Rackspace and OpenStack
One of the major cloud news this week was the launch of Rackspace’s Private Cloud Software. The software is powered by Openstack (code name Alamo) just like the public cloud released two weeks ago, on July 31st. The importance of these projects lies in the fact that OpenStack is an open-source project, which may make a big difference to possible users. In comparison to privately developed projects, open-source software is generally considered safer.
The OpenStack project was started back in 2010 and its original founders were NASA and RackSpace. During almost two years OpenStack IaaS was being developed by 3000 cloud technologists and over 160 companies including big names such as IBM, Red Hat, HP, Dell, Yahoo, etc. Now there are different versions of OpenStack both private and public clouds and different other solutions are planned for the future.
Standards in Cloud Computing
The number of companies that supported development of this project accounts for the growing interest in cloud solutions. Cloud computing is still believed to be in its early stages of development and this is why the question
of introducing official standards is often raised. The number of organizations working on cloud standards is relatively small, while the enterprises increasingly adopt the cloud. Therefore it is important to define the cloud standards for business so the transition to cloud systems would be easier. Besides this, users would be able to understand the cloud better and form real expectations from it.
Other Open Source Cloud Projects
The hype surrounding OpenStack is similar to that related to Linux. Open initiatives like these contribute to a better collaboration among developers and a greater transparency of projects. The number of experts that work on an open project is larger and this has multiple benefits for the end-user. There are more chances to test different features and therefore prevent security failures. Besides this, open source projects generally develop faster than commercial ones.
There are plenty of other open source cloud projects besides OpenStack. Data virtualization platform Open Nebula is a tool that allows deployment of any cloud and combines local data-center with cloud infrastructure, making storage and network management easier. Other important open-source cloud projects are CloudStack supported by Citrix Systems and Eucalyptus that evolved from a research project to an open source cloud product. Beside this, WMware announced its own open-source cloud project Serengeti.
Why do they matter?
Open source projects have always had an important impact on the market. They offer more possibilities to the users especially in corporate surroundings. Contemporary IT managers tend to find such methods of development more secure and reliable. Besides this, open source cloud projects may have a positive impact on organizations’ IT costs which is their additional advantage. These solutions can significantly contribute to development of cloud computing standards which should result in better services.