Back in August, I published a piece summarizing a conversation I had with John Engates, RackSpace's CTO. The piece was cleverly called "Conversation with John Engates, Rackspace's CTO and can be found here.
Boris Renski, Vice President and Co-Founder of Mirantis, an engineering company delivering custom cloud platforms for clients such as Cisco, ST Micro, and GE Money, was intrigued with the article, but thought I wasn't entirely correct. He reached out to schedule a conversation. I enjoyed the conversation and thought I'd share a few points with you.
- Comparing OpenStack and AWS in general is not entirely correct. It is like comparing a grocery store to a restaurant. OpenStack is not a multiplatform cloud offering – it is a software for building private and public clouds that can run on top of any kind of hardware.
- Conversely, Amazon is not a single-platform cloud software – it is a vertically integrated solution that combines software with hardware in one package. When you decouple software from hardware, as in the case of OpenStack, any cloud software is multiplatform in the sense that it can run in any data center.
- As we’ve seen with OS and Android and IOS, there will be two camps. In the proprietary camp, Microsoft and VMWare will battle that one out. In the Open Source camp, OpenStack at this point has all the opportunity to become a leader like Linux for OS or Android for IOS.
- Those wanting an open option are likely to consider OpenStack rather than locking themselves in to a proprietary solution.
While I agree in principle that OpenStack is a stack of software offering a number of options, when it is put to work by a service provider or company implementing it's own private cloud, selections from the various options are made and only a subset of the OpenSpace stack is deployed. It is then reasonable and advisable for companies considering an OpenStack-based solution to alternatives.
It is my viewpoint that companies really need to consider whether they'd like to go to a restaurant and have a nice meal prepared or stay at home and prepare the meal for themselves. If their cooking is anything like mine, it would be better to visit a restaurant. Furthermore, it would be wise for companies to consider the costs of development and support of the cloud computing stack of software along side of the costs of developing and deploying their own applications while considering the available options. It may turn out that it is much better to work with a cloud service provider such as Amazon.