Open source is in­flu­enc­ing the IT in­dus­try around the globe. Not just the soft­ware lead­ers but also the big hard­ware play­ers of the in­dus­try are closely watch­ing the growth of open source tech­nolo­gies. In­dia is emerg­ing as one of the top re­gions for open

OpenSource For You - - For U & Me Interview -


What were the prime chal­lenges you faced while adopt­ing open source at West­ern Dig­i­tal?

A large num­ber of com­pa­nies mov­ing to open source face the chal­lenges of ed­u­ca­tion, cre­at­ing aware­ness and a com­pli­ance pol­icy that strikes the right bal­ance. We are no dif­fer­ent, and have grown over the past three years to be an ac­tive contributor and vis­i­ble sup­porter of open source in the com­mu­nity.


How are you plan­ning to en­able open source within West­ern Dig­i­tal?

Open source, like stan­dards, is con­sid­ered an es­sen­tial and strate­gic part of how we innovate at West­ern Dig­i­tal. It is con­nected to our tech­nol­ogy and busi­ness strat­egy as a com­pany. Go­ing for­ward, we plan to con­tinue to con­sume and con­trib­ute to key projects, speak to and spon­sor de­vel­op­ers and be a part of projects and com­mu­ni­ties that we work in. We will also col­lab­o­rate with other com­pa­nies and projects to de­velop ar­eas that are im­por­tant to the in­dus­try and to us. Cer­tainly, you will see us be­ing more vis­i­ble in our sup­port for open source in­no­va­tion.


Has it be­come vi­tal for an IT so­lu­tions provider like West­ern Dig­i­tal to choose the open source path, to­day?

Open source in­no­va­tion is in every ma­jor area of our busi­ness, starting from hand­held de­vices to mo­biles and em­bed­ded stor­age, to the data cen­tre and the cloud. We held an In­vestor Day in De­cem­ber 2016, and en­cour­aged cus­tomers to view our lat­est strate­gies on our in­vestor mi­crosite.

Be­ing a lead­ing stor­age so­lu­tions provider, our cus­tomers of­ten ask for some stan­dards-based so­lu­tions. Open source has been cre­at­ing stan­dards and lead­ing in­no­va­tion for some time now. We recog­nise and lever­age it in our prod­uct and tech­nol­ogy plans. It is one as­pect of an in­no­va­tion plan.


Is it nec­es­sary to have strong com­mu­nity sup­port for the suc­cess of an open source of­fer­ing?

It is al­ways good to have strong com­mu­nity sup­port for an open source project. Com­pa­nies like West­ern Dig­i­tal work hard to build aware­ness and sup­port for their open source of­fer­ings. Some­times, a project may be small and niche -- ap­peal­ing to only a few peo­ple. In such cases, it needs to serve only that small group. But in all other cases, a project needs to have broad and strong sup­port from the com­mu­nity, in or­der to suc­ceed. Some of the met­rics we look at are the num­ber of

Nithya Ruff, di­rec­tor, West­ern Dig­i­tal Open Source Of­fice

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