OwnCloud is becoming more than just an open source project; it’s now a commercial entity too. Helming the new company as the CEO and CTO of OwnCloud is former Novell SUSE Linux CTO Markus Rex. Rex told InternetNews.com that the plan is to have commercial products and services in the first quarter of 2012.
In terms of how much money OwnCloud has raised from venture capital to help fund the business, Rex declined to provide a precise figure. He did however note that the funding is significant and well into the seven-digit range.
At this point, Rex noted that the company is still determining the exact mix of products and the business model for OwnCloud. The model will likely include some form of support on top of the open source base. There will also possibly be some form of proprietary or paid extensions that provides additional enterprise functionality beyond the open source project.
“There are some feature sets that are typically done by paid developers, things like a real solid hardening,” Rex said. “Also things like a management panel, which is not something you need if you only have one instance of OwnCloud running but if you have multiple instances, you likely need that.”
One service OwnCloud will not be providing is an actual hosted cloud storage service. Unlike DropBox, which only has a cloud service, OwnCloud is all about enabling users to build their own cloud storage, independent of a specific cloud vendor.
“We are a software company, and we do not sell gigabytes, and we don’t charge by gigabyte,” Rex said.
As to why OwnCloud will not have its own cloud service, Rex noted that it wants to empower service providers and not compete with them.