2020’s best open source software, the true era of ‘citizen developers,’ Cisco to acquire Kubernetes company Portshift and more

10/09/2020 - Jin Woo

Published every Thursday, The Blue Print recaps the industry’s most intriguing news, unexpected shifts and developing trends that are defining the business and technology landscape.


InfoWorld: 2020 Bossie award winners
Like a benevolent Borg, open source sweeps across the software universe year after year, bringing innovation to everything it touches. And year after year, InfoWorld’s Best of Open Source Awards, aka the Bossies, mark the progress. Among the 25 winners of our 2020 BOssies, you’ll find the usual rich array of leading-edge projects – tools for building better web applications, more accurate machine learning models, crisper data visualizations, more flex workflows, faster and more scalable databases and analytics, and much more. Read on to discover the best that modern open source has to offer.

Why It Matters: Open source is becoming a critical part of IT strategies. In fact, according to Red Hat’s 2020 State of Enterprise Open Source Report earlier this year, 75 percent of organizations say it was very or extremely important. The top 3 reasons for using open source are higher quality software, better security and access to the latest innovations, especially as it relates to containers and cloud-native apps. This is why projects such as Open Policy Agent made this year’s list. [Disclosure: OPA was created and managed by Styra, a 280blue client]

Tags: InfoWorld, Bossies, open source


SiliconAngle: Low-code and no-code tools may finally usher in the era of ‘citizen developers’
By many accounts, the market for tools to support these technology-oriented nontechnologists is primed for explosive growth. Gartner forecasts that three-quarters of large enterprises will use at least four low-code development tools by 2024 and that low-code will make up more than 65% of application development activity. Verified Market Research forecasts the market will grow more than 44% annually through 2026, echoing similar predictions from other firms.

Why It Matters: One of biggest obstacles of programming tools for non-technical people was that there was typically a performance penalty. Now with the majority of enterprises embracing cloud-based architectures, there are significantly less performance issues.

Tags: Developers, coding, Gartner, Verified Market Research, cloud


ZDNet: Cisco announces plans to acquire Kubernetes security player Portshift
Cisco on Thursday announced that it plans to acquire Portshift, makers of a platform that’s used to secure cloud applications on Kubernetes environments. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Portshift is specifically focused on securing containerized applications DevOps and security teams, Cisco said. The platform uses an agentless approach to detect and mitigate Kubernetes misconfigurations, which tend to be the main driver of security issues in container environments. Cisco intends to use Portshift’s technology to expand its security services across the app development lifecycle.

Why It Matters: Misconfigurations and API vulnerabilities remain the two biggest sources of security issues related to cloud-native computing. This helps Cisco extend security capabilities for customers. While most container related security vendors focus on run-time, including Portshift, identifying security issues prior to run-time is better for prevention, rather than discovery after applications are deployed into production.

Tags: Cisco, Portshift, Kubernetes, container, security, misconfiguration


The Register: K8s on a plane! US Air Force slaps Googly container tech on yet another war machine to ‘run advanced ML algorithms’
The US Air Force (USAF) is deploying Kubernetes containerisation tech aboard some of its spyplanes – as UK-based Britten-Norman teams up to make one of its flagship aircraft semi-autonomous. Technology and aviation have, to a greater or lesser extent, always moved hand in hand. Yet this week’s two most standout aviation tech developments represent a step change from the traditionally slow and cautious pace of development in the aerospace world. The USAF has tested Kubernetes aboard a U-2 Dragon Lady spyplane.

Why It Matters: The aviation industry that is typically slow to adopt new technologies, partly due to regulation restrictions. The use of Kubernetes by the US Air Force that are integrated with mission control systems and tied to ML, is further validation of the value containers provided.

Tags: Air Force, Kubernetes, Google, U-2 Dragon Lady


Dark Reading: Cloud Misconfiguration Mishaps Businesses Must Watch
IT security teams are well aware of the dangers of cloud misconfigurations. Poorly configured cloud infrastructure, applications, and storage have proved to be a major threat as attackers capitalize on an opportunity to sneak into enterprise environments and steal information or move laterally. Misconfigurations have only grown more common amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a global rush to shift organizations into fully virtualized workforces. The accelerated jump to the cloud has led to careless mistakes and, consequently, opportunistic attacks to take advantage of them.

Why It Matters: Accelerated cloud native computing adoption, especially during the pandemic, has left security gaps that cyber criminals can take advantage of.

Tags: cloud, misconfigurations, pandemic, data breach


Light Reading: Trump’s chaos spills into 5G
For better or worse, President Trump has upended a wide range of bedrock government functions, whether it’s the collection of security intelligence or the operation of national health initiatives. And now it appears that Trump’s chaos style of government management has spread into the far corners of telecom policy, including the administration of spectrum. According to several sources familiar with the issue, there is a debate raging within the Trump administration over how exactly to release the 3.45-3.55GHz band for 5G. The band is currently used by the US military, which has historically resisted any suggestion that it give up any of its spectrum holdings for any reason.

Why It Matters: Spectrum that has been historically used by the military was set to be auctioned off by the FCC to enhance 5G networks but is now meeting resistance from the White House CTO and others that suggest the military should hold the spectrum and lease it out. This impacts the quality of 5G services for consumers as this midband hits the sweet spot for coverage distance and performance.

Tags: Donald Trump, 5g, FCC, DoD


CNBC: Key GOP lawmaker lays out ‘non-starters’ for Big Tech antitrust reform
A key GOP lawmaker who has been an ally to Democrats on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee plans to release his own report laying out “common ground” and “non-starters” for antitrust reform in technology, according to a draft copy of the report obtained by CNBC.

Why It Matters: There will be a long battle ahead around antitrust reform in the midst of an election year, which could be impacted by the flow of campaign contributions from Silicon Valley companies.

Tags: GOP, antitrust, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google