I have a confession: I believe in OpenStack -- the open source cloud platform. But I'm not suggesting that it will dominate cloud computing. Similar to how the Linux industry evolved to support multiple distributions (Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, etc.), I believe the cloud computing industry will support many open source options -- OpenStack, Citrix CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and additional options from Red Hat, VMware and so on.
But this week, most of the open source noise involves the OpenStack Design Summit and Conference (April 16-20, San Francisco). Just in time for the event, Rackspace has launched its own next-generation cloud powered by OpenStack. And Rackspace isn't alone.
More than 20 different technology companies have reached out to Talkin' Cloud in recent days, seeking to host media briefings at the OpenStack event. My OpenStack conversations will include everyone from IT industry giants (Hewlett-Packard) to storage specialists like Nexenta.
Still, Citrix has promised to launch similar CloudStack design summits and conferences. And you can bet VMware's VMworld 2012 conference (Aug. 27-30, San Francisco) will include deep Cloud Foundry information. While Red Hat Summit (June 26-29, Boston) will certainly promote CloudForms and OpenShift.
There are times when I think big cloud industry initiatives (like OpenStack) and big vendors (like VMware) will put the squeeze on cloud upstarts (like Eucalyptus).
But I need to constantly remind myself: It's still very early in the cloud computing market.
Sure, Salesforce.com and other cloud computing companies have been around for more than a decade. But the next generation of the cloud is just getting started. Most service providers are still evaluating software platforms for launching or managing IaaS, PaaS and SaaS offerings.
So when you read the headlines about OpenStack vs. CloudStack or OpenStack vs. Eucalyptus, remember this: Journalists and bloggers have been writing about Red Hat vs. SUSE vs. Ubuntu (and other Linux distributions) for a decade.
But often, it's not a winner-take-all discussion. Just like in the Linux industry, there's plenty of room in the cloud market for multiple open source options.