We are thankful that Mozilla chose to award a MOSS grant to ISC to help fund development of the Kea DHCP server, through the Mozilla Foundational Technology track. This is a wonderful program, through which Mozilla gives back to the Internet community by sponsoring development of the open source that everyone can use.
Kea is modern software that we hope will eventually replace the extremely popular, but also very mature, ISC DHCP, also known as dhcpd. DHCP software is classic infrastructure. People expect that DHCP software will be available in their operating system, but few people wonder where it comes from, or how the development is funded. Kea is already packaged for most major Linux and Unix operating systems, but is still missing a few very desirable features.
ISC’s MOSS award was for $100,000, which we will use to support design and development of a management api, and a secure remote management client. Remote management is an important feature, one that is frequently requested by prospective users. We have a preliminary requirements document posted in the Kea project wiki and are starting work on a design.
Kea is already a fully functional DHCPv4 and DHCPv6 server. We have just released Kea version 1.1, which greatly expanded support for leveraging an external database for host reservations, and added a flexible client classification system. Kea is accepting community contributions on Github, with significant contributions enabling initial support for a Cassandra database backend and lightweight DHCPv4 over v6 in version 1.1.
We sometimes joke that ISC puts the “non” in “non-profit.” ISC has been funding Kea internally, and with 3+ developers and a test engineer, it is a significant effort. We are offering Kea support contracts, which we hope will eventually fund on-going maintenance, but grants like this are essential to add major new functionality, to continue to create open source infrastructure for the future. We look forward to spending this award money on adding an important feature users are asking for to the Kea open source.