Do OpenStack clouds need "bootstrapping"?

Previously famed as a darling of the ‘box-shifting desktop’ market, Dell appears to be putting its boldest foot forward yet in the cloud solution space. This week sees the company launch what the company says is the “first available” cloud solution offering based on the OpenStack platform.

The launch of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution is being presented as a major play on the road to further advancing the adoption of the OpenStack open source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) technology.

Dell says its branded OpenStack Cloud Solution integrates the OpenStack cloud operating system, cloud-optimised Dell PowerEdge C servers, the Dell-developed “Crowbar” OpenStack installer and services from Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builders.

So does an open source cloud platform need so-called “bootstrapping” from the likes of Rackspace and Dell to make it fit and proper?


“Service providers and enterprises wanting to build a highly scalable, flexible cloud infrastructure can now deploy OpenStack-based clouds more quickly and confidently with the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution and services from Rackspace Cloud Builders,” said Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace Cloud Builders.

“Dell is an active participant in the OpenStack community because it brings our customers open APIs, capable practices for cloud operations, and affordable infrastructure. Utilising and integrating the efficiencies of the PowerEdge C line with optimised software and tailored services, the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution enables users to go from unboxing servers to running a usable OpenStack cloud in mere hours,” said Mark Linebaugh, vice president of Dell’s next generation computing solutions division.

Looking for further comment on this subject, Mark Collier vice president of marketing and business development for Rackspace Cloud Builders has gone on the record (speaking to The Register) to say that, “The one thing we’ve heard [from businesses] is that people need a commercial entity to back an open source project. Free and open source is great and all, but they want someone they call when they run into problems. Rackspace is the natural company to do that.”

Is this truly open open source? Or is this open source wrapped up as flexibility at the infrastructure level with commercially charged services coming soon after?

A cloud in sheep’s clothing?