The race to be the leading cloud platform

The race to be the leading cloud platform is well underway. Amazon's AWS is clearly the market leader at this point. OpenStack is gaining momentum in the cloud platform race. Eucalyptus is not standing still either. Since it is so early in the race, just about anyone could win in the end.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Now that I've landed after a cross-country move, I have the opportunity to consider moves in the world of OpenStack. Red Hat, IBM, HP and RackSpace have all demonstrated their support for  the family of open source projects that make up OpenStack and OpenStack itself.

Over 163 companies are now members of the OpenStack group. HP and IBM both have enhanced their cloud stack-based offerings. Dell has announced that it is working on its on efforts to commercialize OpenStack as well.

One the founders of the OpenStack movement, RackSpace, is talking about its "Next Generation Public Cloud". Here is a segment of a recent release the company published that describes how it has productized the open source code:

  • Cloud Servers, powered by OpenStack – based on the latest OpenStack compute release, this solution is fast, reliable, scalable and is accessible via the new OpenStack API as well as via an easy-to-use, intuitive control panel. To ensure a smooth ramp-up, Rackspace is accepting customers in the early access program to begin using Cloud Servers, powered by OpenStack. Early access sign-ups are open now and Rackspace will begin providing access on May 1.
  • Cloud Databases, powered by OpenStack - Available in early access, gives customers API access to massively scalable, high availability MySQL database that is based on SAN storage for high performance and provides automated management of common database tasks.
  • Cloud Block Storage, powered by OpenStack – Now in beta, this new solution gives customers highly elastic raw storage and a choice between a high performance (leveraging solid state disks) or a standard lower-cost block storage solution.
  • Cloud Control Panel – Also in early access, the new Control Panel was built from the ground up and with the customer in mind. It is simple, fast, intuitive and flexible. The new control panel also features multiple enhancements, including server tagging and multi-region capabilities.
  • Cloud Networks, powered by OpenStack – Coming soon, the solution allows customers to manage logically abstracted network services programmatically. Software-defined virtual networks provide flexibility and agility in addition to enhanced security via network isolation and port filtering.
  • Cloud Monitoring – Also in early access, Rackspace has launched Cloud Monitoring to help customers easily monitor their infrastructure and applications proactively, including OpenStack Clouds.

These products add to Rackspace’s existing cloud capabilities such as Cloud Load Balancers, On and Off-premise Private Clouds (powered by OpenStack), CDN, Cloud Sites and the ability to connect cloud, dedicated and on-premise deployments via RackConnect.

Snapshot analysis

It is clear that OpenStack is gaining momentum in the cloud platform race. Although 163 companies have thrown their weight behind the OpenStack family of open source projects, it is not clear that it will dominate the world of cloud computing.

Eucalyptus has also announced dramatic enhancements to its cloud computing platform (see Eucalyptus and Amazon work together to expand cloud adoption). Amazon, the current leader in the cloud marketplace, isn't standing still either.

Both OpenStack and Eucalyptus are playing the open source card in their attempts to be market leaders. Amazon continues to present its own single-vendor solution.

Who will win? At this moment Amazon is the leader. The others are gaining momentum.

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