Welcome!

FinTech Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston

Related Topics: FinTech Journal, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo

FinTech Journal: Article

"Why Isn’t Anyone Listening To Randy?" – The Great OpenStack Debate

Since OpenStack is now three years old, such a debate on The State of the Stack is only to be expected

Unless you live under a rock, you will be aware that Cloudscaling co-founder (and now Acting CEO) Randy Bias wrote an Open Letter to the OpenStack community on July 24, 2013, which ignited a Web-wide debate on OpenStack's direction and strategy.

Since OpenStack is now three years old, such a debate on 'The State of the Stack' is only to be expected, and ought rightly to be welcomed. Bias is a  founding member of the Board of Directors of the OpenStack Foundation, and so is a powerful voice. But in the world of IT infrastructure as in all other walks of life, not everyone has the same point of view. In the case of the OpenStack community, the diversity of opinion has been especially broad.

The title of Bias's open letter sums up his position: "OpenStack’s Future Depends on embracing Amazon. Now."

"Our future depends on embracing Amazon," he contends, adding that OpenStack needs to embrace AWS but also other "established" public clouds too such as GCE, Azure, and possibly vCloud.

Since the direction of the OpenStack project is ultimately controlled by the OpenStack community itself, it is to the community that Bias is appealing when he writes:

"[I]t’s time we advocate a public cloud compatibility strategy that is in all our best interests, not just those of a single, albeit substantial, contributor. Failing to make this change in strategy could ultimately lead to the project’s irrelevance and death."

But not everyone agrees with Randy Bias, causing one commentator, "Building the Cloud" blogger Darren Shepherd – whose day job is Cloud Architect at Go Daddy – to lament: "Why isn’t anyone listening to Randy?"

Take for example Robert Scoble.

Scoble works for Rackspace, building relationships with startups and getting to know why they make the technology choices they do. He has also now written an open letter to OpenStack's management. In it, he expresses deep concern that for OpenStack to reverse its current policy and start spending time, energy and resources instead on making OpenStack's APIs compatible with AWS, would mean the loss of its current momentum and trajectory as what he terms an "innovation alternative" to AWS, helping make what he calls "new Cloud systems" and doing "things Amazon isn't able to do."



Scoble's post has provoked, as of this writing, more than 30 comments, some of them miniature positions papers in their own right. And Bias's open letter has generated about the same.

If Randy Bias's argument is correct, the OpenStack Foundation and the wider community of Rackers faces an inflexion point: either it continues to ignore AWS compatability and concentrates on pushing the Cloud technology envelope or it pivots 180 degrees and embraces Amazon and the AWS APIs, making OpenStack 100% compatible with Amazon's APIs.

The COO of the OpenStack Foundation, Mark Collier, does not agree with the Bias analysis. In a recent interview he remarked: "Honestly, it's too soon to tell whether compatibility with Amazon is going to be absolutely critical to the success or failure of OpenStack. The market will make that determination."

Collier, who came to the Foundation from Rackspace, continued:

"But if you think about the OpenStack roadmap, it's not designed to be a carbon copy or a follow-on copy of what Amazon's doing. Obviously they've been blazing a trail, and a lot of the problems that people are wanting to solve will be similar, so I imagine you'll begin to see more and more of the same types of capabilities, but it's really not being driven with the idea of copying Amazon at this point."

To return to Robert Scoble for a moment, he believes that "we are going to see more change in cloud infrastructure in the next five years than in the past 10" and that OpenStack doesn't have the luxury of slowing down while AWS compatability is achieved. Bias in contrast believes that "[e]mbracing Amazon serves the interests of all community members by positioning OpenStack as the best choice for enterprises and SaaS providers that want an ecosystem approach to public cloud, one in which their applications can move to the infrastructure best suited to the job at that time."

The two views are not incompatible. The problem is that the OpenStack Foundation has only finite resources and allocating them to the right strategy at the right time is what matters. So a choice may have to be made between them. Which way will this one go? Both OpenStack Journal and Cloud Computing Journal will of course be following the outcome.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-security...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...