Symbian Mobile OS goes open source, is data center design the next open source opportunity?

Symbian OS went open source today.

Symbian Is Open

As of now, the Symbian platform is completely open source.  And it is Symbian^3, the latest version of the platform, which will be soon be feature complete.

Open sourcing a market-leading product in a dynamic, growing business sector is unprecedented.  Over 330 million Symbian devices have been shipped worldwide, and it is likely that a further 100 million will ship in 2010 with more than 200 million expected to ship annually from 2011 onwards.

Now the platform is free for anyone to use and to contribute to.  It is not only a sophisticated software platform, It is also the focal point of a community. And a lot of the foundation’s effort going forward will be to ensure the community grows and is supported in bringing great innovations to the platform and future devices.

PCWorld write on the 5 benefits of open sourcing Symbian.

Five Benefits of an Open Source Symbian

By Tony Bradley

The Symbian mobile operating system is getting a second life as the Symbian Foundation makes the smartphone platform open source. The lifeline will revitalize the platform, and has benefits for Nokia, smartphone developers, Symbian handsets, and smartphone users.

With open source hitting all aspects of IT including mobile, when will data center designs go open source?  Don’t hold your breath as few of the data center designers are software people, so open source is still a foreign concept for many as designs are protected and transparency of what goes on is heresy to their thinking and business models.

But, maybe as Cloud Computing goes open source with companies like Eucalyptus, people will not see the value in much of how data centers have been built in the past.

Eucalyptus open-sources the cloud (Q&A)

It's reasonably clear that open source is the heart of cloud computing, with open-source components adding up to equal cloud services like Amazon Web Services. What's not yet clear is how much the cloud will wear that open source on its sleeve, as it were.

Eucalyptus, an open-source platform that implements "infrastructure as a service" (IaaS) style cloud computing, aims to take open source front and center in the cloud-computing craze. The project, founded by academics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, is now a Benchmark-funded company with an ambitious goal: become the universal cloud platform that everyone from Amazon to Microsoft to Red Hat to VMware ties into.

Or, rather, that customers stitch together their various cloud assets within Eucalyptus.

Is open source a threat to data center design?  For some maybe, for others it is an opportunity.

For compliance and regulatory issues, eventually cloud computing providers will need to provide some level of transparency on their data center infrastructure.  Enough to meet the needs of governments and other regulatory agencies.  Will this be a driving issue for opening more details on data center infrastructure?

There are those who argue for security reasons, we are not transparent to reduce our risks.  But, open source software believers say the systems are more secure by being transparent and allowing peer review.