OpenStack Cloud Platform Gains Momentum, But Rivals Circle

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Bryce praised Amazon for being a first-mover in cloud services but said it limits the ability of developers to customize cloud workloads.

"Amazon offers a good cloud service, but there are a lot more options that people want to use to build private and public clouds. You can get OpenStack from HP, Rackspace and many others and build your cloud just as you want." Joe Kelley, CEO of Infochimps in Austin, Texas, which offers cloud-based data services, has been using OpenStack from Rackspace for several months to offer cloud services to its customers, and says he finds the platform easy to use.

"We set up our own platform, customize it for customers and create a proof of concept," he said. "It's becoming increasingly important to deliver seamless integration, and we can deploy to any cloud provider that uses OpenStack. It will be valuable to say we can put it in OpenStack."

Amazon, for its part, believes the criticism of its lack of flexibility is overblown and emphasizes the breadth of its services.

"Ideas on openness and standards have been talked about for years in Web services. And, we do believe standards will continue to evolve in the cloud computing space," Amazon spokesperson Rena Lunak wrote to CRN. "But, what we've heard from customers thus far, customers who are really committed to using the cloud, is that the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them."

Amazon has for six years made AWS available in multiple programming languages, operating systems and platforms according to customer needs, Lunak said.

"We'll continue to pursue an approach of providing customers with maximum flexibility as the standards discussion unfolds," she added. ‪

One satisfied Amazon partner, Kevin Chu, director of systems and infrastructure at Digitaria, a JWT company based in San Diego, said his company is interested in OpenStack but moving away from a partner and retraining staff is not easy.

"Both Digitaria and AWS have invested quite a bit to train and educate our staff on AWS products as well as set up operational processes to handle almost any situation," said Chu. "AWS has a head start over the other guys; however, the game-changer will be how fast the other guys can reach feature parity to AWS."

In fact, the use of different platforms is growing as cloud providers see that businesses have many uses for their data center resources.

NEXT: RightScale Sees Emergence Of Hybrid Clouds

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