OpenStack takes a beating from Silicon Valley start-ups

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Several Silicon Valley businesses have cast doubt on the readiness of OpenStack for use in business.

The open source project, which was spun off by IaaS and hosting provider Rackspace in 2010, has nine components, including Nova for compute, Horizon for dashboard and Swift for object storage.

It was this last item that particularly drew criticism from cloud and non-cloud vendors alike.

Jérôme Lecat, CEO of on-premise object storage company Scality, said there was too much internal conflict within the Swift project and too few full-time developers for it to be shaped into an enterprise-class product.

“I believe in OpenStack as a concept, but with Swift… it’s not good enough. [It’s] not mature enough,” he said.

Further criticism came from Ethernet storage provider Coraid and SaaS provider CloudPhysics.

CloudPhysics’ CEO John Blumenthal once again cited problems of fragmentation within the community, telling Cloud Pro’s sister title IT Pro that disagreements between contributors can lead to different spurs of development. Furthermore, he said the number of different vendors offering an OpenStack-based product could be confusing to consumers.

Coraid’s CEO Dave Kresse, on the other hand, said his company’s product was “OpenStack ready”, but admitted only one client, Shutterstock, is actually using the technology in production. Though he did say that a number of others were testing the environment so the interest definitely exists.

However Lauren Sell, director of marketing at the OpenStack Foundation hit back at the allegations, telling Cloud Pro: “There’s no doubt OpenStack object storage is a mature and powerful technology. Just look at the number of high profile organisations who have been using it in production at scale, like Rackspace, HP, Wikimedia, Liveperson, Paypal and most recently Concur, who architected their OpenStack cloud to store more than 10 billion images within the next five years."

“OpenStack users tell us the competitive ecosystem of vendors gives them leverage and choice, rather than being tied to one vendor and technology roadmap,” she added.

Indeed, despite this criticism from younger businesses, the project continues to receive investment from notable players in the IT community.

Most recently, Oracle has announced plans to integrate OpenStack capabilities into 10 of its offerings, including Oracle Storage Cloud Service, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Oracle VM.

The firm has also become a sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation, which oversees the development of the technology.

Edward Screven, chief corporate architect at Oracle said: “Oracle is pleased to join the OpenStack Foundation... Our goal is to give customers greater choice and flexibility in how they use Oracle products and services in public and private clouds.”

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.