OpenStack's Partnerships Give it a Leg Up in the Race to the Cloud

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 27, 2011

On the open source cloud computing front, OpenStack has been rapidly gaining momentum and partners. It was clear from the outset that OpenStack would pose a significant challenge to many technology players focused on the cloud, although many perceived challengers have become OpenStack partners. Now, many organizations focused on building private, rather than public, cloud deployments are focused on OpenStack, and there are good reasons why.

Back in 2010, when we were chatting with Eucalyptus Systems' CTO Rich Wolski, he made very clear that organizations are interested in hybrid cloud deployments--not just public cloud applications, but private ones, too:

"Companies were coming to me and saying 'we're running Eucalyptus in our data center, and we'd like to pay you' for help. They're doing a variety of things, but a lot of them are basically interested in Eucalyptus for doing the same kinds of things they're doing in Amazon AWS, such as business logic applications, where part of the attraction of Eucalyptus is that they can use it as a platform for seamlessly running their public cloud applications and their on-premise cloud apps."

That hybrid approach is very much in the OpenStack playbook, with many organizations clamoring for flexible platforms on which to deploy private cloud applications. According to InfoWorld's Eric Knorr:

"So why do I believe OpenStack has the edge among private cloud infrastructure platforms? After all, there are a bunch of them. A partial list would include Abiquo, (recently acquired by Citrix), Eucalyptus, RedHat CloudForms, and of course VMware's vSphere, vShield 5, vCloud Director, and vCenter Operations. Even Microsoft's Hyper-V and System Center together provide a private cloud stack....OpenStack, co-created by IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) provider Rackspace and NASA, seems to have the most momentum, with more than 80 vendors now backing it, including Canonical, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Intel, and Microsoft. Plus, OpenStack is available under Apache 2.0, the least restrictive open source license."

Indeed, OpenStack has taken on a staggering number of partners, and partnerships were part of the goal with the project as Rackspace and NASA originally pursued it. Knorr also notes:

"Both Eucalyptus and OpenStack serve as both storage and compute platforms and give you a choice of hypervisors as the underpinning of your private cloud. And just as the Amazon-compatible APIs of Eucalyptus enable you to move workloads easily between your private cloud and Amazon's public cloud, OpenStack workloads have similar interoperability with Rackspace's public cloud. This hybrid aspect has great appeal."

The hybrid approach is critical for many businesses and organizations, who often need central data repositories to serve publicly available applications and private ones. Eucalyptus and OpenStack are both very viable open source-focused solutions for these hybrid deployments, but it's hard to miss how many key partnerships OpenStack has forged at this point.