March 12, 2014

Cloud and Open source go hand in hand

BY :     March 12, 2014

BartA couple of years back, we renewed the complete datacenter infrastructure of a major police force with a strong open source focus, and back then I wondered why open source impact was so moderate.

It appears now that the forces behind cloud will be driving open source much more than originally anticipated. Remember the voices who said that cloud is the anathema of open source?  There is no doubt that Openstack leads the way. IDC connect found that 80% of those surveyed believe that Openstack will play a significant role within their Cloud fabric. The SDN star Openflow, albeit slightly less mature, follows closely behind.

The trend is visible. Our “national Cloud” partner Numergy will switch to Openstack in the coming weeks, and requests for Openstack experts now land regularly on my team. What is really new is the fact that this demand arises from a typology of clients that were quite averse to open source for code control reasons (defense companies as well as banks to name just two markets that seem to evolve in their views about open source).

Somewhat differently than Operation and Infrastructure guys, Development teams have always been quite eager to jump on the open source wagon. DevOps leading initiatives like Jenkins (but also Chef and Puppet) have long been on their radar of those teams. This enthusiasm will also help to push open source products within the operation teams, unless it becomes a new cause for misalignment.  Clear vision and good change management will help to avoid this.

The benefits are clear since Open source equates greater interoperability and reduced TCO. All leading Private Cloud framework vendors have recognized this trend and are moving away from fully proprietary systems.

The likes of Openstack and Openflow still carry the signs of young and recent products, like too short version cycles. But the scene is set for their dominant role in the new generation datacenter landscape.

Claude Kuhn

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Claude Kuhn is an expert in infrastructure transformation.

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    *Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group