Gartner report throws cold water on uber-hyped OpenStack project

By Brandon Butler, Network World |  Cloud Computing, OpenStack

Leong: "Hype around open-source CMPs (cloud management platforms) is causing some customers to make unfounded assumptions that may lead to poor sourcing decisions when they are choosing a CMP to build a private cloud, or when buying cloud IaaS from a service provider. Some people have been led to believe that because OpenStack is open source, it is an open and widely-adopted standard, with broad interoperability and freedom from commercial interests. In reality, OpenStack is dominated by commercial interests, as it is a business strategy for the vendors involved, not the effort of a community of altruistic individual contributors."

OpenStack: OpenStack officials say "hype" is in the eye of the beholder. "We prefer to think of it as excitement," says OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier, who's also held the title of Rackspace VP of business and corporate development. Standards, he says, is a "loaded word," and a project like OpenStack could only achieve such as a status through adoption, which he says is one of the OpenStack Foundation's primary focuses. The recently formed Foundation will serve as a uniting body that will bring the various interests within the project together for the good of OpenStack, he adds.

Leong: "OpenStack has drawn a large vendor community, which makes source code contributions, but many exclusively contribute vendor-specific code, such as drivers for their own hardware and resist the creation of interoperability inducing common frameworks that would facilitate switching between vendors. Vendor interests also heavily affect the determination of what features to add and how to implement them, since every vendor wants each feature to work best with its own products."

OpenStack: Bryce says contributions from a growing cadre of member organizations make the project stronger. The alternative would be to have an open source project backed by a single company or a small number of companies controlling it, which Bryce says would not be ideal. Companies are using the OpenStack code to create products and services, so they have an interest in encouraging the source code to be strong, he argues. "We want something that will be around for the long term that will have long-term support, not a product from a single company," he says. Plus, new additions to the OpenStack code that are contributed by member companies are optional for OpenStack to install. The newest Folsom release, for example, adds block storage and virtual networking features, but the code still works without implementing those.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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