About a month ago, Nimbula, a leading private cloud IaaS vendor announced that they were going to join OpenStack. With the large number of companies who have joined OpenStack – this announcement seemed a bit uninteresting. These days, everyone joins OpenStack. However, I missed the BIG NEWS. Nimbula isn’t just joining OpenStack – they’re becoming an OpenStack platform! This is a huge change in strategy, especially coming from the guys who initially championed Amazon Web Services.
Their web site details the strategy:
Nimbula’s product strategy is four-fold
- Nimbula Director becomes an OpenStack cloud: Nimbula will continue to build, deliver, and support Nimbula Director as a complete packaged cloud platform solution. In the short term, we will be adding OpenStack APIs over Nimbula Director so that we meet the customer demand of OpenStack compatibility and so that our customers can leverage the OpenStack solutions ecosystem. While there are a growing number of OpenStack distributions, Nimbula Director will continue to distinguish itself in scale, reliability, operational excellence, a modern cloud networking model, and an authorization system that models real business practices.
- Contribute: Nimbula has strong IP developed over the past few years that can be of use by the OpenStack project. We will start working right away with the OpenStack development community to identify and contribute code to improve OpenStack’s scalability, reliability, and security.
- Merge: Over time, Nimbula Director will move from just having OpenStack APIs to ultimately sharing much of the core code. This will prevent duplication of efforts and will ensure quicker pickup of new OpenStack functionality into Nimbula Director as it releases.
- Componentize: To the extent that Nimbula has functionality that we and the community decide is not part of the core of the cloud, Nimbula will separate out that functionality into modules for delivery both as part of Nimbula Director, but also as stand alone software that can work with other OpenStack distributions
This means that Nimbula will be making the full transition to an OpenStack platform competing directly against other OpenStack distributions from companies like Canonical, Cisco, RedHat, RackSpace, Piston and others. The plan states that they will wrap their current offering with the OpenStack API’s and over time swap out current functions with OpenStack functions. And like any good open source citizen, they’ll contribute back to the community.
Reading between the lines, you might jump to a couple conclusions:
1. The OpenStack community is growing at such a rapid pace that Nimbula believes they must be part of it – and ride the current.
2. They believe that they will be able to maintain enough unique intellectual property that will differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.
It’s an interesting move – and only time will tell if they’re able to ride the current and pull ahead of the OpenStackPack.