Napa Valley, CA: We all know Verizon uses open-source operating systems and software in its products and services. As I write this from the Linux Foundation's Linux Collaboration Summit, I have a Verizon-enabled, Android-powered Droid 4 smartphone in my pocket. But, Verizon is now becoming a major working partner in open-source communities.
First, on March 25th, Verizon joined the Open Invention Network (OIN). The OIN is a patent protection consortium that promotes patent collaboration between its members and it uses its patent portfolio to protect Linux from patents attacks.
Verizon is the first major communications service provider to join the OIN community, "Out of 800 licensees, Verizon is OIN's first with a major carrier. Verizon signing with OIN is important because it demonstrates the communications industry’s largest commitment to patent non-aggression for the key Linux and open-source building blocks that are provisioned across their networks," said Keith Bergelt, OIN's CEO in an email interview.
"We appreciate Verizon’s industry thought leadership in joining OIN and supporting patent non-aggression in Linux. We believe Verizon is a bellwether for other communications service providers from an open-source and intellectual-property perspective, and look forward to working with other carriers so they can similarly come to understand the benefits of participation in the OIN community and partake of this growing culture of patent non-aggression," concluded Bergelt.
If that's all Verizon was doing, you might think that Verizon was doing this in part to help shelter itself from patent trolls. But, there's more. Verizon Terremark, the division of the company that's works on clouds, has joined the Linux Foundation.
Verizon Terremark's Linux and Xen hypervisor-based Verizon Cloud, was announced in October and is now in public beta. It includes an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform, Verizon Cloud Compute, and an object-based storage service, Verizon Cloud Storage, that Verizon claims has been built for the enterprise but is nimble enough to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, individual IT departments and software developers.
This Verizon division is joining the organization as a Gold member. Google also recently joined the Foundation at this level. Before this, Verizon joined the Linux Foundation's sponsored Xen Project.
As a Xen member, Verizon has already proved its commitment to open source. The telecomm giant added a great deal to the Xen code base such as helping to give it support for VMWare workloads.
"Verizon Terremark’s decision to deepen its investment in Linux underscores the strategic importance of the platform in building today’s cloud computing infrastructure," said Jim Zemlin, The Linux Foundation's Executive Director. "We look forward to the company’s ongoing contributions to Linux, the Xen Project and the larger community."
“Linux, open cloud and open virtualization technologies support innovation in the market, and The Linux Foundation offers a neutral venue where we can help advance this work,” added Kevin Clarke, Verizon Terremark's Director of Cloud Platform Engineering in a statement. "We have long been committed to providing our clients flexibility, control and performance and open-source technologies support that philosophy. This is a great opportunity for us to embrace the shared development process and bring additional value to the community."