Google has long been a member of the Linux Foundation, but at the relatively low Silver level. Today, the company is stepping up its commitment by becoming a Platinum sponsor — the highest level of membership the open-source nonprofit organization currently offers. Silver membership for large corporations run just under $100,000 per year, while Platinum sponsors pay $500,000. As part of this move, Sarah Novotny, Google’s head of open-source strategy for the Google Cloud Platform, is joining the Linux Foundation board of directors.
With this, Google joins AT&T, Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm, Samsung and VMware as a Platinum member, but it’s worth remembering that the Linux Foundation now has more than 800 members at all levels.
“Google is one of the biggest contributors to and supporters of open source in the world, and we are thrilled that they have decided to increase their involvement in The Linux Foundation,” said Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation, in today’s announcement. “We are honored that Sarah Novotny, one of the leading figures in the open source community, will join our board – she will be a tremendous asset.”
Google notes that it has released and contributed to more than 10,000 open-source projects to date, including Linux Foundation-managed projects like Cloud Foundry, Node.js, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (the project behind the Kubernetes container orchestration service) and the Open API Initiative.
To some degree, it’s a bit of a surprise that Google remained a Silver member for so long, given its extensive involvement with various open-source software projects and ecosystems over the years.
“Open source is an essential part of Google’s culture, and we’ve long recognized the potential of open ecosystems to grow quickly, be more resilient and adaptable in the face of change, and create better software” said Novotny. “The Linux Foundation is a fixture in the open source community. By working closely with the organization, we can better engage with the community-at-large and continue to build a more inclusive ecosystem where everyone can benefit.”