Open-source software’s value is becoming more prominent among enterprise developers in need of methodologies that provide them with increased access to emerging and unfamiliar technologies. The shift into new application architectures including microservices is driving developers towards projects that allow them to look under the hood and try out new technologies to gain a greater understanding of how things work. Through OSS, they’re able to modify code, gain better control over their apps, and generally exploit more flexibility in the software so they can customise apps to their specific needs.

OSS forums and developer hubs – think GitHub and Stack Overflow – provide an important role in this process by supporting environments of community and collaboration – places to explore new approaches by peers, new concepts, and new ways of modernising traditional IT processes, workflows, and apps. Professionals and non-coders alike are free to ask questions, share experiences, and contribute to projects. Open source is quite often a starting point for non-coders and sysadmins looking to expand their professional knowledge base and even seek out new job opportunities through upskilling or reskilling.

There is a broad ecosystem of players contributing to open-source projects. Notable foundations include Linux Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and Apache Software Foundation, among others. GlobalData will be attending CNCF’s high-profile KubeCon conference in Paris next week, a twice-annual event that attracts a brain trust of experts who help shed light on future trends.

The industry is now witnessing an intersection between OSS and GenAI, because GenAI provides natural hooks into cloud-native applications (such as those built on Kubernetes), making the merging of the two approaches inevitable. The trend represents the best of both worlds: the collaboration, access, and innovation of OSS, and GenAI’s automated code and workload creation. While there is still no clear reference architecture available to enterprise developers for GenAI, the advanced AI technology is breathing life into innovations and will help organisations optimise DevOps initiatives.

GlobalData recognises some key high-profile GenAI-injected OSS technologies and projects that are on track to play an important role among enterprise developers:

  • LLMs (Generative models): OpenLLaMA, OpenAI GPT-J
  • Deep learning frameworks: PyTorch, TensorFlow, JAX
  • Deployment Platforms: NVIDIA Triton, MLflow
  • Datasets: Apache Arrow, Hugging Face Hub
  • Developer tools: Hugging Face, Open Assistant, GPT Engineer
  • DevOps tools: Ray/KubeRay
  • Security/governance: Kyverno, Gatekeeper

The enduring importance of open-source technology cannot be overstated. The same can be said for standardisation in general across the world, where hardware specifications, software and protocols are basically the same. This is an important consideration at a time when different vendors are all heavily investing in complex data systems supporting GenAI, with each wanting to claim their piece of the pie. A lack of global standardisation could significantly infringe on this process by making access to new technology opportunities too complex or cost-prohibitive for some. On the other hand, the more people involved in helping create new innovations through open collaboration and more accessible models, the more likely that this burgeoning industry will flourish.

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