OpenStack flag bearer and private cloud champion Nebula shuts its doors

Operations cease at the firm set up by OpenStack co-founder Chris Kemp, which provided appliances to simplify the creation of private clouds.

Nebula, the start-up focused on making it easier for firms to create OpenStack-based private clouds, has shut down.

The US firm was set up in 2011 by Chris Kemp, one of the founders of the OpenStack project, and had a customer list that included Lockheed Martin, Dreamworks Studios and Sony Entertainment Network.

Nebula sold appliances for building private clouds based on the cloud controller platform OpenStack. These appliances included up to 40 x86 servers running Nebula Cosmos, an operating system designed to simply the deployment and management of virtualised compute and storage.

Nebula is one of several high-profile smaller firms, which also includes Mirantis and Piston Cloud, focused on selling OpenStack-based products and services.

In a note on its website, Nebula's management team singled out the immaturity of the OpenStack market as having played a role in the firm ceasing operations.

"We are deeply disappointed that the market will likely take another several years to mature," it stated.

"As a venture backed start up, we did not have the resources to wait."

The closure comes at what appears to be a pivotal moment for OpenStack-related vendors. Mirantis president and CEO Adrian Ionel told ZDNet yesterday that the future success of OpenStack as a platform depends on larger companies beginning to deploy clouds based around the controller.

"OpenStack is at a very critical juncture right now. It's a very critical time. It can go either way. OpenStack is now in a good position where it's planted a lot of seeds in three big sectors, which are the SaaS companies, the telcos and the techie enterprises. Now it's all about moving from initial adopters to large-scale use," Ionel said.

Nebula private clouds will continue to operate but support will no longer be available.

As for Nebula customers who want to migrate to new cloud platforms, the company said that Nebula private clouds are compatible with various OpenStack offerings, including those from Red Hat, IBM and HP.