This is a big deal, at least the IBM part of it, especially if IBM is providing its capability and talent in leading open source projects. The money is just a nice value add. I think the loss of Citrix was big but getting IBM on board could more than offset the loss of Citrix. I was intrigued when Rackspace announced this a while back. Rackspace is a great hosting provider but managing an open source software project didn’t seem a strong part of their capability.
IBM on the other hand has been leading the charge in sustainable open source projects. They understand what organizations are looking for in cloud technologies from their experience with a wider pool of customers and industries. They also understand how to marry the software with services and get companies to buy in to the open source vision.
These things still have a tendency to move slowly. This is a huge and complex problem. VMware has a head start with their vCloud solution but fortunately this market is in its infancy and the alternative solutions have opportunity to catch up and potentially surpass VMware.
OpenStack filled in some key checkmarks this week as it added IBM(s ibm) and Red Hat(s rhat) to its roster of corporate backers. As GigaOM reported last week, the two tech giants will join the nascent OpenStack Foundation as Platinum members along with AT&T, Canonical, Hewlett-Packard(s hpq), Nebula, Rackspace(s rax), and Suse.
The gelling of the foundation is important as OpenStack evolves from an effort driven by Rackspace and NASA, to a broad-based coalition. Its goal is to provide an open-source cloud platform alternative to Amazon Web Services (s amzn).
A number of companies including Cisco(s csco), Cloudscaling, Dell(s dell), Dreamhost, Morphlabs, Netapp(s ntapp) and Piston Cloud Computing (see disclosure) are joining as Gold members — bringing the total of foundation members to 18, for now. That number will likely grow as the foundation evolves, said Mark Collier, VP of business development for Rackspace.
Citrix(s ctsx), which was an OpenStack…
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