A great deal of my time is spent talking to devs, getting feedback on our products and weighing-in on discussions happening across various online forums. Debate is healthy. So a few weeks ago when I wrote about the considerations for using open source software, I wasn't surprised at all by the lively commentary that was generated. Despite pointing out that we - like many tech startups, are enthusiastic users of open source ourselves, the usual ‘but you’re proprietary’ backlash sure enough ensued.
But on a more interesting note, a few of you asked me why you should use a proprietary service like Cloud 66 versus a host of other open source options available on the market?
Which got me thinking about the analogy of a road-trip.
You Have a Destination
With the freedom to take any route you want and armed with journey advice from other roadies, the popular scenic route will have appeal. It may not be the most straightforward way to get there, but you have the luxury of time and therefore won’t mind going off the beaten track. You could find yourself having to make detours along the way, take unplanned stops to ask for directions and sometimes even end up on the road to nowhere.
'But it’s all part of the experience', you’ll keep telling yourself.
Eventually, you’ll arrive at your destination, but it could be hours or even days after originally planned. That’s OK though, because the promise of what the road-trip could have been was enough reason for you to take that route. Even if it didn’t live up to expectations.
On the flip side, there’s the option of taking the expressway. It’s a no-brainer, because you know to get from A to B, it offers the quickest and most direct way possible. It’s also the least pain-free route to your destination, because the roads will be maintained, well signposted and planned efficiently to make your journey expedited. Yes, there will likely be tolls you need to pay for, but the privilege of getting you to your destination on time and hassle free makes it all worthwhile.
And so using Cloud 66 is rather like taking the express route. Not least because:
- Everything just works: so you don’t need to tinker, write additional script or worry about what’s going to break when you make a simple code change
- Code ships faster: we’re talking the express route versus the scenic route. See above
- There are no downloads, or consoles: just all your favourite tools, a choice of CL or web UI and easy-to-use workflows
- Containers in production: which we've been running for over a year, and the expertise that comes with it
- You can bring your own cloud: from a choice of all the usual suspects to support the portability and multi-tenancy of your app
- Customers love our support: and we have no doubt you will as well
I do get it though. Having the opportunity to play around with stuff, look under the hood, pull things apart and add your own input (along with a healthy aversion to paying for stuff) is part of a dev’s MO. And so I can acknowledge why the lure of an open source offering may seem tempting.
But you also know that this stuff is really tricky to get right without a tested, reliable and supported software model powering it. Yes, we're a proprietary company, but we’re always keen on doing knowledge-share when it comes to how to combat some of the pitfalls, or explain the ‘why’s’ in our how-to tips.
And that's because we can. Because in building Cloud 66, we've done all the hard work and can speak from a place of knowledge and credibility. Albeit for a small fee, you get a fast-pass to leapfrog over all of the hassle, time, energy and resources you normally would have had to spend figuring it all out for yourself.