OpenStack remains the largest and most active open source cloud computing project, Network World notes. But research from Chinese blogger Qingye "John" Jiang suggests that momentum is building for CloudStack, and interest in Eucalyptus and OpenNebula remains strong. For cloud services providers (CSPs) and consultants, it's critically important to track each of the four open source cloud platforms. Here's why.

During Q4 2012, interest in CloudStack grew faster than rival open source cloud platforms. But Jiang's data shows that:

  1. OpenStack has the largest total population, followed by Eucalyptus, CloudStack, and OpenNebula;
  2. OpenStack has the largest active population during the past quarter, followed by CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and OpenNebula;
  3. OpenStack has the largest active population during the past month, followed by CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and OpenNebula.

Partner Views

Those findings are important to CSPs and consultants that are selecting cloud platforms upon which to build services. OpenStack has been the poster child for open source cloud computing for more than a year now but the bandwagon has some challenges.

Dell, for one, says OpenStack lacks maturity and the hardware giant won't launch its public cloud (based on OpenStack) for roughly a year. Dell also alleges that Hewlett-Packard's own public cloud uses a "dramatically forked" version of OpenStack containing proprietary HP technology. 

Still, OpenStack consulting opportunities seem to be emerging rapidly. Mirantis, for instance, has emeged as the largest OpenStack systems integrator. The company's clientele apparently includes Cisco, Dell, GE, Agilent, NASA, HP, AT&T, The Gap, Axcient and Nexenta.

Moreover, Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) continues to see OpenStack progress. CTO John Engates recently offered his perspectives -- including some OpenStack milestones -- to ZDnet.

Here Comes CloudStack

Meanwhile, it has been awhile since I've heard from the CloudStack community. But the CloudStack chatter will likely grow very loud in February during ApacheCon NA 2013, in Portland, Ore. At that conference:

  • Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) Open Source Cloud Computing Evangelist Joe Brockmeier is expected to discuss the basics of Apache CloudStack; and
  • Citrix Architect Chiradeep Vittal is set to discuss software-defined networking in Apache CloudStack.

Looking further down the road, Portland will also host the OpenStack Summit 2013 on April 15-18.

We'll be watching to see if CSPs and software developers adjust their loyalties before, during and after each conference.