InfoWorld's Test Center picks the best open source software for agile infrastructures in 2011
Eucalyptus and OpenStack
How many developers have heard the siren call of the cloud and felt just like Odysseus strapped to the mast? The songs of the cloud may be seductive, but the developers can't heed the call because they're strapped into their existing data center infrastructures. Like Odysseus, many have tied themselves to the mast. They know that for all of the convenience, for all of the ease-of-use, embracing the cloud means surrendering power and control.
Eucalyptus and OpenStack are ways to have both the cloud and the control -- by bringing the cloud in-house. Eucalyptus imitates many of the commands used in Amazon's stack, allowing you to get features of Amazon EC2 on your very own hardware. You're not locked into Amazon's offering.
OpenStack is an open source collection of code that lets anyone set up a Rackspace-like cloud on their own machines. Anyone who builds out an infrastructure for Rackspace knows they can move much of the work to their own OpenStack cloud if they feel the urge. This allays the fears.
It's too soon to call a clear winner in this category. Eucalyptus is currently the more advanced. But while the Eucalyptus core is open source, some of the features that set it apart from OpenStack are proprietary. OpenStack is entirely open, and it has a long list of industry supporters, including Citrix, Dell, Cisco, and HP.
Both of these projects prove that developers and enterprise teams crave the control that comes from open source. People might experiment but they're hesitant to lock themselves into any proprietary clouds. Eucalyptus and OpenStack are bringing cloud adopters the assurance that they can move if they need to, and that may make them happier to sit still.
The Bossies 2011 index:
This slideshow, "Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source data center and cloud software," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in data center, cloud computing, and open source at InfoWorld.com.