Rackspace's Collier made it clear that customers deploying OpenStack can use their choice of hardware. But Dell's early involvement with OpenStack, and its work to fine-tune servers for the cloud OS, make the PowerEdge C a good choice, he said.
RackSpace's services will include the whole shebang: deployment help, long-term support, even an OpenStack training certification program for enterprises. Collier didn't reveal costs on long-term support, but said certification programs will cost on par with others in the industry, such as Red Hat's Certified Engineer.
Dell is gearing its services at those building large green-field data centers, particularly hosting providers rolling out thousands of new servers at once. Enterprises or service providers interested in learning more about the call for proof-of-concept sites can e-mail Dell.
"The time is right for people to try this out. We've been working on OpenStack for the last eight months, since July 2010, building reference architectures," says Joseph George, senior strategist at Dell.
As for how much Dell will charge those involved in a proof-of-concept test, that appears to be negotiable. "We want to work with customers to figure out how to get that equipment in their environment," he says.
Because OpenStack can be used for both large-scale hosted clouds, and internal private clouds, it poses an interesting competitive dilemma for established providers of private cloud software such as Eucalyptus Systems. Eucalyptus has billed itself as an "open core" project, in which part of its code is open source and part isn't. Open core has been a hotly debated concept among open source advocates.
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Additionally, Eucalyptus has married itself closely to Amazon EC2's APIs, which means that users are guided to Amazon should they want to move workloads from their own data center to a cloud-for-hire. Eucalyptus' CEO Marten Mikos (formerly of mySQL), even once argued that Amazon APIs are the cloud's de facto standard.
Those running competitive clouds, like Rackspace and Dell, didn't agree.