Saturday, October 19, 2013

The last twelve months

Last year, to the day, I wrote a post on my concerns on OpenStack and stated that in my opinion the next twelve months were critical.

Well, that twelve months is up. 

I don't see a benevolent dictator or a flourishing market of competitive providers with easy switching between them at scale. I do see a collective prisoner dilemma, a refocus on private cloud (a future niche) and capitulation in the public space with Amazon and Google gaining speed.

Back in October '12, I said

"I would like to see Open Stack succeed, there are many talented people (and friends involved). But I have my doubts because I feel it has wasted an opportunity, it has been very poorly led in my view despite its success in marketing."

Well, my view is that this project is not going to create the competitive public market we all hoped for back in 2010. There are outside chances it will be relevant due to the work of +Rick Clark+Randy Bias and others but overall despite the claims of Mirantis that OpenStack will dominant everything and +Ben Kepes that is has thrown of its "dead duck" moniker - I don't buy it.

I'm fairly convinced that a number of companies will make a decent exit price around OpenStack, that a number of VMware based virtual data centres will come under pressure or be replaced by OpenStack . I'm sure some will claim that as success.

However, the grand idea was for a a future of public providers competing in a market with semantic interoperability based around an open source technology stack. Making such a grand idea happen needed more than just open source but good strategic play from co-option to massive scale investment. That hasn't happened.

Instead, what we're likely to see is consolidation of a market to Google, AWS and a few others. Fortunately, there will be a slow burn model around CloudStack / Eucalyptus and some groups within OpenStack to create a future more competitive market around open source but this will take considerable time. We're back into the old slog that open source found itself in the server market.

It didn't have to be this way.

I've got high hopes for Cloud Foundry to create a competitive market at the platform space around open source. I would wish that companies rather than trying to introduce alternative approaches which blur the market in order to support their dying past business models would just adopt. I expect them to however argue that differentiation on a commodity is key and the same old nonsense be repeated again. 

I would strongly urge people to get behind Cloud Foundry and ignore the rest. No thank you Mirantis, OpenStack has messed up one vision of competitive markets - I'd rather not see it mess up another.