Dell Goes Open With OpenStack-Based Cloud Infrastructure

the OpenStack cloud operating system

Dell's launch of Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution Infrastructure-as-a-Serivce comes as customers look for alternatives to proprietary, licensed software cloud models, John Igoe, executive director of cloud computing strategy at Dell.

"This is one of the first reference architectures in the environment that can be purchased and deployed," Igoe said of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution.

The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution IaaS play comprises the OpenStack cloud operating system; cloud-optimized Dell PowerEdge C servers; a new Dell-developed OpenStack installer called "Crowbar;" and services from Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builders.

The Crowbar software, Igoe said, manages the OpenStack deployment from the initial server boot to the configuration of the primary OpenStack components. It lets users complete bare metal deployment of multi-node OpenStack clouds in hours. And once the initial deployment is finished, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand and architect a complete cloud solution including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering and alerting.

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Dell has also released Crowbar to the open-ource community to let users build functionality to address their specific needs.

Igoe said Dell's OpenStack cloud is applicable as a public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructure and is geared mostly toward telcos and hosting providers that are building out their cloud environments.

According to Igoe, Dell's launch of an open-ource cloud play won't compete with Dell's existing proprietary cloud offerings. Igoe said Dell wants its customers to have different options for moving forward with the cloud.

"Dell is in the business of addressing customer choice," Igoe said.

Dell will detail its channel plans for the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution in the near future, Igoe said.

The OpenStack Cloud Solution comes with a reference architecture designed to help customers quickly integrate, deploy and manage their IT resources in an OpenStack environment.

"Service providers and enterprises wanting to build highly scalable, flexible cloud infrastructure can now deploy OpenStack-based clouds more quickly and confidently with the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution and services from Rackspace Cloud Builders," said Rackspace Cloud Builders General Manager Jim Curry. "Backed by the OpenStack experts at Dell and Rackspace, organizations will have access to tested reference architectures and ongoing support to optimize their OpenStack cloud environments."

Dell has been a part of the OpenStack community since OpenStack launched in July 2010.

Launching a product based on OpenStack comes as Dell attacks the cloud computing market and Dell's cloud computing strategy takes shape.

In the last several months Dell has made several key cloud acquisitionsending roughly $2 billion buying out cloud computing companies as it sharpens its cloud chops. Among those acquisitions was Dell's buyoutcloud and SaaS integration player Boomi ate last year.