I posted earlier on why I believe Rackspace’s open source initiative Openstack may be too late. Now I’m going to discuss why it may not be too late. The solution has been in development from July of 2010 to May 1st 2012 when Rackspace offered the first widely deployed production ready Openstack offering.
Openstack is all about avoiding vendor lock in. I hate vendor lock in. Every time I see an end to end solution pitched from a single company, I begin to cringe. What happens when the relationship sours? What about just leveraging competition to get better pricing or terms? Amazon’s AWS has consistently added to its arsenal of products to keep their customer happy and lure more customers. But once you have invested in their API it becomes much more difficult to move your application to another cloud provider; as once said on a famous sitcom, “You have no hand”.
Enterprise resources are especially precious in our current economic environment. When we talk about the enterprise, picking and choosing what IT projects to invest development resources and dollars into has to be strategically aligned with business goals. Basically, there’s only so much to go around.
So, organizations may not have many options when it comes to teaming with a cloud provider that allows them to either roll a hybrid cloud model or plan for a hybrid cloud. You can go with VMware and one of their vCloud partners but, if you loath vendor lock in then vCloud isn’t much better of an option than AWS. You may have more cloud vendors to choose from but you are stuck with what some people consider an expensive compute stack.
This is where Openstack has a great opportunity. Most of the current cloud managers positioned at the enterprise only have integration with Amazon’s AWS. The idea of having the ability to have a provider class cloud manager at the core of your private cloud that allows you to easily extend your cloud to a number of cloud providers the class of RAX is pretty appealing.
In my previous post I asked if you wanted to roll a cloud today what were your options. In this post I’m asking the question if you wanted to roll a cloud today and not be locked in what are your options?