Since QubesOS 3.1 Salt has been used as the configuration management engine. At the time of this decision in 2016, Saltstack was was an independent private company. Since then it was bought by VMware in September 2020. More recently VMware has itself been bought by Broadcom in November 2023.
After the acquisition Broadcom discontinued 56+ standalone VMware products that are used in almost every datacenter. These are software products that are more widely used than their inherited Saltstack software. So I’ve grown increasingly concerned that Saltstack will eventually be put on the chopping block, or at least be neglected due to the way management is done at Broadcom to push for profits.
According to the Saltstack GitHub:
The original sponsor of our community, SaltStack, was acquired by VMware in 2020. The Salt Project remains an open source ecosystem that VMware supports and contributes to. VMware ensures the code integrity and quality of the Salt modules by acting as the official sponsor and manager of the Salt project. Many of the core Salt Project contributors are also VMware employees. This team carefully reviews and enhances the Salt modules to ensure speed, quality, and security.
Sounds like VMware plays/played a big part in Saltstack. No mention of Broadcom and if they still plan on having their acquired VMware employees focusing on Saltstack. This is in light of the first round of VMware layoffs after the Broadcom acquisition.
Does anyone else share these concerns, and what more “independent” configuration engine could QubesOS replace it with? I honestly don’t know the financials involved for Saltstack and if they have enough of a volunteer base to continue to push out releases if their primary sponsorship funding and administration is pulled.