It’s been a few weeks since I had an email from someone from within the OpenStack community. Perhaps open source people take an extended vacation or something. Either way things are starting rolling again and first up is Metacloud who is announcing a hosted private cloud that they’ve built using OpenStack. Metacloud’s original business was to be an OpenStack service provider – layering OpenStack on top of organizations’ existing hardware. When they first announced their commercial offering I was impressed that they were taking a full-service perspective on the product. As I said at the time:
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The interesting thing for me about Metacloud is that they’re unashamedly a service-based offering. While many cloud companies try and wrap what they do up in a product skin, the reality with an open source cloud stack like OpenStack is that the differentiator is service It’s an approach long taken by Rackspace although arguably that company, with it’s varying different areas of focus, is less able to deliver upon it than a smaller, more nimble player like Metacloud.
Metacloud is today launching a hosted private cloud – a turn-key solution that bundles Metacloud’s own flavor of OpenStack alongside support and full hardware provision. Metacloud is rolling out some top shelf specs for the hosting aspects of this product – it runs on a fully dedicated environment, built within multi-tenant infrastructure. It comes with redundant block storage, SSD options, high-spec hardware and international hosting options.
From Metacloud’s perspective, this move makes sense. Says Steve Curry, co-founder and president:
Metacloud’s Hosted Private Cloud is a natural extension of our current on-premises offering. It leverages the same enhanced version of OpenStack that we’ve deployed for our on-prem clients, and it is supported by the same team of accomplished cloud engineers. The difference is that Hosted Private Cloud allows you to access the versatility and power of OpenStack without having to own a single server–or maintain your own data center. Everything you need is included. Just pick a location, then grow when you need to
Unfortunately for customers and the general public, it just increases the mind-bending confusion that is the OpenStack ecosystem – there are so many players, all doing similar product offerings that it really is tricky to see valid differentiation between them all.
That said, there are less vendors that offer a consistent on-premises and hosted OpenStack offering and this aspect of Metacloud’s news has some legs – having the ability to obtain a truly consistent operating environment is vaguely compelling. That said, the entire notion of “hybrid cloud” has somewhat lost vogue these days as people focus more on a heterogeneous multi-cloud future that is likely coming for enterprises.
There’s lots of OpenStack players and many have gained extensive funding. I suspect there are some nervous investors pushing various players to find ways to convert their ideas into meaningful revenue – this announcement sounds like one of those attempts. Time will tell how successful it proves to be.