Like with most standards, the way the emerging OpenStack cloud management framework can be implemented is open to a fair amount of interpretation. For that reason, a lot of IT organizations implementing OpenStack in 2014 are going to need some way of determining whether what they are deploying is actually compatible with other implementations of OpenStack that they will need to interoperate with.
To address that issue, the folks at Ubuntu have created the OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL), which has created a suite of tools for testing OpenStack interoperability. According to Mark Baker, server and cloud product manager for Ubuntu, while IT organizations don’t have to implement every module within the OpenStack framework, there’s no getting away from the fact that OpenStack is not only a big undertaking, it’s complex to deploy, too.
Much work is going into simplifying OpenStack by packaging up the elements of OpenStack with various distributions, but the price of cloud freedom often winds up being a lot of manual labor that can lead to any number of errors.
OIL provides a framework supported by a number of IT infrastructure vendors that Baker says helps keep IT organizations on the proverbial OpenStack straight and narrow.
The only question now is how many IT organizations will make the OpenStack journey. While there’s a lot of enthusiasm for open standards in the cloud to reduce the dependency on proprietary management stacks that are expensive to deploy, the fact remains that many of those stacks are still a lot easier to deploy and operate.
For that reason, adoption of OpenStack in 2014 is likely to be measured, with many organizations being content to run multiple cloud management frameworks side by side until either one fully matures or the cost of deploying the other drops to the point where the benefit of having an open standard is not as compelling as it is today.