Private Cloud Competition Intensifies

OpenStack continues to grow, but over the past week, product updates and acquisitions from Citrix, Eucalyptus, Red Hat and VMware signify that the competition to become the dominant private cloud provider and win over the enterprise also intensifies. Each of these solutions has features that meet a customer’s needs. For example, OpenStack appeals for it provides cloud infrastructure for all, including NASA and other strong partners. In order to sell hard, VMware can take dominance with its installed base in the virtualization space.

Here’s a run through of the last week’s news:

Citrix revealed through VMworld that the next version of the CloudStack product will be open source instead of following the less permissive open-core model. Despite support pledges, there are still skepticisms regarding the future relationship of CloudStack and OpenStack. The way as to how CloudStack will fit with Project Olympus, an earlier Citrix project, remains unclear. To sum things up, one essential step is to make source code freely available, even if it’s not the only definite factor for selecting a private cloud solution.

Last May, Ubuntu promoted OpenStack’s private cloud over previous favorite Eucalyptus. Last week, Eucalyptus Systems announced version 3.0 of its product. It looks into giving “highly available” enterprise clouds with the ability to respond to hardware failure. They already have big names (former MySQL CEO Mårten Mickos) and real-world deployments at scale. These features may be enough to balance the market interest to Eucalyptus.

Red Hat.
Red Hat is also pursuing an open-source line. The Registrar describes it as “effort to succeed where OpenStack has struggled in building an open-source cloud founded on broad community input.” Analyzing OpenStack’s growing mind share as evidence of “struggle,” can be difficult. Red Hat’s multihypervisor, multicloud approach to Aeolus denotes that Aeolus plans to bridge different environments in a permissive fashion. Even if Red Hat’s freedom, flexibility and choices can be interesting, enterprises are more likely to seek support, a clear road map into the future, and evidence of adoption elsewhere. Aeolus may not be the solution even if it is technically and philosophically appealing.

It was noted by Ben Kepes that VMware’s sweeping announcements at VMworld saw the company’s effort to extend its closed-source reach, including private clouds inside the data center and hybrid solutions that reach beyond the enterprise. Last month, Derrick Harris suggested that “VMware wants to be the OS for the cloud,” without any hint to undergo modification. VMware continues to innovate. It is well-known, familiar and has a guarantee on enterprise virtualization market.

OpenStack is the current favorite cloud provider that continues to make headlines. It formed impressive partnership with Citrix and Verizon-acquired CloudSwitch. Still, OpenStack’s focus is restricted and it is not yet tested in terms of deployment. OpenStack needs to give more examples of successful adoption and round out its features. VMware has proven its efficiency and its useful features that appeal to many customers.
To sum it up, it is not just the “best” cloud that gets to win, but the cloud provider that best fits with the existing enterprise systems, vision and road map.


  1. This space is ripe for acquisition and further consolidation. With so much happening in this space and so much functionality overlap between private cloud vendors and cloud management and automation tool vendors it is becoming difficult to put various cloud products under specific categories. We are struggling to keep our cloud vendor landscape widget consistent with continuously changing boundries.  

  2. OpenStack is certainly getting a lot of mind share, but the product is complex and brittle/fragile and incomplete in terms of effective management. It is kind of strange how so many are jumping on the bandwagon with such an immature and incomplete product.

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