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OpenStack Cloud Showcased by Dell, Equinix and Rackspace

Three vendors -- Dell, Equinix and Rackspace -- hope to interest enterprises and service providers in the open source OpenStack cloud platform.

To that end, the vendors today launched a demo of the OpenStack environment. It represents the first implementation of geographically dispersed datacenters running OpenStack. The next step, after demonstrating the platform, will be engaging in proof-of-concept tests using the platform.

The OpenStack cloud operating system provides compute and storage resources. It originated from code developed by Rackspace and NASA, which built the NASA Nebula Cloud Computing Platform. With 50 organizations now contributing to the effort, OpenStack is aimed at building large scalable public and private clouds. With OpenStack, customers can run apps in their datacenters and through public cloud providers and then shift workloads as desired.

"As new customers are gaining interest about OpenStack, we want to show them a demonstration environment of what's possible with an OpenStack deployment," said Lou Najdzin, Equinix director of global cloud computing and IT services. "Once they get comfortable with the demonstration environment, they would then move to a proof of concept with the three parties."

The demos will be hosted in the Equinix International Business Exchange in Silicon Valley and Ashburn, Va., and the Rackspace datacenter in Chicago. Equinix plans to have it available in datacenters in Europe and Asia during the next quarter.

Dell will be providing its PowerEdge C servers. Barton George, Dell's cloud computing and scale-out evangelist, said that the demos will provide customers with a way they can test OpenStack without having to open themselves up to any substantial risk or investment.

"We want as many people out there adopting OpenStack on our systems as possible," George said. "So we're looking to provide complete solutions -- in this case we're providing the systems that run underneath it based on the experience we've had developing these scale-out types of systems."

Mark Collier, vice president of marketing and business development at Rackspace, emphasized that the tests will show the ability to run applications on OpenStack in multiple environments.

"One of the benefits of OpenStack is you can run it in any datacenter you want, your own, with somebody who has incredible reach like Equinix, and of course there's always the option of running at Rackspace," Collier said. "But really it's about giving the customer that choice, and wherever they want to run it, OpenStack gives them that freedom."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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