Dell commits to open-source software for its future clouds

Dell will use the OpenStack cloud management and automation software for its public and private cloud products, the company has announced, in a sign of increasing support for the open-source project.

Dell is turning to open-source software to give it a technological edge in the cloud.

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The company said its upcoming public and private cloud products will be built around OpenStack, a package of software for running clouds that has received broad backing from the technology industry from companies such as HP, Cisco, IBM, Red Hat and Intel.

"Dell is increasing its commitment to OpenStack as its open-source cloud platform of choice for public and private cloud," Dell said in a statement on Wednesday.

Dell said it will also offer other cloud products based on other technologies, such as VMware.

As of Wednesday, customers keen to experiment with Dell's own flavour of OpenStack for private clouds can email the company to request a preview of 'Dell Cloud Dedicated', the company said.

Dell's decision to put OpenStack at the heart of its cloud technology follows similar moves by HP and Rackspace.

The OpenStack initiative was launched in mid-2010 with code contributions from NASA and Rackspace. Dell, along with other large companies such as AMD and Citrix, has been involved in the scheme from the start.

However, besides Rackspace there are few major clouds today running on OpenStack. HP's cloud is still in a limited beta and there have been few reports from users about how well OpenStack holds up under the pressures of scale and complexity that any cloud entails.