Community perspectives on Elastic vs AWS (The Changelog #429)


Adam Jacob is the co-founder and board member of Chef and talked with us back in July 2019 on The Changelog #353 about “The war for the soul of open source,” and the title of the episode could not have been more prophetic.

We pulled a segment from that episode where we talk about business models and how they correlate to open source business models, and how from Adam’s perspective…the AWS’s, the Azure’s and the Google Clouds of the world provide a humongous marketing funnel for open source businesses like Mongo and Elastic.

At the time of this conversation with Adam, Elastic was worth 1.5 Billion dollars and “killing it.”

Heather Meeker

Heather Meeker is a well respected open-source lawyer and specialist in open source software licensing and strategy. She wrote the book Open Source for Business which serves as a practical guide to open source software licensing. She is also well known for her work on the Commons Claus license which gained a lot of attention with the dust up it caused when Redis Labs’ transitioned their modules to use the license. Side note here, Redis Labs’ has since transitioned away from the Apache2 plus Commons Clause licensing due to undesired confusion in favor of the Redis Source Available License (RSAL) — which we might cover in a future episode as we chase this saga of not-quite-open source yet permissive licensing for commercial open source companies.

The whole reason for this conversation with Heather is because she’s the open-source lawyer who wrote The Server Side Public License (SSPL). We wanted to understand the design and intention of the license.

Manish Jain

Manish Jain is the founder and CTO at Dgraph Labs. We talked with Manish a little over two years ago on episode #322 about their challenges with licensing and re-licensing Dgraph — so, we thought it would fitting to get him on this episode.

Paul Dix

Paul Dix is the co-founder and CTO at InfluxData and shared his perspective on running an open source business, how InfluxData is innovating their commercial offering while having a permissive MIT licensed version of InfluxDB. Paul also shares his thoughts on the stand off between Elastic and AWS and why he’s long on Mongo and short on Elastic.

Paul shared a few links to Twitter threads he started:

Vicky Brasseur

Vicky Brasseur has been in free and open source software for 30 years and has been working with startups and enterprises doing open source & free software business strategy for quite a while now. We used Vicky’s post titled “Elasticsearch and Kibana are now business risks” as a reference on this situation. We even quoted her post a few times in our conversation on this episode with with Heather Meeker.

Markus Stenqvist

Markus Stenqvist self-describes as “a normal everyday web developer from Sweden.”