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OpenStack at Risk of becoming Vendor Specific

OpenStack started with the primary objective to provide an open standard cloud computing platform and prevent vendor lock.  It has been almost three years since the launch of OpenStack.  During this time almost all major companies in the cloud computing space baring Amazon have gotten behind OpenStack.  I thought it would be interesting to review how OpenStack is doing in achieving its primary objective.

After working with various OpenStack based clouds we found that not all OpenStack based cloud are created equal and we have to account for the differences to be able to support application deployment and management across various OpenStack based clouds.

To see how standard is OpenStack implementation across various cloud vendors, as an example let’s compare  Rackspace Open Cloud and HP Cloud, two of the major OpenStack based clouds.  We found following differences.

Functional Differences
Some of the functional difference between HP Cloud and Rackspace Open Cloud are:

  • HP Cloud supports Security Groups, Rackspace Open Cloud doesn’t
  • Rackspace OpenStack Cloud doesn’t support Key-Pairs, HP Cloud does
  • HP Cloud supports floating IPs, Rackspace Cloud doesn’t
  • In HP Cloud public and private IPs for a server have to be identified by looking at the IP pattern e.g. on HP Cloud public IPs starts with 15.  Rackspace Open Cloud allows this determination through API.

Syntax Differences
There are also some annoying syntax differences:

  • Identity Service for OpenStack returns the list of endpoint URLs for the given service name.  In HP Cloud to get the list of compute service URL you have to pass “compute” as a parameter, in Rackspace Open Cloud you have to pass “cloudServersOpenStack” as a parameter.
  • Unlike Rackspace Open Cloud, in HP Cloud to get full service URLs tenant id has to be specified.

It will be interesting to see in future if various OpenStack implementations will converge to a single standard per OpenStack charter or if they will diverge and each vendor will try to implement their own flavor of OpenStack API to differentiate themselves.  Checkout my blog on Cloud APIs - Why all the fuss around Cloud API Standards? for additional information and thoughts on the subject.

If you want a standard interface for application and workload management across various OpenStack based clouds, checkout our integration with Rackspace Open Cloud, HP Cloud, and OpenStack Cloud (API version 2.0).  In addition to OpenStack we also support serveral other public and private clouds, checkout the list and details for using other supported clouds here.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jamal Mazhar

Jamal Mazhar is Founder & CEO of Kaavo. He possesses more than 15 years of experience in technology, engineering and consulting with a range of Fortune 500 companies including GE and ING. He established ING’s “Center of Excellence for B2B” which streamlined $2 billion per month in electronic money transfer operations. As Lead Architect at GE Capital e-Business team, Jamal directed analysis and implementation efforts and improved the performance of the website generating more than $1 billion in annual lease revenues. At Trilogy he provided technical and managerial expertise for several large scale e-business implementation projects for companies such as Boeing, NCR, Gartner, British Airways, Quantas Airways and Alltel. Jamal has BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.

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