A blog for the enterprise open source community
New 451 Group Special Report-Open Source Seeds the CloudsJay Lyman, August 30, 2010 @ 4:52 pm ET
There are a number of cloud computing events and announcements taking place — VMworld, a countering announcement from Citrix, and recent partnership among rPath, newScale and Eucalyptus Systems for private and hybrid clouds — that we believe are indicative of the significant role and impact open source software is having in cloud computing — a topic we cover in depth in a new 451 Group special report, Seeding the Clouds, which is a collaboration of our CAOS and CloudScape practices.
By considering the open source pieces and players that constitute much of the infrastructure and underpinnings of cloud services from major providers Amazon, Google, Rackspace, VMware and Terremark, we analyzed they key pieces prevalent across them all and also picked out patterns that we are seeing repeated in the broader cloud computing market. We also consider how these larger vendors are playing a role in the rise of open source pieces and commercial supporters, which are finding opportunity among several categories of customers, including enterprise and service provider cloud users.
For example, the recently announced OpenStack from Rackspace, NASA and host of other partners (covered on the CAOS Theory blog and in a 451 Group report, is something we anticipate we’ll see more of in the form of greater participation, opening of code and open source-centered initiatives. We also expect both response to these efforts and other initiatives that offer more open alternatives to existing, unofficial standards such as VMware and Amazon. One such example announced after the writing of the report is the initiative for self service private and hybrid clouds among rPath, newScale and Eucalyptus Systems with the systems integration heft of Momentum SI.
As stated, the response and competition is not limited to the open offerings, as we see a variety of large cloud and IT services providers understanding and appreciating the value of communities: Amazon, Oracle, VMware and even Microsoft, which as we discuss in the report is among other cloud providers in its use of and participation with the PHP community. Citrix is another example, and it’s evident the company believes openness in the cloud is a good thing based on its Citrix OpenCloud announcement and focus on ‘Open Cloud,’ (which also coincides with its acquisition of virtualization management vendor VMLogix).
We also expect VMware and others to continue to increase their involvement and strategy with open source software for cloud computing, and would highlight the prevalance of open source software now within VMware (SpringSource, Hyperic, Zimbra, for example) and its prominence at VMWorld this week.
While there will certainly be challenges, including the maturity, evolution and learning from open source we are seeing and expect more of from larger, non-open source competitors, we expect more open source code and commercial supporters in enterprise and service provider cloud markets for some time. For customers, the competition, not only between open source and proprietary vendors, but also within open source and in partnerships and collaborations, and presence of open source in the cloud mean additional options and value — another reason we expect open source to maintain its prominent place in the clouds.
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