The Open Cloud: There’s a Right Way

December 7, 2010 No Comments

SOURCE: ECT News Network Information

A company that tries to implement a cloud infrastructure in a closed-source manner is already going against the grain, adopting an approach contrary to that of the companies that built the cloud. If you consider doing things the closed-source way, you should prepare yourself to buy more expensive hardware, experience vendor lock-in, and perhaps be surprised by unexpected costs.

There is a great deal of commotion about the cloud, and rightfully so, but the noise can be overwhelming. The market is crowded with different products and platforms from the smallest of startups to industry behemoths, a condition that is not helped by cloudwashing and other tactics designed to take advantage of the cloud’s lucrative popularity.

Within this environment, how can a company confidently select the right platform for its private cloud infrastructure?

The Cloud’s Open Source Roots

Open source became one of the core foundations of cloud computing as early cloud pioneers used the freely available, freely distributable model to power their Web-scale deployments — achieving an unprecedented level of scale at a bare-bones cost. Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) built its cloud to be a business, making it possible to easily recoup its investment by charging other companies usage fees.

Most other companies, though, are not building a cloud to resell. To enterprises today, the attraction of open source is about the ability to develop a more flexible infrastructure and avoid vendor lock-in that often results from proprietary systems.

They want to use open technologies to get their cloud infrastructure up and running at the lowest cost and in the fastest way possible. At the same time, they gain the flexibility of customization that open source offers; they can build whatever they want.

When planning a cloud infrastructure, consider whether you want to build it yourself or choose to partner with an open source vendor that has completed 80 to 90 percent of the work, leaving you to do only 10 to 20 percent to customize it for your company.

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