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Rackspace's Engates advises that partners seeking to leverage OpenStack need to have developers on their team who understand the DevOps software development model and can leverage automation in that context in order to avoid repetitive functions such as provisioning servers. He further recommends that partners leverage their trusted advisor status in order to help customers evaluate the new generation of suppliers and build reference architectures around chosen vendors.
"There is definitely opportunity for channel partners in the OpenStack environment," agreed David Hoff, co-founder of Cloud Sherpas, an Atlanta-based cloud service brokerage. "But it hasn't gained full momentum yet. Right now there is so much to be done in terms of building customer awareness that I think a lot of folks in the channel are waiting for the vendors to educate customers. A lot of this is going to come into play when people start taking on the management of hybrid environments. Not everything is going to move to the cloud, but with OpenStack, you can have more confidence that your solution is going to be embraced across multiple data centers."
One such company that is closely tracking developments in the OpenStack community is Stratalux, a Los Angeles-based public cloud and managed services company that currently builds platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions designed to run over Amazon Web Services.
"We are not yet using OpenStack, although we are open to revisiting that decision," said Stratalux CEO Jeremy Przygode. "We know that we will need a strategy that enables us to keep customers who want to go back to a hybrid solution or private cloud solution. OpenStack would enable us to deliver a private cloud offering. It seems to be the preferred open-source platform right now, and based upon the vendors that are involved, it fits into our partner ecosystem pretty well."