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Red Hat Expert: OpenStack May Not Be As Complex As You Think
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User Rank: Strategist
3/15/2017 | 9:16:16 PM
OpenStack needs to be consumable because it is complex.
Well, in the not too distant past every industry pundit had an opinion about how the marketplace for OpenStack might play out over time.  I don't believe any of them actually got it right.  One thing that most everyone agreed on was there would be fewer commercial OpenStack providers going forward. This is mostly come to pass with the disappearance of Nebula (Oracle scooped up the engineers), Piston Cloud Computing (acquired by Cisco). Oh, Cisco's OpenStack-based Intercloud will be shut down at the end of March this year after blowing a billion-dollar hole in the ground. HP shuttered their OpenStack-based Helion public cloud early in 2016. In November 2016 HPE sold its OpenStack assets to SUSE. Just a week ago Mirantis announced it planned to stop providing one-off OpenStack installations. Rackspace, the wellspring of OpenStack, sold itself to a private equity firm after it gave up chasing the big dogs in public cloud computing.

Now to be clear, there are enterprise consumers of OpenStack with multi-million dollar IT budgets who deploy OpenStack as a DIY private cloud.  And for everyone else, there is ZeroStack and Platform9 which provide a managed private OpenStack experience. It is companies like these which actually make the complexity of OpenStack consumable for the rest of us.  You can still build a private OpenStack with Red Hat or SUSE but there could be a non-trivial professional services engagement involved depending on how much experience you actually have with OpenStack.

OpenStack has not presented a challenge to AWS, Google or Microsoft in the public cloud computing market.  It looks like OpenStack can carve out a niche in the managed OpenStack market (ZeroStack, Platform9) and deliver one-off OpenStack private clouds (Red Hat, SUSE). The long-term question is whether OpenStack will be able to keep pace with the cloud computing services being offered by AWS, Google, and Microsoft.

I haven't said much about Microsoft, but the release of Azure Stack the middle of this year on hardware supplied by Dell, Cisco, HPE, and Lenovo may be a huge success for Microsoft as it will give them a public cloud in Azure, a hybrid cloud in Azure Stack and a private Azure Stack cloud with no connection to the Microsoft Azure public cloud.  If Microsoft can pull this off, it will be the most interesting development in cloud computing since the creation of the OpenStack project.






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