OpenStack clouds and network management capabilities are converging. An example: Brocade has released a VCS fabric plugin, providing on-demand fabric provisioning capabilities to OpenStack-based clouds. Launched as a component to OpenStack Grizzly, the plugin was designed to expand on the native attributes of Brocade's VCS Fabric technology.

According to Brocade, the benefits of VCS on OpenStack are related to its technology's network automation, efficiency and elasticity combined with the ease of provisioning provided on OpenStack. The goal is enable customers to deploy network capacity and services in cloud-based data centers more quickly than with legacy network architectures and provisioning tools.

"In addition to delivering OpenStack support for Brocade products that accelerate the adoption of cloud technologies and deliver on the promise of The On-Demand Data Center, Brocade is an active contributor to the OpenStack development community, taking an active leadership role in driving innovation in important areas of the framework, such as the addition of fibre channel SAN provisioning into OpenStack," said Jason Nolet, vice president of the Data Center Networking Group at Brocade, in a prepared statement.

This announcement extends Brocade's existing support of OpenStack and follows on Brocade's fall announcement regarding developing and deploying OpenStack-based private clouds with Piston Cloud.

OpenStack continues to gain momentum in the cloud computing space as more vendors, partners and customers turn to the open source world to get the cloud platforms and services they need. Brocade has been part of the OpenStack community for some time now, but Brocade reinforced that presence with the VCS launch.

Additionally, Brocade announced the delivery of a fibre channel blueprint for storage networking on OpenStack to enable customers to ensure investments in mission-critical fibre channel storage area networks  (SANs) are protected as they are moved to cloud architectures.

Brocade VCS is now available as part of the OpenStack Grizzly release and is undergoing certification for the Rackspace Private Cloud.

For channel partners and cloud services providers (CSPs), OpenStack could provide a single standard for standing up cloud services -- whether on-premises or via a public cloud. In theory, customer workloads can be easily transitioned between those private and public OpenStack clouds. The recent OpenStack summit in Portand, Ore., included multiple OpenStack customer case studies -- involving Best Buy, Comcast and more -- which suggests the open source platform is maturing quickly.