Rackspace has also compiled a list of system integrators and consulting companies that it will recommend customers use for help with installing their OpenStack clouds. Rackspace has given these companies the reference architecture and some training on the kinds of deployments Rackspace will support. So far these companies include Cloud Technology Partners, MomentumSI and Team Sun.
Team Sun is one of the biggest system integrators in China, Collier said, which is a market that has surprised Rackspace with the level of interest in OpenStack.
Rackspace joins a few other companies trying to make it easier for businesses to use OpenStack in their private clouds. Nebula, which was founded by a former CTO of NASA, is working on an appliance for building private clouds using OpenStack. Piston Cloud Computing, which was founded by the lead architect of NASA's cloud, is developing an OpenStack distribution designed to make it easy for businesses to use OpenStack. Attachmate's Suse division is also working on OpenStack software designed for ease of deployment in private clouds.
Rackspace could include some of those products in its reference architecture, the executives said. "Those aren't fundamentally incompatible with our approach. At this point, the pure OpenStack approach is one we have the most experience with and we feel are the most mature," Collier said. The products from Nebula, Piston and Suse aren't yet available.
Interest in using OpenStack for private clouds is growing along with the overall growth in demand for private clouds, Collier said. "As these IT organizations within big enterprises are wrestling with what platform to choose, they know that over the long run they'll run some portion of their business in public clouds. Choosing the architecture widely adopted by service providers is a good bet," he said. OpenCloud was initially most interesting to public cloud providers, many of whom decided to use it to build their services.