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"It's a project, not a product," Curry said. "Somebody's got to take the code and make it work. Channel partners need to understand how to do that. We're giving them the hooks to plug it in; our goal is for them to take that to their customers."
And as OpenStack starts to take shape, partners are examining its potential within their organizations.
"It's another indicator of how serious they are about this channel community," said John Murphy, executive vice president at Thornton, Colo.-based solution provider Advanced Systems Group. Still, Murphy said he's waiting for the OpenStack platform to mature before he decides its place within his company. He added he wants Rackspace to "show me how this works" within his business before he signs on.
Meanwhile, the CTO of one large systems integrator in the northeast said that in the future OpenStack could play a role in helping solution providers seamlessly manage public and private environments; much like some integrators are doing with VMware's vCloud Director.
"We're going to have to help our customers whether it's vCloud Director or OpenStack, build APIs that tie back into their systems," that CTO said, adding that OpenStack is still evolving and it will be up to solution providers to help their clients understand what it means and where integration points are.
NEXT: Early Successes