First Ever Open-Source Private Cloud Software Has Finally Arrived, Yet Debate Has Already Ensued
August 02, 2012
Many have been wondering what took so long for this milestone to be accomplished, but they needn’t worry any longer. Rackspace (News - Alert) has become the first official vendor to make good on its promise to the meaning of cloud-computing portability with the announcement of its first commercial cloud service via OpenStack cloud technology. After months of anticipation and testing, Rackspace has finally put the first large-scale OpenStack hosted deployment into operation.
Head of OpenStack at Rackspace, Jim Curry said that this “is a great proof point for the maturity of the project,” and with over 180,000 customers utilizing Rackspace’s hosted services, the company is surely taking pride in this latest triumph. As of yesterday, all new Rackspace Cloud customers using cloud services will see their cloud hosed via OpenStack technology, explained a recent InfoWorld article. Upon logging into Rackspace to requisition servers, they will now interact with Rackspace Open Cloud services, as based on the OpenStack Nova compute component, the site elaborated.
An article recently published by ReadWriteWeb/Cloud dives into this development in detail – from why it really is important in today’s market to its insightful developmental process.
This move is especially significant to the cloud computing market because it provides legitimate, tangible portability for cloud users – something which is “notably lacking in the cloud ecosystem.” Additionally, ReadWriteWeb/Cloud says, “It’s been heavily touted that OpenStack is open source, which is all well and good, because it deliver that warm-puppy feeling that says that by using open source code, you are a smart IT manager.”
So that’s a plus, right?
What’s more is that in actuality, this now means that any apps running on servers can finally be used via private cloud – or on Rackspace’s or any other OpenStack-compatible cloud. While this may not seem very flexible, keep in mind that big shots such as HP, Red Hat (News - Alert), and SUSE will eventually be offering this compatibility option soon.
“Contrast this with the Amazon Web Service Elastic Cloud Computing (AWS EC2) and the Google Cloud Platform, where your data and apps will be hosted and there they will stay - unless you go through the headache of migrating your apps away from EC2 or Google,” the article says.
Another perk is that users can perform many new tasks such as tag (News - Alert) servers, databases, and other resources for easier identification and grouping. A searching capability has even been tacked on so that users can search by name, tag, IP address, or any other identifier – all working in real-time for optimum convenience.
The company has also begun offering instances of MySQL databases, boasting that one single instance can execute three times as many transactions compared to a similar offering from Amazon.
Not everyone is so convinced that OpenStack is ready for its big debut, however. Some think it won’t do much for providing a competitive edge, such as Andres Rodriguez, co-founder and CEO, Nasuni (News - Alert), who found the Rackspace Cloud Files storage service to actually be slower than competing services.
Rodriguez attributes this shortcoming to Openstack’s immaturity, saying, “I'm skeptical that OpenStack is at the level it needs to be to provide for tier 1 storage. We hope it can be as mature as Azure or Amazon, but right now this is an issue for Rackspace."
Additionally, a Nasuni report elaborated on these issues and stated the following: “This poor transfer-in performance gave rise to concerns within Nasuni about all the other clouds that are springing up based on OpenStack. It is hard for Nasuni's engineers to imagine that these other clouds based on OpenStack would perform better than Rackspace's Cloud Files, since Rackspace is OpenStack's premier reference implementation.”
Rackspace took little time to defend these claims, issuing the following in a written statement by Scott Gibson (News - Alert), Rackspace director of product management: “Nasuni's tests were conducted during the brief period when Rackspace was implementing its hardware/software upgrades and the temporary rate limits were in place. As a result, we do not believe that the current Nasuni report reflects an accurate evaluation of Cloud Files or its performance in key areas such as data transfer rates, read errors and delete times.”
Gibson also added that upon completion of this upgrade, data rates for moving block data from Rackspace to secondary providers improved from one week to merely nine hours.
"We firmly believe that the cloud future will be around open and we think it will be significantly based around OpenStack," Curry confidently concluded.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman