VyOS Platform Blog

Building an open source network OS for the people, together.

VyOS Foundation Announcement

Posted 10 May, 2020 by Yuriy Andamasov

As you may already know, the VyOS project was started as a response to the cancellation of Vyatta Core, an open-source version of Vyatta that we used and loved. We have succeeded in this and seven years later we have a truly open-source network OS that people rely on. VyOS team is grateful to our customers and contributors who work together with us, and of course to all maintainers of open source software that VyOS is built upon.

Now that VyOS receives more contributions and moves faster than ever, it’s time to create a better governance model for the project and secure its future. That’s why we are starting VyOS Foundation—a nonprofit organization that will allow members to participate in the project governance, support the project, and receive various benefits in exchange.

If you are interested in membership, fill the form at prelaunch.vyos.foundation website. This is just a placeholder website so far, we'll make a proper website when the Foundation is registered.

Why?

It’s been seven years since the project inception. VyOS was created as an emergency response to the abrupt end of the open-source Vyatta Core, and it immediately received a warm reception from its users. Since then, the project kept evolving and new use cases for it arose. In 2018-2019, the growing number of subscribers and contributors confirmed that demand for a fully open-source enterprise and carrier-grade router OS is high.

People and organizations rely on it, from network geeks running home labs to businesses, small and large, universities, non-profits, government organizations, and many others.

An open and transparent governance model is required to ensure it serves the broad community first and foremost, rather than any single entity. The usual way to do that is a nonprofit organization. Some choose to join an umbrella organization like the Apache Software Foundation, but many projects choose to start their own, like OpenStack, and recently, OCaml Software Foundation.

How?

VyOS Foundation will be a non-profit organization registered in Spain.

We are using the structure and governance model of the OpenStack Foundation as our main inspiration, modified to better fit the needs of VyOS. Nothing is set in stone yet, so your feedback and ideas are welcome!

Like other software foundations, the VyOS Foundation will have individual memberships and corporate memberships with different tiers, each with its own requirements and benefits.

The Foundation’s board of directors will be responsible for financial decisions, marketing, and strategy, while the technical steering committee will oversee the project development.

Members of the directors board will be appointed or elected by the members who make financial contributions to the Foundation. Platinum members will be able to appoint a member, while other members will have a voting power proportional to their contributions.

Technical steering committee members will be elected from active contributors to the project source code, documentation, and infrastructure. One cannot be in the steering committee if they don’t participate in development. Every contributor, individual or corporate, can be elected to serve in the steering committee. Simply put, one cannot buy their way into the technical decision making—financial contribution is neither necessary nor sufficient.

Trademarks and other related IP (logos, marketing materials, artwork, etc.) will be transferred from Sentrium S.L. to the VyOS Foundation.

What?

VyOS Foundation (VF) will oversee different project activities and needs (will be scoped over time within members)

Donations will go to the VF and will be used for project needs.

VF will foster open-source networking development efforts by sponsoring related projects and efforts in different ways.

VF will create and maintain open networking labs to help people test, debug, and profile network applications in multi-vendor environments for VyOS and other open-source software teams who may need it.

VF will interact with non-profit, education, the public first responder organizations and provide access to software and services on special terms

The general plan is to expand activities that benefit VyOS, open-source networking as well as network engineers wellbeing in general

VF will handle training and certifications for engineers

VF will be responsible for hardware and software certifications (VyOS Ready, Powered by VyOS and other programs)

VF will manage trademarks and related IP (logos, marketing materials, artwork, etc)

There is a big effort behind all of this and it will take time to implement it correctly, however, nothing is impossible. This is really the beginning of a new stage of the VyOS Project.

Who will be able to join?

Everyone! To truly serve its purpose, the foundation must be open to all participants with different goals.

VyOS contributors including customers will be able to join as individual members at no cost. Individuals who support the project financially, starting from $10/month (directly or through our Patreon and BuyMeACoffee accounts), will also have an option to join as individual members.

To companies and organizations, multiple membership levels will be available with different levels of requirements, responsibilities and benefits.

Why join?

All members, individual and corporate, will be able to cast votes.

All corporate members will be able to:

  • market themselves as official VyOS-based solution providers and earn money from their VyOS expertise;
  • use VyOS trademarks and logos as long as their product or service meets requirements;
  • get special terms for a variety of services, including priority support and dedicated account managers for coordinated development;
  • showcase their logos on vyos.foundation and vyos.io websites;
  • access all prebuilt images of VyOS releases as well as other software developed by the foundation for unlimited use including CloudPack.

Corporate membership is especially beneficial for OEMs, MSPs, and systems integrators. If VyOS is an important part of your solution and you provide services for it, membership is designed to help you provide and market those services and have real influence on VyOS future.

Since corporate members receive an equivalent of our most comprehensive software access subscription and Cloud Pack, any sufficiently large VyOS user can benefit from it. You get all the software access for a flat fee plus an ability to participate in the project governance.

When?

Actual process will take a while to complete. It can be  about 6 months or more.

Legal costs aren’t too high, but a foundation requires a starting capital of 30k euros. Donations from our Patreon and Buymeacoffee users will definitely help us cover the costs—thanks for donating!

At Sentrium, we are prepared to absorb the setup costs ourselves, but founding members will receive special privileges, so if your company wants to help us with it, let us know!

If you are interested, fill the form at prelaunch.vyos.foundation.

Why haven’t we joined an existing foundation?

We had tried to contact a few existing organizations, including the Linux Foundation and none of them showed interest. When Linux Foundation announced its plan to adopt the DANOS project, the reasoning became clear.

In any case, there are more reasons:

  • VyOS is european project and VyOS Foundation will be in a European Union jurisdiction, where privacy laws are much better and a number of legal issues like overly broad software patents don’t exist.
  • No one else gives individual members as many rights as we are planning to give.
  • Last but not least, no one knows our community and its needs better than ourselves.
  • There aren't many foundations focused on networking, so it may become an umrella foundation for network software projects, if they want to join.

Stay tuned for updates!

P.S.

As always, you can support our effort on:

BECOME A PATRON  or  BUY ME A COFFEE

 

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