With Rackspace announcing that its hosting services are now operating on OpenStack, the IT hosting company seems poised to compete with the big boys of the cloud.
For all of you out there using Rackspace for your IT hosting purposes, welcome to the world of OpenStack. San Antonio’s Rackspace made waves this week announcing it has fully integrated OpenStack, the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing project, into its existing infrastructure, which essentially means that its public cloud services are now operating on open source software.
Of course, this means war...at least when it comes to the increasing competition between companies wanting to dominate the cloud market.
Quentin Hardy of The New York Times highlights the fact that Rackspace is positioning itself as “David,” in regards to the Biblical story of “David and Goliath,” and it sees the big cloud providers, like Amazon and Microsoft, as being Goliath.
So what is Rackspace’s sling in this case? That would be OpenStack, which Wired’s Robert McMillan says is “cloud computing’s version of Linux.”
This means that customers can set up their own OpenStack software and run it in their own data centers; or they can run on Rackspace’s cloud, or even on another OpenStack cloud built by a company such as Hewlett Packard.
Rackspace is touting this ability as being “freedom from vendor lock-in,” which is an interesting way to position itself as being a formidable opponent to the big boys of cloud computing, like Amazon or Google. This may be easier said than done as ZDNet’s Jack Clark explains that Rackspace’s success “is contingent on broad industry adoption, as there's very little point in having an open standard if there are no other clouds to be open with. “
With stories seemingly coming out each day about someone expressing concerns over the safety and security of data in the cloud, Rackspace’s PR department better have a reasoned response ready to alleviate any ambivalence a company may have when deciding to switch over to the new OpenStack platform.
And let’s not forgot what happened earlier this spring when Citrix parted ways with OpenStack and handed over its own CloudStack platform to the Apache Software Foundation. I said it before and I’ll probably end up saying it again for the next several years: “Looks like a storm is brewing in the world of cloud providers.”