It never really bothered me when companies use open source software and implement an “Open Core” business model around the software that they give for free (both as in freedom and beer). After all, I’m a capitalist as well (I also love my cash). This is the prime reason why I side with the open source folks over the free software purists. But that’s a different story, for another day.
HashiCorp is the company behind Vagrant. Vagrant itself, is completely open source however some additional extensions to it are not. Those being support for VMware Fusion and Workstation virtualization platforms.
About a year ago, I became the maintainer of a Vagrant plugin called vagrant-notify. At that time it only worked with VirtualBox and one of the goals of mine in becoming the maintainer of the plugin, was to have it working with many different virtualization platforms as possible. Also not to mention that many people in the Vagrant community also wanted this.
Given that each license costs $79, I contacted HashiCorp’s customer support to see if they provide me with either a trial, discounted, or free license for both of their VMware Fusion and WMware Workstation Vagrant plugins. After a few days, a HashiCorp customer rep reached back to me and low and behold they were awesome enough to give me licenses for both VMware Fusion and Workstation completely free of charge without any hesitation of them. This is a small, yet an awesome demonstration of a company that totally understands open source and how both commercial proprietary software can co-exist with free open source software. Although it may bug some people the wrong way.