30/03/2011

By Imran Pervez, Events Marketing Manager, Rackspace

There’s no doubting the momentum behind the public cloud. More and more organisations are choosing to expand their IT infrastructure with hosted cloud and hybrid solutions. For many, the only decision is which cloud to use.

It’s not a choice to be made lightly. Until recently, each public cloud had its own proprietary API (Application Programming Interface), and the practical consequence has been lock-in. By the time you’ve written your code and developed your infrastructure for one big public cloud, it becomes economically unfeasible to migrate to another. In a classic tech industry twist, what looks like choice has become anti-competitive.

The problem of lock-in is now being mitigated by the evolution of a new generation of open-source clouds, notably OpenStack. This initiative, co-founded by Rackspace and NASA, is now supported by a broad church of big names, including Dell, Intel, AMD, Microsoft and Citrix. As well the standard benefits of transparency and zero licensing cost, a key benefit of OpenStack is a choice of API-compatible clouds. This means true choice and portability for cloud users – because the code you write for one OpenStack can be quite painlessly deployed into another.

Organisations can already choose between OpenStacks operated by two different hosting providers, with much choice to come. The OpenStack project is now supported by competing hosting providers from UK, US and Far East. Very soon, cloud users will be able to choose from a range of hosted OpenStacks, and all using the same APIs.

A final option is the possibility of in-house OpenStacks. Many organisations are interested in private OpenStacks for security. Still others are exploring private OpenStacks as a re-insourcing safety net - if they become dissatisfied with hosted cloud, they can redeploy the solution internally.

Across the board, whether hosted or on-premise, there’s one very simple conclusion: there’s precious few organisations that cannot benefit from the open source cloud revolution.

Rackspace are exhibiting at Internet World on 10-12 May 2011. Vist: Internet World for more information.

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