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Is OpenStack a New Door to Cloud Adoption?

HP's launch adds momentum to OpenStack efforts

All the buzz surrounding OpenStack over the past few months may beg the question of whether Openstack can repeat for Cloud what Linux has done for server operating systems over the past several years. With an enthusiastic following and a compelling, if not industry-leading set of functionality, the possibilities may be boundless. This week’s announcement of the HP Cloud public beta, an OpenStack-based cloud that includes compute, object storage and a content delivery network, provides even further momentum to this open source effort. With well-known vendors such as HP, Rackspace and hundreds of others backing them, we can expect OpenStack adoption to increase.

In one of the more storied instances of open source successes, the Linux operating system, first released in 1991, was an alternative to existing operating systems embraced primarily by developers. Today, Linux owns over 18% of the server market for factory-shipped servers, excluding installations on bare-metal or repurposed servers. While Linux has not necessarily grown to become the leading server OS, its overall influence on the server market has been very positive, particularly for end-users who benefit from a broader selection of OS choices.

Most open source software offers a number of advantages over standard commercially licensed software including:

  • A larger community of developers – crowdsourcing across multiple organizations and vendors
  • Lower hardware costs – supporting standard off-the-shelf hardware
  • Lower software costs – since it is free by design
  • Less lock-in, better interoperability – fostering collaboration across many vendors and organizations to broaden interoperability

In fact, by virtue of its interoperability, OpenStack benefits from a rich ecosystem of software and hardware applications that now natively interface with HP Cloud. HP has introduced several categories of partner applications including database, mobile, security, storage and testing/development among others.

For storage-oriented folks, one of the more interesting set of partner applications are cloud storage gateways, like CloudArray, which make it simple for businesses to augment existing storage infrastructure with secure cloud-backed storage. To that end, TwinStrata has joined HP’s partner network and released a free CloudArray appliance specifically for HP Cloud customers for storing and managing up to 1TB of cloud storage with the look, feel and security of local iSCSI storage.

Whether or not OpenStack will move to the forefront of cloud technologies is yet to be seen. Whatever the outcome, we expect the open source community to wield substantial influence on the cloud segment in general, creating a win-win situation for customers by continually introducing new levels of innovation and interoperability. Do you see open source clouds in your future? Let us know.

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More Stories By Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.