WAND (WANdisco) announces today that it launches “Git
Multisite” (http://is.gd/TnvF3q). Although I had seen the name appear in many RNS headlines, I had no idea what it did. I had assumed it was some kind of social network site.
It turns out that it seems to offer source control systems. Their new offering is “git”, which is a “distributed source version control system”. It was the word “git” that caught my attention.
For those that have no idea what I’m talking about …
When computer programmers create applications, they write “source code”, which tells the computer what to do. A lone programmer can just write the code, compile it, Job Done. But what they are likely to do is create a “repo” (repository) to store that code. The repo acts as a central repository for the code. It allows for versioning (you can go through the history of the changes of the code), is a source of redundancy so that backups can be made, and, in the event of disaster, recovered. It also facilitates several programmers working on the same project. They take a copy of the repo in its current state, and put it on their computer. They can make whatever changes they need to the code. The source control software can then “push” those changes to the remote repo. Other programmers on the project can “pull” those changes from the repo to their own local working area.
“Git” is one piece of software that runs a version control system. There are many. Too many, in fact. Git is a popular one, though, and it was originally written by Linus Torvalds as a means of controlling source code for his kernel development of Linux.
Git is free. Repositories are very easy to set up. Certainly, anyone capable of using git will be savvy enough to set up git repos and server infrastructure. So potential investors should be aware that WANdisco is unlikely to offer much that programmers can’t do for themselves. It does offer remote storage though, thereby relieving a programming team of the infractuctural burden of maintaining proper backups. I’d like to think that programmers know how to backup computers properly, notwithstanding that.
Potential investors should be aware that there are numerous competitors in this field. Perhaps the most widely known is GitHub
(https://github.com/), which offers free unlimited public repos – i.e. repos that anyone can see. It is great for open-source projects, and I have an umber of repos on there. They also provide private repos, starting from $7/mo. Bitbucket is another very popular one. Amazon Web Services is another one. Whilst GitHub and Bitbucket only offer repositories, Amazon (yes, /that/ Amazon) offer additional services like database support. In fact, Amazon actually provide “virtual servers” – allowing you to run complete and customisable Linux distributions on their servers.
So potential investors should be aware that competition is likely to be fierce, will have economies of scale advantages, and have solid financial backing. And sometimes they’ll have to compete with free.