OpenStack Open Source Cloud Standard: Reality Check
I’ve been watching OpenStack, the emerging open source cloud standard, for more than a year now. Without a doubt, open source cloud projects generate buzz on TalkinCloud. But where exactly do VARs and MSPs fit into the OpenStack conversastion?
Since the OpenStack project’s mid-2010 launch, the community of open source developers and solution providers building on the platform has grown from just two — Rackspace and NASA — up to more than 110 today. And technology titans like Dell, Citrix, and HP have all signed on, with even traditionally hardware-focused Intel submitting code to the OpenStack community.
But even smaller and lesser-known ISVs and platform providers are contributing significantly: judging by the traffic figures TalkinCloud readers really responded to Java platform-as-a-service (PaaS) specialist Cumulogic’s commitment to supporting OpenStack clouds.
The OpenStack community has grown so much over such a small period of time, in fact, that the big announcement at this year’s inaugural OpenStack Conference in Boston was the announcement of the OpenStack Foundation, a governing body designed to help protect the OpenStack name and guide the future of the product. And the OpenStack Freecloud is a sandbox designed to help get ISVs up to speed on the offering, if you’re interested.
OpenStack isn’t resting on its considerable laurels: OpenStack Diablo, the codename for the release which dropped in late September, was the fourth in that year-and-change timespan, and the first to take six months to release instead of three.
Still, I’ve expressed concern that Rackspace is still too interested in controlling the project, thanks to its critical role in OpenStack’s creation. But in every conversation I’ve had with them, OpenStack community members have told me that the opposite is true, and that OpenStack is truly an open standard.
In short, if you’re a managed services provider or VAR, you’re going to want to keep OpenStack on your radar. It’s big and getting bigger — before you know it, I believe OpenStack will challenge VMware and Microsoft head-on in the cloud, becoming the platform from which your portfolio of managed services are offered from, whether in your own data center or in partnership with a cloud ISV.