WalmartLabs is releasing OneOps cloud technology to the world as open source

By Jeremy King, CTO of Walmart Global eCommerce, Head of @WalmartLabs, and Tim Kimmet, VP of Platform and Systems, @WalmartLabs

Developers and cloud users know the upside of operating in the cloud – flexibility, scalability, speed, etc.  Unfortunately, too many have discovered the biggest downside…being locked in to the cloud provider you start with.  At WalmartLabs, we built Walmart’s e-commerce operations on the cloud and decided to build technology that gave us all of the cloud’s upside without the downside. It’s called OneOps.

OneOps is powerful cloud technology we built ourselves that has transformed the way our engineers develop and launch new products to our customers. They deliver this with more speed and at a lower cost because OneOps helps them (1) avoid the pitfalls of being “locked-in” to a cloud provider, and (2) thrive in WalmartLabs’ “DevOps” culture – whatever code developers write, they own, from its development to its launch to customers.

And we know they love it – nearly 3,000 of our engineers are unique users of OneOps and, on average, our engineers commit over 30,000 changes per month to deliver new or improved features to our customers. Now, that’s agility!

Today, WalmartLabs is announcing OneOps will be released to the world as open source. We will have the source code uploaded to GitHub by the end of the year.

This is good news for developers who need technology that can continuously manage and monitor the applications they develop when it’s deployed in the cloud. It’s great news for companies who have considered switching cloud providers but experience the “Hotel California Effect,” where they can “check out but never leave” their cloud provider because they’re locked into the provider’s proprietary APIs, architecture and tools.

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OneOps has four main benefits:

1) Cloud portability enables developers to seamlessly move applications, databases or entire cloud environments from one cloud provider to another. They’re able to “cloud shop” and take advantage of better technology or lower costs;

2) Continuous lifecycle management of the application means once a developer launches an application, OneOps continuously “auto-pilots” the app, scaling and repairing the app when unforeseen changes occur;

3) Faster innovation empowers engineers to spin up a new environment to host their app in a matter of minutes, without having to spend hours specifying the intricacies of a specific cloud environment. OneOps models all of that for them; and

4) Greater abstraction of cloud environments puts the control back into the hands of developers, instead of cloud providers, who often dictate the proprietary APIs, architecture, tools and technologies developers have to use.

We’re enabling any organization to achieve the same cloud portability and developer benefits that Walmart has enjoyed. And by eliminating the barriers that cloud hosting providers have erected, OneOps will drive them to compete based on price, customer service and innovation. It’s a winning scenario for all dev-centric organizations.

We wanted to take advantage of the cloud’s benefits as users, but we didn’t want to be locked-in legacy users. Open sourcing OneOps to the community will only make this technology better. OneOps negated the “Hotel California Effect” for WalmartLabs – we’re no longer a “prisoner of our own device.” And soon, neither will other denizens of the cloud.