iXsystems CEO recently published an article on Forbes discussing the open source path they took, and how leadership helped shape and ensure success for their business model. The article also talks about their adoption of FreeBSD as the operating system of choice for their products, and how it has led them to where they are today.
We each have our own personal definition of what is fair when it comes to open source. At iXsystems, we made a conscious decision to base FreeNAS and TrueOS on the FreeBSD operating system developed by the FreeBSD project. We stand on the shoulders of giants by using FreeBSD and we consider it quite reasonable to give back on the same generous terms that the FreeBSD project offers us. We could be selective in what we provide free of charge, but we believe that doing so would be short-sighted. In the long game we’re playing, the leadership we provide over the open source projects we produce is infinitely more important than any restrictions provided by the licenses of those and other open source projects. In the face of this “legal piracy,” our secret to staying several steps ahead of the competition is to continuously innovate our “free” software and be the go-to source of information about it and the hardware to run it on. Our software runs on just about any personal computer, but the right hardware is critical to delivering quality, reliable data storage.