Open Source Cloud Computing Frenzy

I recently wrote a post about open source software and cloud computing, but in the past week, there has been a frenzy of activity and conversations about open source in the cloud. Red Hat's Cloud Computing Forum on July 22nd seems to have kick started a wave of new conversations about the role of open source in cloud computing. If you are kicking yourself for missing the event, the recorded presentations are available online. Topics included an industry overview by Matthew Aslett from The 451 Group along with sessions by vendors of cloud services (Red Hat, Eucalyptus, KVM, and more).

In addition to hosting the Cloud Computing Forum, Red Hat recently announced their Premier Cloud Provider Certification and Partner Program to help encourage collaboration across the cloud ecosystem. You can even test drive Red Hat's cloud solutions at the upcoming Red Hat Summit in September.

After the cloud event, Matthew Aslett wrote a blog post that covered some of his thoughts about how open source is an on-ramp to the cloud along with his take on some of the other recent conversations about open source and the cloud.

"Cloud platform providers have so far been reticent about opening up the code for their platforms. With open source potentially acting as an on-ramp to the cloud we believe that the emerging cloud challengers will see a benefit in releasing their code as open source to encourage on-premise adoption and ease migration to public clouds."

"This could, of course, be done with closed source software, but the benefits of open source in creating de facto standards and an ecosystem of developers weigh in favor of open source."

I mentioned Red Monk industry analyst Stephen O'Grady's take on open source software as a viable cloud computing alternative in my previous post, but last week he spent some more time elaborating on his ideas with a focus on the use of open source within private clouds.

"All of which is to explain why I think projects like Eucalyptus – who I was fortunate enough to sit down and talk to at OSCON last week – and Hadoop are so important. Open source cloud stacks, after all, would theoretically allow private enterprises to run on top of the exact same stack as alternate public providers. Much as Linux disrupted and commoditized the platform that applications run on, thereby improving competition in the market, so too could open source cloud projects ensure an openness to the platform that host operating systems and attendant cloud fabrics."

These ideas from Matthew and Stephen both position open source as a key player to influence the cloud computing market and to provide competition for cloud vendors, which encourages companies to support more open solutions. As I mentioned in my previous post, I don't think that open source will become the primary cloud computing solution, but open source does offer consumers some additional choices while encouraging healthy competition for cloud computing software.