A lack of formal standards has made cloud computing nebulous so far. If a company wants to switch vendors, move platforms or build its own infrastructure, the confusion mounts, since most providers use a proprietary platform like Amazon’s A3 or Salesforce’s Force.com.
The project could improve portability and reduce costs, with more standard features, meaning users will be able to move among vendors and even move the cloud in-house down the road. While OpenStack provides more power, storage and processing power on demand, serving the needs of larger companies looking to build complex cloud environments, the standards it is setting could also make this an attractive option for SMBs.
Other open source offerings are available from Eucalyptus (providing infrastructure software to support the creation of cloud computing environments) and Cloud.com, with packages available in its free community edition, and also from its open source and proprietary editions.
While the OpenStack project itself was designed to serve scientific computing needs, it also aims to fill another gap in the cloud computing marketplace: As a cloud platform that doesn’t have a single commercial owner, it puts the business back in charge of its own data.
Could the standards and portability these open source cloud projects aim for open the door for widespread midmarket adoption?