"OpenStack has the potential to provide a comprehensive, standards-based, open alternative for the virtualized data center. And I think with the emergence of the OpenStack foundation, we'll see technology and cloud service providers increasingly willing to commit to OpenStack," Crowe says.
The number of announced OpenStack projects are almost too numerous to count at this point. For instance, earlier this week Attachmate's Suse announced plans to make software for OpenStack private clouds. Suse Cloud, which won't be available for at least nine months, will be based on the latest version of OpenStack, called Diablo.
Then there's Nebula, founded by a former CTO of NASA, who is developing an appliance for building private clouds using OpenStack. It's in testing now and is due in 2012. Piston Cloud Computing is working on an OpenStack distribution that will offer enterprises more granular security features. Piston was founded by the lead architect of NASA's cloud, which was spun to become OpenStack, and the company expects to begin offering the software commercially in late November.
Dell has been testing high-end servers preconfigured with OpenStack, geared toward large data centers and service providers.
In addition, Rackspace, which contributed code along with NASA to create OpenStack, has offered to help companies use OpenStack to build private clouds and announced this summer that its own cloud would be going all OpenStack, too.
On the other hand, all the hype has caused competitors such as Red Hat's Scott Crenshaw to bash OpenStack as a "press release" project. He accused most of the support vendors of having pledged to be nothing but statements in a press release.
Crowe counters, "I think there will always be the inevitable flurry of activity surrounding new technologies, some of which will of course consist of hype. However, OpenStack is based on software that has actually been in production for quite some time and is maturing quickly. There are a growing number of large-scale use cases," he says.
He offers, for example, that like Rackspace, HP has a beta OpenStack public cloud. Cloud infrastructure automation provider Opscode is now shipping products with OpenStack support built in. Plus, he says, "Enterprises like MercadoLibre and government institutions like NASA and CERN are all using OpenStack-based cloud platforms. Korean Telecom has deployed OpenStack Swift for storage, which Internap did earlier this year. So, looking beyond the marketing, we are seeing real commitment -- not to mention investment dollars -- toward bringing OpenStack cloud services to market."
Read more about cloud computing in Network World's Cloud Computing section.