OpenStack Public Cloud Setbacks: Real or Imagined?

OpenStack Public Cloud Setbacks: Real or Imagined?

OpenStack hype is now OpenStack skepticism amid public cloud setbacks at Dell and Rackspace. But don't panic. The open source platform is still an increasingly popular option for public and private clouds. Here's why.

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) has killed its OpenStack public cloud plan. Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) is not growing as quickly as planned, despite betting the company on OpenStack. Some pundits now wonder if a giant like IBM can save OpenStack.  Should cloud integrators be concerned about the open source platform? Absolutely not. Here's why.

Frankly, OpenStack does not need saving. We're merely seeing a shakeout in the cloud market rather than a central flaw with the OpenStack movement.

During the recent OpenStack Summit, businesses such as BestBuy, Bloomberg, Comcast and HubSpot described how they were using the open source cloud platform.

A market for trained OpenStack consultants and IT integrators also is emerging. Moreover, Mirantis is building an OpenStack partner program to help build an ecosystem of VARs, MSPs and CSPs. 

I think more than 2,500 people attened the OpenStack Summit in April 2013. Another summit is planned for Nov. 5-8 in Hong Kong.

Bad News or Flawed Analysis?

With all this progress why is OpenStack receiving such bad press at the moment? The answers are simple:

  • Dell didn't abandon OpenStack. In reality, the company abandoned a public cloud build-out because competing against so many different cloud providers no longer seemed logical to Michael Dell. Instead of building that public cloud, Dell will supply servers and management software to those cloud companies. That sounds reasonable, but OpenStack skeptics wish to spin the story in a far more negative direction.
  • Rackspace's OpenStack-driven cloud sales are still growing fast. Yes, they are increasing. But not fast enough for Wall Street's taste. So skeptics call Rackspace's OpenStack push a failure when in fact the effort is a success -- just not as big of a success as some investors currently desire.
  • Neither the HP nor IBM OpenStack clouds have made much noise yet. But it's still relatively early in that game, and HP says it has lined up more than 100 public cloud partners so far.

Bottom Line

OpenStack isn't perfect. It's still immature. Only a handful of customers are talking publicly about their OpenStack experiences. But so far, it seems like OpenStack is a very promising alternative to VMware public/private clouds and Amazon Web Services. 

OpenStack a failure? Absolutely not. Rather, call it a work in progress. And that work still looks pretty darn promising.

TAGS: Open Source
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