The Linux Foundation is a non-profit organization that is set up to help with the growth and expansion of Linux. To date, it has taken on many large corporations as members. The foundation receives over $6 million a year in donations as of this month. The majority of this comes from the eight platinum members, which received their platinum status by committing to at least $500,000 a year in contributions.
All these businesses are joining together to assist this foundation. One of the major reasons that the non-profit organization is getting so much support is because it focuses on finding solutions for security issues like the Heartbleed bug. With support from some of the most prolific IT professionals in the world, it’s a matter of when, not if, a stronger platform is built.
While not all platinum members are taking a hands-on approach, the Linux Foundation has effectively created a group of supporting members to form the Core Infrastructure Initiative.
Meet the Core Infrastructure Initiative
The Core Infrastructure Initiative is a Linux Foundation project designed to create the capital necessary to undergo various open source projects. The Initiative was influenced by the Heartbleed bug incident. It is believed that the capital available with the Core Infrastructure Initiative group will be able to be used to prevent a future security breach of similar magnitude to the Heartbleed bug. It’s not just the capital either, they have access to open source developers and many professionals in the IT industry.
The Current Plan
A steering committee, which is a board of high level stakeholders and/or experts, will collaborate alongside the advisory board, which consists of top level open source developers. This will allow everyone to properly decide which projects should be invested in and will essentially serve as the green light for these projects.
The main role of the Initiative is to provide capital for these projects. More specifically, the group may provide the capital that is needed to hire specific developers on a full-time basis. This is important as it will ensure that the same eyes and mind are used to oversee a particular project. The Initiative may also help with arranging in-person meetings, infrastructure testing, security audits, and more.
The Businesses Involved with the Core Infrastructure Initiative
There are currently 13 supporting members for the Core Infrastructure Initiative. These include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Qualcomm, Rockspace, VMWare.
The Initiative believes that quite a few more supporting members will come on board in the next few weeks and months as the project comes to light.
That’s all fine and dandy, but what do the supporting members do?
Some of these companies are already major contributors – Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, and Qualcomm each give $500,000 a year to the foundation. It would not be a surprise if there is even more financial backing from the supporting members as the need is there. In fact, within the frequently asked questions on the Initiative, it is clearly stated that funding will come from individuals, and from supporting members within the Initiative.
These supporting members will also provide an extra eye to make sure that the project focuses on finding solutions for issues that pertain directly to the security of the computing infrastructure globally.
Why Is The Initiative So Important?
From a quick glance, it may appear as if this is just another combination of big names supposedly ‘coming together’ to make a difference. It’s something that many would think is either just for press or not actually going to lead anywhere.
That’s not right though. The Initiative is actually a very serious project and it can truly make a difference in the IT world.
Look at the situation with the Heartbleed bug. Did you know that there were donations being made for the OpenSSL project? Most likely, that’s something that you just learned now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it probably explains why the contribution per annum for previous years was only around $2,000. Just imagine if there was significant financial backing for this particular project – the Heartbleed bug may have been resolved a lot sooner!
That’s the entire point of the Initiative. It’s designed to focus on particular projects that are not financially supported. These are projects that are relevant to global computing infrastructure. Within these projects, errors in code or loopholes may exist. These are not going to be discovered if developers and security experts aren’t spending any time on it, right?
So, to put it simple, it is great to see collaboration projects like this one being started up. The Linux Foundation itself is a non-profit organization with many major supporters and collaborative projects. The Core Infrastructure Initiative will undoubtedly prove to be one of the most powerful corporate collaborations the IT world has seen once the project gets off the ground.
Whether it gets the respect or not is yet to be known though; everyone sees the damage of security flaws like the Heartbleed bug, but no one sees the seriousness of prevented exploits.