Not all standards were free and open. Western Digital's senior director of systems and software technologies Jorge Campello pointed out large OEMs that insisted on certain specifications he referred to as "de facto standards." These were "not real standards, but more of companies monopolizing niche markets."
Western Digital leadership recognized "the reality of a world that's driven by open-source software and we started to get engaged and contribute to foster technologies that we were developing."
On the plus side, having software for your hardware being developed in the open cracks the door for outside developers to find new ways to consume the hardware. A lot of the distributed computing work by "the hyperscale movement" has been done in open source, leading to the storage devices being used "in completely different ways" than they were as part of proprietary legacy storage arrays and systems, Campello said.
"That's exactly one of the main advantages of an open architecture like that with a permissive license," he said. "We can start from a core functionality that's useful for everyone and then adapt it to our needs as opposed to you get what you get and adapt yourself around it."
I would like to think that many techies would prefer something like this that is ready to use but can be adapted for their needs and is sustainable in it's usage, and where you could leverage off the innovation of others who make contributions.
It started as a microprocessor pioneer in the 1970s. Now, the company is charting a new course in open source silicon.