Cloud Computing: Deploying Open-Source Cloud Systems: 5 Pros and 5 Cons

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-07-26 Print this article Print
Pro No. 1: Flexibility

Pro No. 1: Flexibility

By definition, open-source clouds offer a higher degree of flexibility than their proprietary rivals. Rather than simply reading manuals or attending training sessions, customers can read and modify the code itself and participate in various projects by contributing software code, starting a related open-source project, providing documentation or holding free seminars. Interacting and learning from the broader community provides customers more flexibility in their cloud designs and provides innovative internal or external offerings.
Open-source cloud frameworks have made a major splash in recent months with big players such as Rackspace/NASA, Hewlett-Packard, VMware and Citrix backing major open-source cloud initiatives like OpenStack and CloudStack. As these major vendors continue to build out their public cloud infrastructure to battle with the incumbent services leader, Amazon Web Services, there are some underlying questions about whether the same technologies are ready for the enterprise. After all, open-source cloud system deployments are only a few years old, without a lot of use cases in production at this time. Although a number of first-mover-type enterprises—such as telecoms, financial services providers, scientific laboratories and media companies—are already comfortable with the alternative open-source cloud systems, not many smaller and midrange companies know much about them. In an effort to bring our readers a balanced view of this topic, eWEEK has assembled this slide show based on information from Floyd Strimling, technical evangelist at Austin, Texas-based Zenoss—a provider of unified IT operations software for physical, virtual and cloud-based IT infrastructure, to examine the pros and cons of deploying an open-source cloud for an enterprise of any size.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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