The OpenStack community and IBM each are holding cloud computing conferences the week of April 16 in San Francisco. It's safe to expect cloud computing updates from such companies as Cisco Systems (CSCO), Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), IBM and Rackspace (RAX). For cloud consultants and aspiring cloud services providers, here's what to expect.
First, the official details:
- The OpenStack Design Summit (April 16-18) and Conference (19-20) are at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco.
- The 2012 IBM SmartCloud Symposium (April 16-19) is at the Hilton San Francisco.
The OpenStack Design Summit arrives at an intriguing time. More than 100 technology companies and service providers have lined up to support OpenStack, an open source cloud computing platform that can be used for public and private cloud initiatives.
OpenStack Progress and Challenges
Even as OpenStack gains ground it also faces challenges. Hewlett-Packard within weeks is expected to unveil a public and private cloud strategy that greatly leverages OpenStack. Meanwhile, Citrix Systems apparently has abandoned OpenStack and will instead promote CloudStack as a project under the Apache Software Foundation. Citrix also said CloudStack will continue to support Amazon's APIs.
For established and aspiring cloud services providers, choosing an open source cloud platform typically involves evaluating OpenStack vs. Eucalyptus, an alternative that also supports Amazon's APIs. I'm curious to see if Citrix can greatly raise CloudStack's visibility.
OpenStack Customer Case Studies
Dell, for one, has shifted more and more of its cloud focus to OpenStack. And at the OpenStack Conference, Dell is expected to share OpenStack customer case studies. Those case studies will include customer names, workload descriptions, and future directions with OpenStack.
What's missing from the OpenStack story so far? Cloud integrators. Most of the sessions at the OpenStack conference seem to be vendor-led. I'd like to hear more from cloud consultants and integrators who are building profitable businesses while helping customers to design and deploy OpenStack clouds.
IBM Smart Cloud Symposium
Meanwhile, the IBM Smart Cloud Symposium is expected to attract IBM customers, business partners, ISVs (independent software vendors) and system integrators.
In addition to business-centric sessions, IBM will use the conference to promote such products and services as IBM System Director VMControl (for managing VMware and virtualized infrastructures) and IBM Tivoli.
The piece I'm most interested in: What's the status of IBM Docs, a cloud-based security suite that may ultimately counter Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365.
I realize IBM has a boatload of cloud solutions and cloud services to promote to channel partners. But for me, that IBM Docs strategy is the topic that pushes the conversation from niche solutions (Tivoli, VMware management, etc.) to a mainstream SaaS platform. And that's worth tracking.
The Talkin' Cloud blog team will be reporting live from the OpenStack Design Summit, OpenStack Conference and IBM Smart Cloud Symposium. Want to potentially meet? Send me an email -- joe [at] NineLivesMediaInc [dot] com.