoyant? Probably no.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation guarantees for Linkerd, thankfully they gather and organize stats about their opensource project. So let’s have a look, in 2023 they counted 128.856 contributions to the project, 112.721 from the same company Buoyant Inc. followed by 1.400 contributions made by independent contributors, 484 from the CNCF and 313 from Microsoft Inc. I won’t calculate the percentage becauase it looks and unpleasant definition of opensource in my opinion.

Anyway, this can be an opportunity for you if you are one of those independent contributors. I spent a couple of minutes reading the HackerNews thread coming from this press release and here some numbers:

Their new offering (BEL) would be around $14k/mo for our org (though they say discounts are available), with 90 days notice. That’s a rather large chunk of change I didn’t request in our 2024 budget, for a cost-category that didn’t exist before.

If you want to market yourself as an alternative to Buoyant helping company staying on top of their Linkerd installation, you just have to ask for less than 2k USD a cluster and with that you are helping Linkerd to stay opensource avoiding vendor lock-in.

NOTE: this is not a legal advice, I am not sure if you can do it, nowadays opensource licenses are madness.

Open your editor, smash some HTML and CSS it is now the time to use that service mesh related domain you bought a few years back!

Something weird with this website? Let me know.