What’s OpenStack position in the market?
OpenStack traditionally had competition from both well-established closed-source vendors and other open-source initiatives. Time has passed, and the cloud world has matured. So how is OpenStack doing now?
Want to know how a certain company is positioned in the market? Check what its competitors are saying (and doing) about it. Business analysis 101. So let’s examine a couple of competitors from the closed-source and the open-source fronts, including some very recent announcements.
The closed-source enterprise front: VMware
One of OpenStack’s fierce rivals on the enterprise virtualization domain is VMware. VMware has established its reputation in server virtualization and gained foothold in all major enterprises, which gave it clear leverage when offering private cloud for the data center.
Nonetheless, VMware could not afford to ignore the OpenStack wave and has been keeping presence in the foundation, including active code contributions to the main OpenStack projects and a community page around their integration.
Then they decided to hug OpenStack even closer.
A couple of days ago, during VMWorld 2014 conference, VMware announced its own OpenStack distribution, dubbed “VMware Integrated OpenStack”. VMware says it is
a solution that will enable IT organizations to quickly and cost-effectively provide developers with open, cloud-style APIs to access VMware infrastructure.
VMware even launched a new blog dedicated for OpenStack where VMware appeals for developers based on its reputation with developer tools and frameworks, as well as enterprise experience, promising to be the agile way to develop OpenStack in enterprise grade.
The open-source community front: Eucalyptus
VMware is not the only player to recognize OpenStack’s lead position. Eucalyptus is another open-source initiative that competed with OpenStack in its early days on the hearts of the OSS community. One of its strategic moves was to partner with Amazon to provide AWS-compatible API, to enable hybrid cloud deployments.
A couple of weeks ago Eucalyptus CTO Marten Mickos, the guy who compared OpenStack to the Soviet Union, surprised everyone by stating in his blog that he wants nothing short of to be an OpenStack contributor. Yes, you heard me right, Eucalyptus wants to help the enemy. In his post he explains the rationale:
I want OpenStack to succeed. When that happens, Eucalyptus can also succeed. OpenStack is (in my humble opinion) the name of a phenomenon of enormous proportions. Eucalyptus is the name of a tightly focused piece of software that serves a unique use case. I am intent on finding and pursuing a mutual benefit.
Seems like Eucalyptus bets on the complexity of OpenStack and tries to position itself as a less broad but simpler solution. If you ever tried installing and configuring OpenStack on your environment you’d know that this approach can make a lot of sense. The system integrators sure monetize on that. It would be interesting to see the reactions to Marten’s message in the OpenStack Silicon Valley event next month.
If you can’t beat them, join them
Things look good for OpenStack. Prominent closed-source competitors as well as open-source competitors are coming to the realization that OpenStack is becoming the de-facto standard for private clouds, and are now embracing OpenStack and are trying to position themselves as complementary. The game is not yet over. There are still vendors, both closed-source enterprise shops such as Microsoft Azure, and open-source, primarily CloudStack (some would argue also OpenNebula), still giving a fight. Things also differ in different regions. But in my view the recent announcements of past weeks are a good evidence in favor of OpenStack.
Who’s next in line to hug OpenStack?