At raintank, all our software is open source. We haven’t talked much about how the whole stack will fit together (more on that soon…), but starting with Grafana, every piece of it is being developed in the open.
Our core revenue model is OpenSaaS: We couple our software with optional hosted services that we provide. These services are also powered by software that is open source.
Most of our users will simply choose to download our open source software, and won’t pay us anything. Many will choose to host our stack with another provider.
That may sound alarming to a potential raintank investor, but it’s actually totally OK, and expected. Not only does open source help us create much better software, but if done right it gives us the most amazing distribution channel that money can’t buy.
It’s hard to keep up with the awesome ways that Grafana is being used, let alone by whom. Difficulty identifying your users and successes isn’t an issue most software or SaaS companies face, but it’s pretty endemic in open source. It’s something that we’re focusing on improving this year at raintank.
In many situations, we find out that someone is using Grafana in the most indirect ways: a tweet, a job posting that mentions it, a blog post, an issue filed, a PR, or sometimes even a thank you note.
It’s always a thrill to find out when someone cool is finding value in your software. One of the biggest thrills so far came a few days ago, when our very own Dieter Plaetinck noticed Grafana on a screen at the SpaceX Launch Control Center during their recent Falcon 9 launch:
Watch The Falcon has landed
A bunch of us at raintank are huge fans of SpaceX, and follow the launches regularly. We’d love to learn more about what they’re doing with Grafana (and have already contacted them).
In the meantime, knowing that they’ve gotten some small value out of Grafana, and it’s up on screen visualizing their measurement data, is just an awesome feeling.
Onwards and upwards, open source, Grafana, and SpaceX!