VMware has reaffirmed its support for the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and the essential open source projects it oversees by becoming the foundation’s latest Platinum-level sponsor.
Established in 1999, the ASF is one of the oldest open source software foundations, with some 220 million lines of code and more than 350 projects under its stewardship. Collectively, ASF projects have over 8,000 committers, tens of thousands of contributors, and billions of users. Like every other technology user and builder, VMware derives a huge benefit from the continued health and growth of the open source communities in the ASF. Our customers build and deploy a wide range of products built using ASF projects, such as the Apache HTTP Server, Tomcat, and Geode.
As open source software grows in popularity, however, it’s increasingly challenging for all-volunteer organizations like the ASF to scale their operations to keep pace. Our new Platinum-level sponsorship adds financial support for the foundation to use as needed to manage its growth, and reflects a renewed commitment on our part to helping the foundation secure the resources it needs to scale successfully while maintaining its productive and community-focused culture.
All VMware open source software foundation engagements are guided by a “listen, learn, contribute” philosophy that respects each foundation’s specific culture. Our hope is to add value to ASF projects in the context of what the foundation is already doing, and what it hopes to do in the future. Dawn Foster, Director of Open Source Community Strategy at VMware, says “Some of the most important open source projects are ASF projects, and we are delighted to support the ASF with our sponsorship in addition to the contributions we have been making to projects like Apache Geode.”
One particular area of mutual interest is helping make sure that the open source supply chain provides meaningful security for anyone using open source components. We share a joint interest in maintaining and enhancing the overall security stance of the broader family of Apache projects and plan to help advance ASF project security wherever we can.
This work will complement our contributions to other open source initiatives aimed at securing the software supply chain, including OpenSSF, SLSA, and The Update Framework (TUF). Looking ahead, we hope to facilitate deeper collaboration and a greater level of knowledge exchange between these projects and those managed by the ASF.
If it takes a village to keep open source running, software foundations are among that village’s most cherished institutions, ones that all villagers have an interest in supporting. The great myth of open source is that everything is free. But nothing of value is created – or maintains its value – in open source without the people who benefit from it dedicating time, money, and resources to keep the community, and the projects it generates, functioning well. Our renewed commitment to the ASF is a recognition that village leaders, like VMware, have a particular responsibility to do their part in keeping software foundations in the best possible health.