Technology Friday: The Case for a Netflix OSS Enterprise Distribution

I decided to test a new idea with this blog: Every Friday, I will focus on providing an analysis of a specific product or technology and present some ideas about its market. The goal is not to provide a product review but to get a bit more specific about interesting technologies and present some thesis about their immediate future. Today, I would like to start by making a case for an enterprise distribution of the Netflix OSS project.

Netflix OSS has become of the most popular open source projects in the market. Started as a series of isolated open source contributions by Netflix’s engineering team, Netflix OSS has evolved into an indispensable asset for organizations building large-scale could solutions. Despite its popularity, Netflix OSS is lacking the proper channels for its mainstream adoption in the enterprise. That situation creates a strong market opportunity to create an enteprise distribution of Netflix OSS.

The Market Opportunity

The software industry has a long history of delivering enterprise distributions of successful and popular open source projects. From RedHat to recent examples such as Cloudera or Docker, companies have been regularly able to capitalize on the demand for popular open source projects in the enterprise. More importantly, the emergence of cloud platforms have opened new channels for monetizing open source projects. Netflix OSS is not a single project but a suite of really popular tools and frameworks in areas such as microservices, big data, continuous delivery, security, user interface, data persistence and several others. Consequently, the market opportunity for an enterprise distribution of Netflix OSS seem tremendous. Let’s explore this idea a bit further by digging into the specific business opportunities that can be capitalized by a Netflix OSS distribution.

1 — Commercial Support

Obviously, offering commercial support for Netflix OSS is a classic opportunity to monetize the platform. The large variety of Netflix OSS tools and frameworks makes it a nightmare for organizations to operate the project at scale. Support services will certainly be welcomed by enterprise evaluating Netflix OSS as part of their cloud initiatives.

2 — Professional Services

Complementing the previous point, I believe there is a market for system integrators and agencies implementing Netflix OSS technologies in the enterprise. Netflix OSS technologies such as Spinnaker (continuous delivery), Hystrix or Atlas are particularly well suited for this model.

3 — Expanding Beyond AWS

Netflix OSS technologies work spectacularly well on AWS but its support for other cloud platforms such as Google Cloud or Azure is very limited. Expanding Netflix OSS onto those cloud platforms should create new market opportunities for startups in the space. The same thesis applies for container platforms such as Kubernetes or CoreOS.

4 — Microservices Platforms

Microservices is an area of which Netflix OSS excels. Many experts trace the origins of microservices architectures to Netflix itself. Netflix OSS includes frameworks such as Falcor, Hystrix or Eureka which are common citizens of microservices solutions. Combining those technologies into a cohesive and interoperable suite to enable the implementation of microservices can result on an interesting opportunity for new companies.

Who Can Deliver a Netflix OSS Enterprise Distribution?

In the current market, there are several candidate that are well positioned to deliver an enterprise distribution of the Netflix OSS project:

— Startups: We can always count on startups to deliver innovative solutions around this new idea.

— Pivotal: Cloudfoundry and Spring Cloud have been about the most popular adopters of Netflix OSS technologies. Pivotal can easily expand its support of Netflix OSS will a full enterprise distribution.

— Amazon: AWS is on an enviable position to enable Netflix OSS technologies as native services in its platform.

— System Integrators: Professional services firms are other strong candidates to provide commercial offerings for Netflix OSS based on its work with large enterprises.

— RedHat: Redhat’s expertise and success commercializing open source technologies as well the limitations of its current cloud offerings, makes it an interesting candidate to create an enterprise distribution of Netflix OSS.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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