The sustainability challenge of Open Source projects

The global success of the internet is based on the openness and transparent way in which significant (new) technologies are developed and implemented. This includes the development of new protocols and standards and the ways these are conducted on networks around the globe.

NLnet Labs has played an important role since its establishment in 1999 and its contribution to the internet community has resulted in, among other things, the development and delivery of highly efficient and stable open source nameserver software.

The NLnet Labs Name Server Daemon (NSD) is an authoritative RFC compliant DNS nameserver. It was first conceived to allow for more genetic diversity for DNS server implementations used by the root-server system and it has been developed for operations in environments where speed, reliability, stability, and security are of high importance. NSD is currently used on root servers such as k.root-servers.net and is also in use by several top-level domain registries. Unbound is the validating recursive DNS resolver. Unbound is designed as a set of modular components, so that also DNSSEC (secure DNS) validation is easily possible.

In order maintain our work, maintain community support and continue our research and development activities, we need to find sources for structural funding the NLnet Labs foundation.

Among others, offering of support and SLA’s might be the right way to move forward, combining existent non-profit efforts and a commercial offering.

Objective of the lightning talk will be the exchange of ideas regarding financial sustainability of open source organizations. The example (support and SLA’s) given is just „a” possibility. We’d like to create a certain sense of urgency regarding the future of high profile open source projects. Yes, we will continue our contribution to the open source and open standards projects as we do today, including our active role in global standardization and governance fora. And yes, we think the total community and industry does have a responsibility in acknowledging the need for structural funding and its own role in this. We like to have the opportunity to receive feedback on this challenge and ideas and suggestions on how to involve the community in order to achieve a sustainable model.



  • Han Brouwers, NLnet Labs

Part of session

Lightning Talks

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