Twitter backs big data with Apache sponsorship

Already a heavy user of Apache Software Foundation projects, Twitter is now giving back to the organization financially as a sponsor. It’s difficult to think of a situation where Apache sponsorship wouldn’t be the right move and, as Twitter’s Open Source Manager Chris Aniszczyk wrote on the Twitter Engineering blog Thursday, it’s definitely the right thing for Twitter to do.

Of course, putting money back into Apache — in addition to contributing code — is an investment as much as it is an act of altruism. Aniszczyk noted one particular project — Mesos, cluster-management software that enables the isolation of resources so a single system can run numerous types of jobs — as something that Twitter uses rather heavily. That’s in addition to Hadoop and its various related projects that Twitter also uses. The more money Apache has to operate, the better the open-source software Twitter has to choose from.

Twitter has been a model citizen lately in terms of doing the right thing, and sponsoring Apache is just the latest step. It recently open sourced a number of its internal data projects, including its MySQL fork, and earlier this week announced the Innovator’s Patent Agreement. The latter is a pledge to only use employees’ patents for defensive reasons unless an employee gives Twitter consent to go on the attack.

Other large web platforms, including Google (s goog), Yahoo (s yhoo), Microsoft (s msft) and Facebook comprise Apache’s Platinum sponsorship roster, although Twitter didn’t make known its sponsorship level.