The 10 Coolest New Open-Source Technologies And Tools Of 2018

Open Innovations

The open-source model has become the industry's leading engine of innovation by harnessing the power of developer communities and corporate sponsors to advance new technologies at a breakneck clip.

The most disruptive technologies, including DevOps, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, are predominantly driven by open-source communities that are pushing the envelope of what's possible to deliver next-generation use cases to the enterprise.

Here are 10 open-source projects introduced, or advanced, in 2018 that are shaking up the enterprise software landscape and creating new opportunities for cloud-focused solution providers.

Acumos AI

In November, The Linux Foundation, through its LF Deep Learning Foundation, publicly launched Acumos AI, a federated platform for managing artificial intelligence applications and sharing models.

Among the contributors to the project was telecom giant AT&T.

Acumos gives developers and data scientists a new industry standard for building intelligent applications and working with reusable machine learning models.

Acumos strives for simplicity with a visual workflow to design AI and machine-learning applications, as well as a marketplace for freely sharing solutions and data models.

Azure Pipelines

Microsoft's embrace of open source took another leap forward in September when the world's largest software company introduced Azure Pipelines.

As part of an initiative to make its development tools open and available for users across any platform or cloud, Microsoft released the technology for developers to continuously build, test and deploy workloads.

Azure Pipelines offers flexible deployments to any platform and cloud, including Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. It also offers cloud-hosted agents for Linux, macOS, Windows, workflows with native container support, as well as to Kubernetes, virtual machines and serverless environments. is a continuous integration/continuous delivery platform that helps enterprises optimize and automate software delivery in their containerized environments.

Earlier this year, the startup behind the open-source technology expanded its capabilities to Microsoft Windows Server.

With the latest iteration of Drone, Windows Server developers can ship code faster with self-service configuration and automated provisioning, and they can run CI/CD pipelines inside Windows Containers.


The third project to graduate from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation offers a high-performance solution for an edge, middle or service proxy.

Envoy, which reached "graduate" maturity in November, helps ease transition to cloud-native architectures by managing interactions between micro-services to ensure application performance.

The project was originally born at ride-hailing vendor Lyft before being brought into the CNCF for further development.


Service mesh has become all the rage as more applications are built with micro-services architectures to enjoy cloud-native capabilities.

Istio, born last year out of an alliance of Google, IBM and Lyft, became production-ready in July with its 1.0 release.

The vendor-neutral technology extends container deployments by connecting, discovering, monitoring and authenticating communications between micro-services running across environments.

That facilitates more enterprise use cases for Kubernetes, which is why Google has been integrating the technology with its managed Kubernetes service.


To ease customization of Kubernetes environments, Google introduced the Kustomize open-source project in May.

The command-line tool offers a new, purely declarative approach to configuration customization for the container orchestration technology that adheres to the familiar and carefully designed Kubernetes API.

Kustomize allows Kubernetes administrators to manage an arbitrary number of distinctly customized Kubernetes configurations using only Kubernetes API resource files.


Serverless computing is taking the industry by storm.

While the red-hot paradigm originated in the public cloud, Nuclio is among the innovative open-source frameworks that's enabling that technology independent of hyper-scale providers.

The project, spearheaded by Israeli software developer Iguazio, helps developers build and run auto-scaling applications on federated cloud infrastructure without thinking about server management.

Nuclio makes serverless possible across multi-cloud and on-premises environments, and at the edge for IoT devices.


Pulumi is helping DevOps teams deploy code in the cloud even faster.

The startup's open-source software development kit treats cloud-native infrastructure as code that can be written in several programming languages, using standardized libraries and familiar tools.

The technology manages all types of cloud infrastructure, including containers, Kubernetes and serverless.


This startup out of Madrid, Spain, offers two open-source tools that leverage machine learning to improve the work product of software developers.

Engine takes a "Code as Data" approach, turning lines of code into actionable insight. And Lookout is a "Machine Learning on Code" technology that assists in analyzing large code bases.

The source{d} open-source products help engineering teams ship higher-quality software while gaining actionable insight throughout the development process.


In August, Salesforce released an open-source version of the automated machine-learning library it developed to power its Einstein artificial intelligence platform.

TransmogrifAI bundles capabilities that automate the development of machine-learning models by feeding structured data to pre-packaged algorithms.

The technology enabled the CRM leader's data scientists to deploy thousands of models in production with minimal hand-tuning, reducing the average turnaround time for training a performant model from weeks to just a couple of hours.

Salesforce recognized the end-to-end capabilities of its library could be useful to other businesses hoping to take advantage of AI but struggling with a shortage of qualified professionals available for hire.