July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Leaping the chasm from proprietary to open: A survivor's guide

Bryan Cantrill (Joyent)
1:40pm–2:20pm Thursday, 07/23/2015
Average rating: ****.
(4.80, 5 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

This is a story about transforming business, told as a narrative of the many small battles and how they were won. No prior knowledge required.


This talk describes the years-long odyssey of open sourcing these systems, including the internal challenges, the business models that we explored, the open questions that we confronted (yes, including licensing), and the nascent results of this effort. This talk will also discuss some of the salient technical details of SmartDataCenter and Manta, with a particular focus on those elements of the system that we believe will (or should) experience some adoption even outside the confines of these two systems.

Photo of Bryan Cantrill

Bryan Cantrill


Bryan Cantrill is CTO at Joyent. Previously a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, Bryan has spent over a decade working on system software, from the guts of the kernel to client-code on the browser and much in between. Bryan led the team that designed and implemented DTrace, a facility for dynamic instrumentation of production systems that won the Wall Street Journal’s top Technology Innovation Award in 2006 and the USENIX Software Tools User Group Award in 2008. Bryan co-founded the Fishworks group at Sun, where he designed and implemented the DTrace-based analytics facility found in the Sun Storage 7000 series of appliances — a facility that InfoWorld described as “stunning” in a February 2009 review. In 2005, Bryan was named by MIT’s Technology Review as one of the top 35 technologists under the age of 35, and by InfoWorld as one of their Innovators of the Year. Bryan received the ScB magna cum laude with honors in computer science from Brown University.