Is OpenStack Cloud Interoperability a Myth?

VIDEO: Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis, argues that interoperability doesn't start at the infrastructure layer. It starts with applications, he said.

BARCELONA—A keynote highlight on Oct. 26 at the OpenStack Summit here was a live, onstage demonstration with 16 OpenStack vendors, all showing a degree of interoperability. The demonstration was part of an interoperability challenge, though, according to Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis and member of the OpenStack board of directors, the infrastructure layer is not necessarily the right place to emphasize interoperability.

Participants in the interoperability challenge included AT&T, Canonical, Cisco, DreamHost, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Linaro, Mirantis, OSIC, OVH, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Renski argued that true and complete interoperability across OpenStack clouds really shouldn't be where the emphasis for interoperability is placed.

"Even across Mirantis-powered OpenStack clouds like AT&T and the Volkswagen cloud, they are both based on the same distribution, but the underlying reference architectures are dramatically different," Renski said. "So Volkswagen can't throw something at AT&T and it will just work."

Renski added that the whole notion of building everything in OpenStack to be interoperable is marketing nonsense. That said, while infrastructure doesn't need to be interoperable, applications can be built to be interoperable across different cloud deployments.

"Applications can be designed to be interoperable, but what's the point of trying to make infrastructure interoperable?" Renski said. "Interoperability is solved from the application down, not from the infrastructure up."

Watch the video interview with Boris Renski below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.