Beware the fake OpenStack clouds

The OpenStack Foundation will crack down on vendors that use the OpenStack label but don't live up to the standard

According to Nancy Gohring at IT World, the OpenStack Foundation is starting to call out incompatible clouds. "Get ready for the OpenStack Foundation to start cracking down on service providers that call their clouds OpenStack but aren't actually interoperable," she wrote, "The first companies that may be in the foundation's crosshairs: HP and Rackspace."

Rackspace is an early innovator with OpenStack, and Hewlett-Packard could be the largest OpenStack provider by the end of the year. It's interesting they're the first to be accused of compatibility issues.

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HP and Rackspace have both fired back with responses to the compatibility allegations:

  • "HP Cloud Services adheres to OpenStack's interoperability guidelines. We are committed to OpenStack and are compatible with OpenStack APIs. In addition, we have a policy of not introducing proprietary API extensions. HP is supporting core OpenStack APIs and we have not added our own proprietary API extensions, therefore this ensures our interoperability with other OpenStack deployments," HP said in a statement.
  • Rackspace wrote a blog post saying it hopes to adhere to the letter of the OpenStack standard by 2014. "While we believe some variation in implementations will be inevitable, we do want to eliminate as many of these as possible to provide as much of a common OpenStack experience as we can," wrote Rackspace's Troy Toman.

At the OpenStack Summit this week, we saw more energy behind the use of OpenStack, but also some finger-pointing around living up to the letter of the standard. The truth is that large technology providers have a poor history of remaining confined to standards. As the market heats up, larger providers that have more resources, such as HP and Rackspace, may find it irresistible to add their own proprietary API extensions.

We may even find public and private cloud technology providers going off the OpenStack reservation if they believe they can do better outside the standard. The OpenStack Foundation will have the unenviable job of policing the use of both the standard and the OpenStack brand. Indeed, there could be a few court battles in the future, which has also been part of the history of many technology standards as vendors seek to capitalize on them and offer something "special" at the same time.

This article, "Beware the fake OpenStack clouds," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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