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Open Clouds: Immature or Good Enough?

April 23, 2012 No Comments

“Immature” is one of those code words that execs trot out when they’re faced with disruptive competition that’s likely to eat their lunch over the long haul. For example, VMware CEO Paul Maritz likes to dismiss OpenStack as immature. While OpenStack may not feature parity with VMware’s cloud offerings, it’s likely to be “good enough” much sooner than Maritz cares to admit.

Maritz was saying that VMware’s “greater, nearer-term challenge will probably come from Microsoft.” This is classic framing, trying to ensure that customers compare VMware’s offerings against a similar proprietary offering. But customers will increasingly employ the long view and consider open cloud options as well.

Immaturity Doesn’t Last
Open clouds, OpenStack being just one, are following a similar development trajectory to Linux and open source databases. In phase one, the technology is for early adopters and not at all comparable with proprietary offerings. Early adopters and companies that take a long view and/or have a good reason to disrupt the market deploy and contribute to the projects to push them toward maturity.

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