Open Hour 2020-OCT-01

January 23, 2021 - slangadmin


  • Salt news, updates, Docs Jam, and SaltConf
  • Special update: VMWare’s acquisition of SaltStack – discussion led by Thomas Hatch. Please send Cassandra Faris your acquisition questions. Tom, Cassandra, and the rest of the Core Team would like to get as many of them answered for you as possible.
  • Open community discussion & questions

Salt News and updates

Community Manager Cassandra Faris

VMWare’s acquisition of SaltStack

SaltStack Founder/CTO, Tom Hatch and SaltStack SVP of Engineering, Moe Anderson
Discussion begins at 5:42 on the video

Thank you to SaltStack Senior Software Engineer for creating these notes in realtime

Opening remarks and background

  • Cassandra: I’ve compiled a list our community’s frequently asked questions and common topics of conversation. We’ll start by addressing the questions and topics from that list.
  • Moe: this is a journey – not an end
  • Tom: SaltStack has come up for acquisition multiple times. He’s only been willing to consider acquisition if he felt confident that salt open would be maintained. VMWare has made significant comments & commitments about maintaining and improving open source support
  • Tom: can’t answer everything, but the future looks bright – no license changes re: Salt Open. I want to express my sincere thanks & gratitude to this community. When he started Salt in his basement, years ago, he couldn’t have imagined where we would be today.
  • Tom: Will continue on with VMWare – will actually be more involved with Salt, since he won’t have to focus as much on keeping the business going and doing other executive things. plans to work on improving more communication within the community. Salt Hacks has been going, wants to improve the cadence for Salt Air as well
  • Tom: my confidence right now in VMWare is very high. Was skeptical & worried in the beginning, but has become deeply impressed over the course of this process. “My fears were quickly calmed”
  • Moe: echoes Tom’s sentiment than there is strong and evident commitments from VMWare to Open Source. They’ve brought in a lot of champions for Open Source

Questions and Answers

  • Q: What changes will impact contributors?
    • Moe: we are gaining a great partner in VMWare on this journey
    • Tom: No intention to make any changes around community contributors – GitHub, PRs, issues, SEP process
    • Moe: Only changes to improve the process!
    • Tom: Not planning to diminish current contributions to merge process
  • Q: Any changes to platform/tooling?
    • Tom: We’re already working to improve things, we’ve moved a lot of internal Salt things to GitLab, but Salt currently will stay on GitHub. Also, VMWare maintains OS projects on GitHub, so we probably won’t be moving
  • Q: License changes?
    • Tom: VMWare likes the apache license – we might tidy a few things up, but shouldn’t be any significant changes
  • Q: Relationship between open and enterprise?
    • Tom: Open Core – when we take an open project and create an enterprise project that hamstrings the open project. Salt does not do that. Our enterprise product is a separate codebase. There’s no innovation stifling going on.
    • Tom: There’s no “community edition” – there’s Salt. There’s a trial edition of SaltStack Enterprise, but that’s a distinct product.
  • Q: Did VMWare commit to adding resources to the open/core team? Tom: SaltStack already commits way more resources than many other projects. VMWare has committed to continue to support & maintain the OS project – Moe: Trends that have occurred in the past will likely continue to occur in the future. Shouldn’t be interpreted as a commitment, but there are a wealth of Salt users at VMWare, VMWare partners that will likely come to contribute to Salt, etc. etc. – Moe: it’s reasonable to expect additional enthusiasm into the community
  • Q: Do we need to create forks?!
    • Tom: heavens no – we’ll still be releasing Salt, continue to march forward
  • Q: What’s the future of pop/idem – other R&D efforts? – Tom: VMWare has expressed strong interest and support in continuing R&D efforts
  • Q: Is Tom just going to go off into POP-land?
    • Tom: I’ve been in POP-land – I’m finally going to get more back into Salt-land 😀
  • Q: Does VMWare still hold an investment in puppet?
    • Tom: There are certain aspects around the VMWare that I cannot make, Clearly VMWare is significantly interested in SaltStack, so…
    • Tom: Also VMWare will still integrate with all of the things that they’ve integrated with before
  • Q: Will salt stand alone or get embedded into something else?
    • Tom: VMWare is currently still planning on releasing Salt as usual. But there is strong interest in more tightly integrating Salt into certain VMWare products. But Salt will still be available as Salt.
    • Tom: only so much I can answer right now, and others… probably never? Unless VMWare makes some sort of announcement?
  • Q: Why did SaltStack decide to sell the company? – Tom: there are many factors that go into selling a company. Many things I can’t comment on right now. These processes take months and months, involve many financial discussions. Why I feel this is a good move is that Salt is much more powerful and more broad, and I feel that VMWare is capable of taking advantage of this and accelerating. I am fully on board with this decision, and will own that. – Tom: I feel this is the best thing for Salt, the Enterprise project, and especially the community
  • Q: Is this the death of SaltStack? – Tom: Hopefully previous answers have clarified “no” – VMWare still committed, etc.
  • Q: Are stickers going to be boring? – Moe: Janae’s (SaltStack Marketing) is on the phone, and… no! They’re going to be better than ever. – Janae: The stickers are going to be phenomenal – we wouldn’t let them be boring.
  • Q: When will licensing changes, if any, be announced? – Alex: re: licensing – we hope to have a lot of announcements at SaltConf – go register! (again, premature to say anything, as it’s not a closed deal yet)
  • Q: SSE still be available? – Tom: Yes! SSE, SecOps Comply and Protect will both be available – Alex: Not only available, but we are still executing on our existing roadmap – Moe: No changes to SecOps (maybe asked relative to VMWare Carbon Black)
  • Q: Process improvements?
    • Moe: We’ve been improving a lot of the test suites – reduced time (9+h to <3h), working more for reductions. – Moe: We’ve also been working on more process automation, and other improvements – folks on the core team, community members like Max, Mike, Kirill, Erik…

Closing Remarks

  • Tom: This has been a big week for us. In 2011 I made a commitment that I stand by Open Source. I firmly believe that VMWare will continue to support Salt.