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After Red Hat acquisition, StackRox takes unusual path to open source

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Shortly after Red Hat Inc. completed the acquisition of the Kubernetes security startup StackRox as part of its goal to expand its security management offerings, the company is making a new big announcement.

In an unusual move, StackRox will move from proprietary content to an open-source solution.

“We feel like one of the really great messages around wide open source of security product is to build that trust with the community, being able to expose: here’s how the product works, here’s how it integrates, here are the actions it takes, here are the ramifications or repercussions of some of the decisions you may make in the product,” said Ali Golshan (pictured), senior director of global software engineering at Red Hat Inc. and the former co-founder and CTO of StackRox.

Golshan spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. They discussed the story behind the decision to make StackRox an open-source platform, the challenges of the move, and the prospects for growth. (* Disclosure below.)

Challenges involve a cultural shift

The idea of ​​transforming StockRox into an open source platform was presented by Red Hat at the beginning of the acquisition negotiation and proved to be aligned with the core philosophies of the startup, according to Golshan.

“A lot of us, from a historic standpoint, have viewed security to be a proprietary thing, as we’ve always viewed the sort of magic algorithms or black boxes or some magic under the hood that really moved the needle,” he said. “And that happens not to be the case anymore. Also because StackRox’s philosophy was really built around Kubernetes and built in.”

But change also involves challenges, such as a cultural shift.

“I do think that there’s a lot of details to be worked out because, obviously, there’s sort of a lot of the nuances in how you build product and manage it and maintain it, and then how you introduce community feedback and community collaboration as part of open-source project, [which] is another big part of it,” Golshan explained.

A major benefit for StackRox is that it puts aside the uncertainty normally surrounding startups while having the resources and support necessary to stand the test of time, according to Golshan. Another advantage is that Red Hat’s strong customer base and experience provide an opportunity for StackRox to scale up.

“What we’re looking for is more involvement in direct feedback from our community, from our users, from our customer,” Golshan pointed out. “Then, give us feedback as to how we’re not addressing those or how we can better design our systems … and, naturally, with more resources, we can be a lot faster in response.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. (* Disclosure: Red Hat Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Red Hat nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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