Does the Average CIO Know Enough About OpenStack?

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 19, 2012

Without a doubt, OpenStack has become one of the most influential and heavily backed cloud computing efforts ever. In the past month alone, IBM, Red Hat, Deutsche Telecom, Ericsson and other companies have joined OpenStack, which already has a huge laundry list of companies backing it. In fact, OpenStack is one of the most influential open source projects of any kind.

In a new Forbes story, Joshua McKenty, who is CEO of Piston Cloud, an enterprise cloud software company, points out that CIOs everywhere are going to need to familiarize themselves with OpenStack, and he has a point.

OpenStack is designed to manage both software-centric and storage-centric aspects of cloud computing, focusing on clusters that can leverage distributed resources. OpenStack got its early momentum from Rackspace and NASA, and now Rackspace offers Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition, an OpenStack-powered cloud platform featuring managed services and--most important of all--operational support. CIOs who are interested in OpenStack for their organizations can now concoct their own deployments, as OpenStack is available under an Apache license, or they can seek fully supported deployments.

In his Forbes story, McKenty writes:

"OpenStack is leading the way to a standards-based cloud, an even marketplace, and an adaptive IT business model...More companies are choosing OpenStack over proprietary cloud solutions, such as those from VMware, than ever before."

That's true, and it's partly because organizations want flexibility in the cloud, and want hybrid private and public deployments in the cloud. This need for flexibility makes an open source platform very attractive.

But McKenty goes on to encourage CIOs at large to familiarize themselves with OpenStack and offers advice on how to come up to speed. For example, CIOs can attend OpenStack events, which happen all over the world and range from introductory sessions to full-blown OpenStack hackathons. 

And, if you are a CIO investigating OpenStack, remember that it is one of many cloud platforms that you can choose. We covered some of the various solutions here, and we've also done a recent series of interviews with founders and leaders from open source cloud computing companies.