I had a long discussion yesterday with a friend about the open sourcing of Zimki. The plan is to open source the entire environment later this year (probably GPLv3 for the engine and LGPL around the interfaces - though we are finalising this at the moment).
So it has :-
- Application framework - comparison is Rails
- Cloneable applications - comparison is Ning
- Utility computing - comparison is EC2
- Federated services - comparison is ... (no-one else does this yet)
It's not a direct competitor to any of these which have their own specialisations and focus but you can sort of think of it as EC2 + Rails + Ning + other useful "Yak Shaving" bits taken care of.
However what happens when we open source Zimk?
Well as posted before and also by James, the reason for open sourcing Zimki is to help establish a competitive utility computing market made from a large number of providers competing in the same space with customers freely & simply able to move applications and data between providers with no exit costs.
Now this marketplace could become a direct competitor to any singular large scale utility computing provider based upon propriatory services.
Yep. I know.
But then again, an open source based competitive market place avoids the dangers of anyone in the future providing a pipe like argument to infrastructure.
So I'm happy.