Opening the Door to OpenStack

In most discussions about enterprise private clouds, an OpenStack solution will be part of the mix. Some early success stories help make OpenStack appear to be a desirable and viable option. For example, a glance at the agenda for the April 21st OpenStack conference in Melbourne promises case studies showing how Time Warner Cable and GoDaddy leveraged OpenStack as an enterprise private cloud platform.

Dell, of course, can cite OpenStack successes such as deployments at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the National Institute of Informatics in Japan, and we have been using OpenStack internally for some time now.

Meanwhile, analyst firm Gartner issued a report earlier in February asking the question, “Is OpenStack Ready for Mainstream Private Cloud Adoption?” (the answer is that it depends on the needs of the particular enterprise) and the research firm 451 Research projected a few months ago that OpenStack revenue will pass the $1 billion mark this year.

The right platform for your enterprise’s private cloud will likely be different from the right platform for others, but if OpenStack is on your short list, here are two key considerations to keep in mind. First, if you go down the OpenStack path, it’s important to engage with a provider that has specific and deep OpenStack expertise. Sounds obvious, but in practice finding a provider with a demonstrable, documented track record of success in OpenStack requires some diligence.

Second, choosing OpenStack does not necessarily put you on the hook for attracting and retaining OpenStack private cloud staff; it’s possible and practical to take a hybrid IT approach in which you outsource the day-to-day management of your private cloud, even if it’s on your premises or in your data center.

At Dell, our approach to OpenStack reflects that fact that we have been an OpenStack pioneer. As a result of our long and close engagement with Red Hat, Dell can get a private cloud up and running quickly with certified reference architectures. We also provide comprehensive Managed Cloud Services that can take on the day-to-day management of your cloud, from the hardware to the hypervisor and up to the virtual machines and applications running in them, to ensure that your OpenStack private cloud remains healthy, secure and available.

There’s no one answer to the OpenStack question. But if the answer for your enterprise is yes, Dell can help your OpenStack private cloud succeed.

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About the Author: Sam Romero