Like any technology field, the IT landscape is rapidly changing. Just a few short years ago cloud computing disrupted some tightly held values within the IT community about closed and private computing as the de facto method for managing and distributing data.
Fast-forward to the present where companies such as OpenStack have disrupted IT even further with the notion that major data center–powered infrastructures can be managed and deployed within an open-source cloud-computing platform. Since OpenStack’s inception just a short while ago, it’s experienced massive growth, and to date, over 150 enterprise-level tech organizations have adopted OpenStack as their go-to solution for configuring and managing massive public and private clouds.
What is OpenStack, exactly?
In 2009, a partnership with Rackspace and NASA was formed, resulting in an innovative idea: to build an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model that would be run, built and supported by a massive open-source community. This is exactly what OpenStack is at its core: a powerful IaaS solution that is completely open source. Due to its benefits, companies as diverse as IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco, Yahoo! and, most recently, VMware have all climbed aboard the OpenStack bandwagon. As an IaaS solution, OpenStack is providing cloud storage services for a growing number of companies with large or small data demands.
OpenStack growth and the VMware partnership
The recent VMware partnership with OpenStack really shows how powerful a solution OpenStack really is. As already mentioned, OpenStack was developed and created by the folks at Rackspace, which, as it turns out, is one of VMware’s biggest competitors.
Out of the gate, VMware has been trying to develop products that would stand up against the OpenStack IaaS model. They’ve even been vocal about their criticism of OpenStack at times, but as major companies such as PayPal and eBay have chosen to move from VMware to OpenStack, it’s struck a chord with the virtualization company.
This led VMware to make an announcement that, in partnership with Canonical, they would develop new virtualization technologies that would make it easy for companies to deploy their virtualization systems in the OpenStack environment.
OpenStack user benefits
OpenStack offers a variety of benefits and those who’ve deployed it have gained the following advantages:
Boosted efficiency: Through OpenStack, users are reporting streamlined processes on both the data center and application deployment level. Companies such as Hubspot have reported massive increases in efficiency all across the board.
Freedom from vendor lock-in: Since OpenStack is completely open source, it completely frees users up from vendor lock-in, which is often pricey and inefficient in the long run.
Collaboration: Beyond increased efficiency and vendor independence is the fact that more companies are getting involved in OpenStack development after joining the community. They can work with the massive OpenStack community to dramatically improve and standardize the OpenStack code.
How OpenStack will shape IT
One of the most hotly debated issues in the IT community is open source and how it affects issues like security and stability. Yet OpenStack has been able to effectively work towards a mass standardization of open-cloud technologies. As the OpenStack community of contributors grows and becomes more sophisticated, this standardization is likely to affect every aspect of cloud management in the future.