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Comparing OpenStack to CloudStack By @Appcore | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

At Cloud Expo, we got the opportunity to talk to cloud engineers and architects about deploying and maintaining OpenStack

Is Comparing OpenStack to CloudStack like Comparing Apples to Oranges?

This past week the Appcore team got the opportunity to attend one of the industry's leading cloud events, Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA. We spent a lot of time interacting with attendees at the exhibit portion of the event. As a software company with a sole commitment to CloudStack, we heard a lot of questions around the debate between CloudStack and OpenStack. "Do you support OpenStack?" "Why do you only support CloudStack?" "Do you plan to integrate OpenStack into your multi-cloud solution?"

Why All the OpenStack Hype?
We can all agree that OpenStack has done a great job branding their product. That isn't hard to do with an annual operating budget of $4-5 mm and enterprises such as Red Hat, Dell, HP and Rackspace backing the project. As you can imagine, many enterprise CEOs believe OpenStack is the right direction.

But comparing CloudStack and OpenStack is like comparing apples and oranges; the projects are run entirely differently and this often leads consumers to misconceptions. For example, in order to deploy OpenStack you have to integrate several individual projects to have a complete orchestration layer. Today, many enterprises utilize components of the OpenStack ecosystem and therefore are considered OpenStack users. Even Appcore could be considered OpenStack users because we deployed Swift cloud storage in the past.

The CloudStack project is set up much differently. The project isn't segmented and you can't just use a portion of the project. Instead in order to be considered a user of CloudStack you have to utilize it entirely. Do you see how this can be confusing and misleading in the market?

Is Deploying OpenStack Easy?
At Cloud Expo, we got the opportunity to talk to cloud engineers and architects about deploying and maintaining OpenStack; the feedback might surprise you. Many said it was difficult to set up initially and the cost was greater than anticipated. Especially when you consider the cost for support, training, management, licensing etc.

As for ease of use, even a panelist at the OpenStack Summit last week in Paris stated that OpenStack needs to be simple in order for widespread adoption; that isn't the case right now. "Perhaps the main hurdle to wider adoption remains the sheer difficulty of deploying OpenStack." Panelist Al Sadowski, an analyst with 451 Research, likened OpenStack to old-fashioned oatmeal.

"In the old days of oatmeal your mom had cardboard canister and water and a pot and if you didn't put in enough water it was lumpy and it was a pain to clean the pot. OpenStack needs to [become] instant oatmeal. Everything needs to be in there, you just rip off the top and add water," said Sadowski. Not only that - it needs to be the variety pack of instant oatmeal. "So there's a big-data version, a private cloud for web hosting version. It needs to be that simple to consume to have wider adoption."

Should Enterprises Be Asking a Bigger Question?
We believe there is a bigger question enterprises are worried about, and it isn't the underlying orchestration layer used to run a particular cloud. Enterprises are worried about deploying private clouds efficiently.

Before investing in a solution, enterprises need to know that their cloud solution will offer the functionality, scalability, flexibility and ease of use for the organization. They need to be able to build a use case that enables them to justify the implementation cost, management, support, licensing etc. necessary to run a successful private cloud. They are worried about function. They don't care if it is OpenStack, CloudStack or VMware under the hood; they just want to be able to build a use case.

Appcore Takeaway
OpenStack has does a great job at marketing their product, but don't be fooled by the hype. Before architecting or investing in a cloud solution make sure the solution provides you the functionality, flexibility and provides the use case needed to be successful.

The post Is Comparing OpenStack to CloudStack like Comparing Apples to Oranges? appeared first on Appcore.

More Stories By Amy Lindberg

Amy Lindberg is the Director of Operations of Appcore. She is responsible for championing the product line and overall strategy. She ensures continued market visibility of the product line from development to customer acquisition. She was brought on as the Director of Marketing in April 2011 and successfully lead the company's marketing division before being promoted to Director of Operations in June 2014.

Prior to Appcore, Amy was a Marketing Specialist at The Wittern Group, a leading vending machine manufacturer, where she led marketing and product management for their wholesale division. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing and Corporate Communication from Simpson College.

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