Evangelizing Mainframe
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OpenStack Foundation Brings ‘Frenemies’ Together

Apparently, cloud computing, as well as politics, makes for strange bedfellows. How else can you explain IBM, Dell, AT&T, Cisco and HP joining forces to establish the OpenStack Foundation? An open-source cloud platform, OpenStack software was initially developed by Rackspace, but is being transitioned to an open community foundation.

At its Design Summit and  Conference last month in San Francisco, OpenStack announced the 19 companies—including IBM—had signed on establish the foundation.

The foundation’s goal is to promote open-source technologies and standards for cloud computing. Creating uniform standards was at the heart of IBM’s decision to join the foundation, explained Angel Luis Diaz, vice president, IBM Software Standards. “As promising as cloud computing is, one of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption is a lack of open standards,” he wrote in a recent Building a Smarter Planet blog post.

“Wide adoption of open-source software and open standards should be the goal of everyone,” he continued. “It means customers won’t have to fear vendor lock-in, and organizations can participate in a growing market that welcomes a wide variety of cloud technology and service providers.”

In a separate Thoughts on Cloud blog post, Diaz described OpenStack as “the ideal environment to a consistent standardized IaaS layer to speed cloud adoption and remove interoperability as a concern.”

He went on to assure readers that joining the foundation doesn’t represent “a shift in our SmartCloud strategy. Our technical strategy around interoperability, portability and heterogeneous environments is consistent with the architecture that the OpenStack platform offers.

Clearly, IBM is well versed in the opportunities open source offers. One only has to look at IBM’s involvement in Linux to see the impact such technologies can have. So in the open space world, there’s always room to play nice together. Perhaps writer Quentin Hardy put it best in his New York Times blog post, titled “Where Enterprise Enemies Hug.”

“In the business world, open source software is all about sharing. Competitive, cutthroat sharing, full of fragile and shifting alliances.”

Mike Westholder is site editor of Destination z.

Posted: 5/1/2012 4:04:47 AM by Mike Westholder

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