Some companies, like Piston, CloudScaling, as well as others like SUSE and Canonical, have taken the OpenStack code and massaged it into a distribution that is sold as a pre-packaged software stack users can deploy. On the opposite side of the coin are vendors who are using OpenStack as the basis for their public cloud platform; companies like HP, Rackspace, and soon Dell, fit this bill.
Then there is a whole ecosystem of OpenStack member companies who are ensuring that their products and services work in the OpenStack ecosystem. VMware and Microsoft, for example, have done work to ensure their hypervisors, ESX and Hyper-V respectively, work in OpenStack clouds, which are new features in the Grizzly release. And finally, there are consultants like Mirantis, which help organizations deploy OpenStack themselves.
The code rolls on
Whatever the approach of OpenStack member companies, project backers couldn't be happier with the progress. In the fall of 2012 the Folsom release of the code added what many considered one of the final significant missing pieces of the code in virtual networking capabilities through the Quantum project.
The latest Grizzly release of the code is about making OpenStack scale and integrate with existing systems more easily. Users can now manage multiple OpenStack clouds through a single console; there are new drivers that ensure it is compatible with a wide range of products commonplace in the enterprise market - from vendors such as HP, IBM, NetApp and Red Hat, for example.
The next release of the code, expected toward the end of 2013 named Havana, will bring with it some more fine-grained features, like a metering and billing service and an orchestration component for more easily managing and deploying OpenStack clouds. "It's getting to be very mature, especially in the areas of basic functionality," says OpenStack Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce.
OpenStack is going global too. IBM, which recently came out with a significant backer, has worked to translate OpenStack guides into other languages, says OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier. To feed that international support, organizers are considering bringing the next Havana summit conference to an international location outside of the U.S. in late 2013.
Even with all the momentum, the project is still in its early days, and there are other open source platforms competing with OpenStack. CloudStack, which ceremoniously broke away from OpenStack last year and is backed by Citrix, is another open source cloud platform already in production and deployed with a nice uptake in the telecommunications market, says Zeus Kerravala, analyst at ZK Research. Eucalyptus is another open source platform that advertises close allegiance with Amazon Web Services, proclaiming to be the private cloud version of AWS.
"I think a lot of people are still kicking the tires on OpenStack," Kerravala says. "Once we see some more classic enterprise implementations, that may open people's eyes up a little more."