Philippe Theriault, eNovance's COO and Nick Barcet, eNovance's VP of Products, dropped by recently to talk about how the company is using OpenStack to assemble customized clouds for its customers.
The company is offering OpenStack in a number of ways, each designed to target the needs of a different audience or market segment. Here is the current list of product offerings:
The company also offers professional services to help customers develop, test and deploy their own multi-cloud solutions that include private, public and hybrid cloud deployments.
A number of other companies, such as Miarantis, Piston, and Red Hat, also offer OpenStack-based solutions, often targeting the same market segments as does eNovance. When asked why they thought they would win, eNovance brought up the Grocery vs. Restaurant concept Mirantis' Boris Renski and I discussed (see Mirantis' Boris Renski comments on OpenStack for more information on that conversation).
Open source projects, such as OpenStack, are often like grocery stores. They offer a large collection of items that can be used to make food dishes. What is made and how well it is made is left up to the cook. The same selection of foods could result in a wonderful meal or something that is burnt and impossible to eat.
eNovance would point out that Cloud solutions, regardless of whether it is a prepackaged collection of open source projects, such as that offered Mirantis, Piston or Red Hat, or a proprietary solution such as that offered by Amazon, can be more like going to a restaurant. All of the selection of foods, spices and cooking methods has already been chosen. Customers only have a choice from a predefined menu.
eNovance is taking the next step, they would say, by offering a buffet. Customers don't have to chose from a restricted menu. They can pick and choose what they'd like to purchase. It is still faster than if the customer purchased the food and cooked it.
As I said in my commentary, "Mirantis CEO says OpenStack will win," Amazon and its frenemy Eucalyptus would point out that the stack of software they're supporting holds the lion's share of the market now. While this point is true at the moment, AWS is proprietary and may not support all of the operating systems, types of virtual machine software or management tools an organization might need.
Microsoft would put forward that Windows Azure will win because it is based upon Microsoft's own industry leading operating system, its choice of virtual machine software - Hyper-V, and supports Microsoft's development tools, application frameworks, databases, etc. While this approach will be very attractive to those who have standardized on Windows, it isn't all that interesting to those who have made other selections.
CloudStack and OpenStack are both open source and are developed and supported by communities of users. They both can support a broad range of operating systems, different virtual machine software products and a whole range of development tools, databases, application frameworks and applications.
eNovance, Mirantis, Piston and Red Hat all believe that OpenStack will be the winner, we all have to wait to see what the market decides. eNovance has some interesting and useful thoughts on the topic, however.