Off to private cloud. OpenStack is no infrastructure solution for the public cloud!

January 16, 2014 |

OpenStack is undoubtably the new rising star for open source cloud infrastructures. Many known players, including Rackspace, RedHat, HP, Deutsche Telekom and IBM rely on the software to build their offers. But one question remains exciting. Everyone is talking about to get market share from the undisputed market leader Amazon Web Services. Above all, the named public cloud providers, who have decided for OpenStack. No question, in the big cloud computing market everyone will find its place. But is OpenStack the right technology to become a leader in the public cloud, or is it in the end “only” sufficient for the private cloud (hybrid cloud)?

Rackspace is expanding its portfolio to include cloud consulting services

I already had written about the diversification problem and have called OpenStack as the golden cage in this context, because all involved providers stuck in the same dilemma and do not differentiate from each other. Because if you just confront the top two OpenStack provider Rackspace and HP, it shows that the portfolios are approximately equal to 99 percent.

To appease the favor of its shareholder Rackspace has already pursued first new ways and changed its strategy and even stopped the pursuit race in the public cloud. According to Rackspace CTO John Engates customers are increasingly asking for help, so Rackspace should support with its knowledge to build cloud infrastructures. Thus Rackspace seems a little less focus on hosting of cloud services in the future and instead invest more in consulting services of cloud infrastructures. This could be a smart move. Eventually, the demand for private cloud infrastructures continues and OpenStack will play a leading role here. Another opportunity could be the hybrid cloud, by connecting the private cloud infrastructures with Rackspace’s public cloud.

Own technologies are a competitive advantage

Another interesting question is whether a technology, what OpenStack ultimately only is, is critical of success? A look at leading vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Windows Azure and now the Google Compute Engine as well as their perceived Crown Princes (CloudSigma, ProfitBricks) show one thing. All have built proprietary infrastructure solutions under the IaaS offerings. Although as far as all set on one or the other open-source solution. But in the end everything is self developed and integrated. This leads to the conclusion that proprietary technologies are a competitive advantage, since eventually only a single provider benefits from it. Or was Amazon AWS “just the first provider on the market” and therefore has this huge lead?

Figures speak for OpenStack private clouds

On the official OpenStack website use cases are presented, that show how OpenStack is actually used. These are divided into the categories: On-Premise Private Cloud, Hosted Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Public Cloud. A look at the current deployment (as of 01/14/2014) for the OpenStack use comes to the following result.

OpenStack-Deployments 01/14/2014

Thus, On-Premise Private Cloud (55) installations are quite clear at the top with a wide margin followed by Hosted Private Cloud (19) and Public Cloud (17) deployments. The following are Hybrid Clouds (10) and not exactly specified projects (4).

Please note, the figures are the deployments that were officially reported to OpenStack. However, those show a clear trend where the future of OpenStack is. In the private cloud. Where I assume that hosted private cloud deployments and hybrid clouds will increase even more. As well as OpenStack installations that serve as a means to an end and build the pure infrastructural basis for Web services.

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Category: Analysis

About the Author ()

Rene Buest is Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, covering cloud computing, IT infrastructure, open source and Internet of Things. He is member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network, top cloud computing blogger in Germany and one of the worldwide top 50 bloggers in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter. For more than 16 years he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies. Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional cloud computing and technology articles, speaker and participant of experts rounds. On CloudUser.de he writes about topics from the fields of cloud computing, it-infrastructures, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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