Linux vendor Suse has thrown its hat into the already crowded OpenStack distribution game.
Openstack is the open source cloud deployment model that in the two years since its founding has gained considerable attention from some of the biggest tech players in the industry. Companies like Rackspace, through its private cloud, already offer a free OpenStack distribution, while CloudScaling, Piston Cloud Computing, Red Hat, and Ubuntu each have a distribution or are planning to release one soon.
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Meanwhile, companies ranging from Rackspace to HP, Internap and Softlayer are already leveraging OpenStack as the foundation for their public clouds, giving users curious about trying OpenStack another option. "It's definitely getting crowded," says Forrester researcher James Staten about the OpenStack distributions already emerging in the market.
So how's Suse going to fit in?
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"Our feeling is, yeah it's a crowded space, but we're able to capitalize on 20 years of experience supporting Linux, combined with our track record in the open source community," says Peter Chadwick, senior product manager of cloud at Suse. Compared to Red Hat, its biggest Linux competitor, Suse says it is more heterogeneous because it more fully supports both Xen and KVM hypervisors. Suse's OpenStack distro will also support Crowbar, an open source project backed by Dell that aims to ease the launching of cloud installations across clusters of computers.
Despite all the players, Chadwick believes there's enough market share to go around for everyone to get a piece of the pie. "This is a market that's large and is expanding," he says. Suse has been a member of the OpenStack community, but today's news of a distribution is the first product launch the company has made based on the OpenStack code.
Suse explored other open source cloud deployment platforms to support, most notably the Citrix-based Apache CloudStack, but Chadwick says he's impressed with the community OpenStack has built up around it. In addition to Rackspace, Dell, IBM, Red Hat, Cisco, Nicira, and others, the OpenStack board voted Tuesday to include VMware as a member company in OpenStack.