Modirum is heavily dependent on, and are strong supporters of, open source software. We believe very strongly that using and supporting open source software and projects is the best way to run our business.
We, the people who make up Modirum – and in particular our hosting business – are geeks. Many years of personal and professional tinkering and hacking has given us knowledge and experience that cannot be taught, and a personal involvement with everything we do.
This involvement leads to passion. A passion that drives us to always try to do things the “right way”, without compromise. A passion that we know we share with countless others across our industry and others, and that builds passionate communities.
From these communities we learn. We benefit from the hard work, dedication and passion of others. If we hit a problem, chances are others have already been there. And rather than re-invent wheels, we re-use wheels made by others.
And then, from time to time, we find that we in fact do have a problem no-one else has had (or solved), or we do invent a wheel, so to speak. And we share our solution, or our newly-invented wheel, with the community and hope that someone may make use of it.
Of course, there is a gross mismatch between the amount of taking and the amount of giving. So we choose to contribute in other ways, too. Modirum are proud sponsors of The FreeBSD Foundation, because our hosting platform is built using many of the unique features of FreeBSD. And of Scribus, the leading open source desktop publishing suite, because they are very cool people making very cool software for free.
Using open source software and being involved with the community that feeds us is our insurance against obsolescence, one of the biggest threats we face.
We don’t do custom patches where it can be avoided; we make sure that if there’s something we need changed, we find a way to do so that can benefit others, and feed the changes back. The next time we pull patches and updates from the source, our changes are already there, and being maintained by others. Chances are that if no-one else is interested in the changes, we probably don’t want them in the first place.
There is some sense in using software that is used, scrutinised and broken by thousands of others every day. We believe that a strong, active community will be our best bet that security flaws are found, documented and fixed quickly and in-the-open where it belongs.
Adapting our hosting platform to the needs of our customers requires it to be flexible. In good UNIX tradition, we have a large heap of tools, each doing their job to perfection. All we need to do is put them to work. And we can combine them to perform all the magic our customers require – all without touching a line of code.