OpenStack Marketplace Opens Up Cloud Ecosystem

There are a lot of different OpenStack cloud technology vendors, training options and compatible drivers, and now there is a place to find them all.

ATLANTA—The OpenStack Foundation today announced the official debut of the OpenStack Marketplace as a source to help organizations navigate the increasingly complex world of OpenStack cloud technologies.

The announcement came during the OpenStack Summit running May 12-16 here. The OpenStack Marketplace is the continuation of multiple efforts to help the open-source cloud platform grow its market share. In September 2013, the OpenStack Foundation announced the Training Marketplace, which is now being integrated into the larger OpenStack Marketplace offering.

The new Marketplace includes multiple categories based on an organization's consumption model for cloud services, Johnathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, explained to eWEEK. Those categories include infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) vendors, OpenStack distributions, consultants, training and compatible drivers.

The Marketplace isn't just a simple listing of services and vendors either. There are multiple degrees of technical qualification in the initial iteration of the marketplace, with more to come.

The OpenStack Foundation owns the OpenStack trademark, which is a key control point, Mark Collier, chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation, told eWEEK. Organizations that wish to use the name "OpenStack" as part of their product or service need to sign an agreement with the OpenStack Foundation. For OpenStack IaaS and distribution vendors, there is an ongoing effort known as "Defcore," which is aiming to provide a baseline set of requirements that define what actually constitutes a compatible OpenStack cloud platform.

Collier noted that much of the information that is in the OpenStack Marketplace already existed "somewhere"; however, it was never easily accessible and assembled in a single location. A key goal of the Marketplace effort, he said, is to accelerate OpenStack adoption by making it easier for organizations to find technologies and vendors.

One of the biggest challenges for any type of technology platform is driver compatibility. While there are lots of different OpenStack distributions, there are even more third-party hardware and software solutions that can plug into OpenStack with a driver. Back in February, Mirantis, which is a leading OpenStack contributing software vendor, announced a new effort to identify and test compatibility of drivers for OpenStack.

Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis, told eWEEK that the driver compatibility project is technically known as driverlog. The information for driverlog is available both in the OpenStack Marketplace as well as Mirantis' OpenStack statistics site known as Stackalytics.

With driverlog, there is now a peer review process for managing information about drivers, Renski explained. He added that the mechanism for peer review is similar to how code reviews are done in OpenStack overall, giving the process a degree of rigor.

Going a step further, the plan is to have driverlog information fully verified as part of the OpenStack continuous integration build process. What that means is that as OpenStack itself is built, drivers will be tested in an integrated way to make sure everything works together.

"This is a completely open-community-driven approach to ensure vendors have their solutions work with OpenStack and we're exposing the details of what 'working' means," Renski said.

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.