April 12, 2012

2 Min Read
IT Consultants Build OpenStack Cloud Business Practices

By samdizzy

OpenStack, the open source cloud platform, is beginning to attract an ecosystem of IT consultants, integrators and deployment specialists who can help customers with public cloud and private cloud projects. Key examples include ApriorIT, Cloud9ers, Grid Dynamics, Hastexo Professional Services, Mirantis and Piston Cloud Computing.

Why are those companies important? Talkin’ Cloud senses a bit of a market void:

  • Cloud services providers (CSPs) and vendors like IBM, HP and Dell sit on one side of the OpenStack table.

  • Potential customers and intrigued CIOs sit on the other side of the table.

  • But in many cases,  there’s nobody at the table who can actually help the customers deploy OpenStack-related services in public or private clouds.

Calling In the Experts?

That’s where the emerging OpenStack IT consulting market enters the discussion. Among the companies to watch right now:

ApriorIT offers professional consulting and software development services to customers, with an emphasis on offshore outsourcing services. Those services typically zero in on backup solutions, corporate security, virtualization, remote control and IT management.

Cloud9ers Information Systems, founded in 2008, offers cloud development, cloud infrastructure and mobile development services. Based in London, the company has customers across Europe and the Middle East.

Grid Dynamics offers OpenStack Jumpstart services. During a typical customer engagement, Grid Dynamics analyzes a customer’s existing infrastructure, proposes IT alternatives if needed, deploys OpenStack, and delivers training and follow-up professional services support.

Hastexo is a small consulting and professional services firm in Germany, that focuses on high-availability solutions. The Hastexo team includes F/OSS (free and open source software) professionals who specialize in 24×7 systems and services.

Mirantis appears to be one of the better-known players in the OpenStack IT consulting market. The company organizes cloud training events, and has also delivered engineering services to Cisco Systems,GE Money and Agilent.

Piston Cloud Computing is both a vendor and a consulting firm. Piston has combined OpenStack, Linux and a high availability framework to help enterprises deploy private clouds. The company “acts as a liaison between the businesses, academic communities and nonprofit/reserarch organizations that deploy OpenStack.

The Missing Pieces

Admittedly, that’s only a handful of companies. And Talkin’ Cloud doesn’t know which of those companies, if any, actually generates profits from OpenStack consulting engagements.

Still, the OpenStack ecosystem will need more IT consulting firms if OpenStack is truly to become a broadly adopted cloud standard.

Many of those OpenStack consulting firms, and others, will be on hand next week OpenStack Design Summit & Conference (April 16-20, San Francisc0). Talkin’ Cloud will be on hand, as well, to learn how this ecosystem is evolving.

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