OpenStack Summit 2013 is set to start April 15 in Portland, Ore. The open source platform seems to be gaining momentum with cloud services providers (CSPs). IBM (NYSE: IBM) has just placed a huge bet on OpenStack. Plus, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) have each built their public clouds on the emerging software platform.

Some folks think today's OpenStack is a lot like Linux from a decade ago -- destined to emerge as a de facto standard for the next generation of computing. But in reality, OpenStack faces plenty of challenges. As Talkin' Cloud looks ahead to the conference, I hope the OpenStack community addresses these five issues head-on:

1. Training: Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) recently hosted OpenStack training sessions at MIT. But I wonder if we can expect a more formalized, global training initiative to make sure public and private cloud architects master the platform.

2. Channel Partners: Mirantis, one of the most successful OpenStack systems integrators, recently raised $10 million from Dell, Intel and WestSummit. But overall, there's a shortage of cloud consultants, integrators and VARs that know how to deploy OpenStack distributions. Can that shortage be addressed?

3. Incompatible Distributions?: Piston Cloud recently raised $8 million to strengthen its own OpenStack distribution, which is designed for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). But just like the worlds of Unix (multiple variants) and Linux (multiple distributions), OpenStack must balance customer choice with software compatibility.

The worst-case scenario, short term, is for multiple incompatible distributions to emerge. What safeguards are in place to ensure that doomsday scenario doesn't arrive?

4. Private to Public Cloud Workloads: In theory, private and public clouds built on OpenStack will allow customers to move workloads more easily from one cloud to the next. But that almost sounds too good to be true. Are there real-world examples of customers that move workloads from one OpenStack system to the next? If so, Talkin' Cloud would welcome the opportunity to learn more at the conference.

5. Server Bundles?: Much in the way that Windows Server and Linux are available bundled with x86 servers, can we expect servers to come bundled with OpenStack distributions for private cloud deployments? If so, what type of reseller, activation and interation opportunities can partners expect?

That's all for now. If you're heading to the conference and have questions feel free to post a comment.