Until now, open source vendors have attempted to secure revenue by offering management and administration capabilities only through a for-fee product offering built around an open source core product. Amazon has just thrown a major wrench into that strategy. Why pay for the vendor's "enterprise" product to obtain management, administration, and support, when Amazon's cloud service minimizes the need for management and administration and includes support?
So what can open source vendors do? Well, first, open source vendors have time to respond since the majority of workloads are not (yet?) in the cloud. Second, proprietary features will be required in the "enterprise" version that are not available in the "free community" version of the product. These features must not fall into the administration and management category.
Proprietary may just be an open source vendor best strategy against Amazon and other cloud providers.
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p.s.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."