FreeBSD Server OS: Record Growth with Major Partner Investments

DateMay 28, 2024

The FreeBSD Foundation, a dedicated advocate for the open-source FreeBSD operating system, has announced unprecedented momentum driven by significant partner investments and a surge in donations. Greg Wallace, Senior Director of Partnerships at the FreeBSD Foundation, highlighted the growing industry recognition of FreeBSD’s pivotal role in fostering innovation and delivering robust commercial solutions.

Greg Wallace emphasized that the substantial increase in corporate donations demonstrates the industry’s reliance on FreeBSD for its secure and adaptable server operating system (server OS) capabilities, which are crucial for the next wave of technological advancements.

In 2023, the FreeBSD Foundation saw accelerated growth with the addition of three new corporate partners: AMD, Nozomi Networks, and RG Nets. This contributed to a year-over-year increase in new partners and donations. These newcomers join a roster of six companies, including Beckhoff, Juniper Networks, Netflix, Stormshield, and Tarsnap, which have consistently donated for the past five years. Notably, NetApp has been recognized as the Foundation’s largest cumulative corporate donor from 2019 to 2023, underscoring its long-term commitment to FreeBSD.

The Foundation has also introduced a new service to support commercial FreeBSD users in meeting the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) requirements. This service, available to partners donating at the Silver level and above, aims to help companies comply with US Government secure software development reporting standards, further integrating FreeBSD into secure, compliant commercial environments.

‘Positive Experience with FreeBSD Server OS’

Additionally, the Foundation announced the first annual Digital Security by Design (DSbD) Ecosystem Beacon Awards, celebrating innovators who enhance CheriBSD, a significant development within the FreeBSD ecosystem. This initiative underscores the Foundation’s commitment to advancing digital security and supporting groundbreaking work in the field.

According to a recent survey of 1,446 FreeBSD users, commercial organizations are increasingly adopting FreeBSD due to its user-friendly interface and robust performance. The survey revealed that 93% of respondents had a positive experience with FreeBSD, with 90% finding it an excellent platform for learning about OS internals and system administration.

Notable FreeBSD Use Cases:

Metify – replaced a Linux and KVM virtual machine solution with FreeBSD for its metal-as-a-service software appliance, resulting in enhanced performance, increased system uptime, and a streamlined architecture. In January 2024, Metify reported achieving one year of uninterrupted uptime.NetApp – selected FreeBSD as the foundation for its NetApp ONTAP data management system across all products, citing FreeBSD’s permissive licensing, performance orientation, and flexible implementation options. By contributing nearly 300 changes and integrating software such as the bhyve hypervisor, NetApp leverages FreeBSD’s capabilities to offer innovative data infrastructure solutions in a rapidly evolving market.Beckhoff – chose FreeBSD over Linux for its open automation systems, driven by legal concerns with the GPL and the need for a non-GPL, high-performance OS supporting diverse hardware. Beckhoff merged its proprietary TwinCAT runtime with FreeBSD to create TwinCAT/BSD, offering broad multicore support and compatibility from Arm to Xeon. This decision allows Beckhoff to provide advanced automation products free from the constraints of Linux’s licensing.Juniper Networks – adopted FreeBSD for its Junos OS operating system, attracted by FreeBSD’s stable release system, feature roadmap, and favorable licensing. FreeBSD supports Juniper’s goal of developing a unified, modular OS with synchronized software releases across its product range, from small office setups to large-scale networks. Collaboration within the FreeBSD community has further enabled Juniper to meet the diverse demands of its AI-driven networking, cloud, and security solutions.

These examples would reflect the widespread adoption and strategic value of the FreeBSD server OS in various industries. The FreeBSD Foundation’s recent achievements and growing industry partnerships would underscore the server operating system’s critical role in driving technological innovation and supporting commercial success.

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