Rackspace and Amazon Set to Battle in the Cloud

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 10, 2012

In the open source cloud computing race, many companies are backing the OpenStack platform, which even has its own powerful foundation. The real question that many people are asking, though, is how many organizations and users are really adoptiong OpenStack. According to Rackspace officials (and let's remember that Rackspace was one of the original leaders of the OpenStack platform), lots of adoption is going on, and there are even reports that OpenStack is set to give Amazon Web Services a run for its money in the cloud.

Earlier this year, Rackspace delivered its "fanatically supported," open source cloud platform powered by OpenStack. And Rackspace offers Alamo, cloud management software which includes an Ubuntu operating system running a KVM hypervisor.

In an interview with Techworld, Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace's Private Cloud business, said that Rackspace's Private Cloud software has been downloaded by about a third of Fortune 100 companies and is also being used at universities and research institutions.  If a third of Fortune 100 companies do adopt an OpenStack solution, that could go along way toward making OpenStack a cloud standard.

According to a ZDNet report, though, Amazon officials are saying that customers don't have a whole lot of interest in Rackspace's OpenStack. Adam Selipsky, vice president of product marketing, sales, and product management at AWS is quoted saying:

"We don't devote a lot of time thinking about OpenStack. It doesn't come up with customers. It comes up in interviews. Among the customer issues, OpenStack is not in the top 10. Standards will be important in this industry, but it's so early. Customers are interested in innovation and capabilities."

 As noted on OStatic many times, support is going to be everything in the cloud, and Rackspace has been wise in emphasizing support as a key part of its OpenStack strategy. For now, Amazon Web Services is the 800-pound gorilla in the cloud, but Rackspace is staying committed to OpenStack and there are lots of heavy-hitting companies backing the platform as well. 

In all likelihood, since several of the viable OpenStack distributions that are available are also brand new, we'll get a real measure of OpenStack adoption next year. That will be worth watching.