Walmart appears to be flexing its muscles in the software industry after announcing today that it will open-source its OneOps code, making it easier for developers to hop from cloud to cloud, the New York Times reports.
The move, Walmart said at an annual meeting, is meant to increase competition between cloud service companies and to prevent “cloud lock-in,” in which developers cannot easily transfer their work between various online storage providers. The megastore purchased OneOps, a startup that helps automate the process of moving between cloud services, in 2013.
Walmart has built its own cloud data centers and developed its own software, but has also been forced to rely on the services of others. During the holiday-shopping season, the retailer’s website can experience 10 times more traffic than during the rest of the year, according to Jeremy King, CTO for global e-commerce. “No single cloud provider can handle all that traffic,” King said.
By making its OneOps code publicly available, Walmart could be taking a swipe at Amazon, the leading cloud supplier and its largest retail rival. Of course, the company described it in a much more benign manner: King said that, having relied on open-source software itself, Walmart “really wanted to give something back to the open source community.”
[via New York Times]