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OpenStack: Marketing Hype or the Future of Cloud?

OpenStack

OpenStack or AWS: Is this one of the more important questions facing the cloud industry today? Or is it hype?

Recently, the OpenStack Summit wrapped up in Portland, OR, and since then we’ve been seeing quite a bit of renewed conversation around OpenStack.

So what gives? With the recent AWS Summit in NYC we are beginning to see, as David Linthicum notes, 2 major camps are beginning to emerge in a space that’s still emerging. But between the two who wins?

OpenStack has increasingly gained interest from larger companies and now boasts over 169 companies in the community. But while Amazon owns its own development practices, it does boast a huge community within its partner networks, bith as technology providers as well as companies providing managed AWS services.

Kyle Mestery notes that there are a number of reasons that people choose OpenStack deployments make the cut, chief among them the ability to avoid vendor lock in.

AWS is a very sticky service, but in reality the range of tools available in their ecosystem is impressive. And with so many IT departments within the enterprise steadily coming around to cloud as the future for IT delivery and upkeep, there is yet no definitive outcome set in stone.

The proximity of the two opposing summits is interesting as well. Are we to interpret OpenStack as planting its stake in the ground to alert the visionary cum juggernaut that is AWS of its intention?

Perhaps the future of cloud lies somewhere in between. While AWS is the elephant in the room, OpenStack presents only one approach of a myriad of potential approaches, including AWS. The reality is that cloud is not an end in and of itself. Cloud is a vehicle, meant to help a company achieve the maximum value for its core business supported by smart infrastructure.

With the wide range of businesses, different markets, and approaches to solving common goals and introducing overlapping products, the belief that one cloud will rule them all is an overstatement. Clouds will remain as varied as the businesses that require them. AWS may present one standard, OpenStack another, which leaves a lot of room in between for companies to offer different flavors of cloud implementation and differentiation.

By Jake Gardner

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