3 questions for Angel Diaz on OpenStack and the open cloud

This week the open source cloud community has convened at the OpenStack Design Summit in Portland to further what is becoming the world’s largest open source project—embodied in its latest release, Grizzly.

IBM is proud to be an active member of the OpenStack community and would like this opportunity to congratulate all of its contributors both on the success of Grizzly and on the rapid growth of the community. As you may know, IBM has been a very involved in OpenStack, has dedicated hundreds of developers on related open cloud projects, and most importantly — has chosen to build all of its cloud offerings on an open cloud architecture that is based on OpenStack.

We caught up with Angel Diaz – the VP who leads IBM’s OpenStack efforts and overall work on open source software & standards — prior to his speaking opportunity at the Summit. We were able to get his thoughts going into the event around a few key aspects of the open cloud movement and what to expect going forward:

1) Do you see OpenStack as a game-changer for businesses?

Absolutely. I’d argue that the importance of the open cloud will compare to and even rival the impact of the Internet has had on business and society.

Why? Well, the potential for change brought by cloud interoperability goes well beyond cloud. If you think about it, cloud is becoming the underpinning of the next generation of hybrid architectures, enabling innovation in Mobile, Big Data and Social.  Having an open enterprise grade cloud will enable new business transformations around the nexus of these areas.

We have only scratched the surface to achieve things like broad-based analytical insights in healthcare, tapping social networks for global intelligent ecosystems and using M2M data to get real-time status from nature, industry and our homes. Cloud serves as the medium we’ve been looking for to drive the next era of computing—but only if it’s open.  Interoperability across infrastructures, across platforms, and across workloads, is changing the game, and OpenStack is at the heart of this.

2) Why do you think OpenStack is generating such excitement?

I think there’s excitement in the tech community that we’re on the cusp of something new and impactful, a true open cloud movement. With OpenStack’s success comes greater clarity for everyone in the cloud space.

Enterprise clients want to know they are not going to be stuck in a dead-end cloud. This has been cloud’s so-called elephant in the room for years. Clients have a lot more confidence in cloud knowing that the tech industry is proactively working and prioritizing data portability and interoperability.

In addition, the venture capital community, ISVs and business partners can now see that their investments in tech will have a longer and clearer path in the future and can plan on OpenStack’s progress. A commitment to openness allows the ecosystem to unleash “the art of the possible.”

For IBM, we see our open cloud vision coming to fruition— having an open public, private and hybrid offerings for our clients.

3) From your perspective, what are the next steps for an open cloud and OpenStack specifically?

OpenStack has hit many key milestones this year such as the creation of its governing foundation and tremendous growth in membership and contributions. Even so, the community has a lot of work in front of us. We need to consistently build out functionality in key areas such as cloud networking and security for Havana. We’ll continue our focus on driving OpenStack globally.

IBM helped develop code for the crowd-sourced translation of OpenStack. IBM is also working on incubating projects Heat for cloud application orchestration and Ceilometer for resource monitoring and metering.

As a longer term vision, we, as part of the community, recognize the need to continue extending the reach of OpenStack by leveraging related open source projects. For example, extending the reach of OpenStack to mobile and social applications by using packages such as OpenSocial and methods of interaction based on HTML 5 and CSS, will allow clients to better integrate their cloud delivery into the holistic development paradigm emerging from modern devops methodologies. This kind of project will help us reach that nexus of Social, Mobile and Big Data.

In the big picture, IBM is deeply invested in the growth and functionality of OpenStack and will continue to work for its success.

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