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Cloud Angle: Three Open Source-Based Cloud Alternatives to OpenStack

April 24th, 2012

Maybe you’re waiting for OpenStack to mature. Maybe you’re testing OpenStack internally but want to see what else is out there. Or maybe you’re just curious. Regardless, now that we’ve taken a look at what OpenStack is up against when it comes to Amazon Web Services and VMware, here’s a look at how a few other open source projects stack up (pun very much intended).


In a relatively shameless grab for customers and developers, service provider Joyent spread flyers around the OpenStack Conference’s developer lounge, promoting a special package deal designed to appeal to those in attendance who have yet to make up their mind about cloud platforms.

Basically, Joyent is reaching out with its SmartDataCenter Adoption Program, encouraging users to take advantage of a program that would give new customers a year’s license for its SmartDataCenter private cloud platform software, a main operationsserver license and two node licenses, as well as basic-level support.

Joyent SmartDataCenter is based on the open source Joyent SmartOS cloud operating system, itself a fork of Illumos, and which Joyent has based its public cloud offerings on for the better part of a decade. Digging into SmartOS’ FAQ, it appears more than possible to use SmartOS in conjunction with an orchestration platform like CloudStack, OpenStack or Eucalyptus for a free private cloud with many of the same advantages.

Joyent’s flyer says that, compared to an OpenStack deployment, SmartDataCenter can offer the same performance with half the servers, twice the security, and a third of the cost. It’s clearly designed to appeal to those who question OpenStack’s production readiness – it’s open source-based, sort of, supports KVM for any x86 OS, and it’ll turn right on.

It’s not exactly competing in the same market as Eucalyptus, CloudStack or OpenStack. But I’m including Joyent for that same audacity in going right to the OpenStack community for new customers, for building on top of the open-source SmartOS, and for the service provider’s extraordinary claim in the flyer that “once you get up and running with a Joyent-powered cloud, you’ll want to standardize on Joyent technology.”

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