Retail giant Walmart is to open-source its cloud operations code OneOps, helping businesses avoid ‘cloud lock-in’ and competing with old rival Amazon.com in a new sector.

Acquired by Walmart Labs in 2013, cloud automation startup OneOps allows developers to own the code that they write, from development stages to general release, and to move their workloads between diverse public clouds.

In a blog post yesterday, Walmart Labs CTO Jeremy King and VP of Platform and Systems Tim Kimmet, stated that the move is ‘good news’ for developers looking to work with technology that constantly manages and and monitors their cloud applications.

The duo added that it is also advantageous for companies who “have considered switching cloud providers but experience the ‘Hotel California Effect’, where they can ‘check out but never leave’ their cloud provider because they’re locked into the provider’s proprietary APIs, architecture and tools.”

OneOps enables developers to migrate applications, data and even entire cloud ecosystems between different cloud providers. This form of ‘cloud shopping’, allows them to take advantage of better performing technologies and cost reductions.

Continuous life-cycle management also reassures the developer, with the OneOps system automatically managing the application and implementing repairs or scaling when necessary.

Walmart said that with the new release it aims to help businesses achieve complete cloud portability and flexibility. The retailer emphasised that it wants to erase any obstacles placed by cloud hosting providers, arguing that OneOps will encourage price competition, improve customer service and innovation – “It’s a winning scenario for all dev-centric organisations.”

King and Kimmet concluded their statement underlining that Walmart did not want to become a locked-in legacy user itself. The company wants to share the benefits of the technology and help others escape being ‘prisoners of their own device.’

Walmart confirmed that the source code would be uploaded to GitHub by the end of this year.