Avoiding Vendor Lock-in In the Cloud

One of the concerns organisations have of moving to the cloud is becoming locked in to a particular cloud vendor. It is refreshing to see a number of initiatives and projects that are looking to provide solutions that avoid vendor lock-in.

One project recently announced is OpenStack. Aimed at creating an open source cloud operating system, the project is based on code that RackSpace uses for its own cloud offering as well as the code that is the basis for the NASA nebula cloud. Although at an early stage, the exciting prospect offered by OpenStack is for organisations to build their own private cloud and integrate this seamlessly with other clouds – maybe from partner organisations or other public cloud vendors including RackSpace. The nearest offering to this so far has been the Eucalyptus cloud which has been built with an interface compatible with Amazon and their professional version allows the integration of private clouds with the Amazon cloud. Being able to do such similar integration with a wide choice of providers and collaborative organisations is certainly an attractive proposition.

Another initiative that takes an alternative approach to vendor lock-in is the Unified Cloud Interface project. This approach aims to create an open and standardized cloud interface to unify all vendors cloud products. An example of working with Enomaly Elastic Compute Platform and Amazon EC2 is available online here.

Whilst teaching the Cloud Computing course for Learning Tree, I get to meet a lot of people adopting or considering adopting cloud computing. Along with security, vendor lock-in is a major concern. It is also one of the concerns I discuss in detail in a white paper I put together recently. You can get a copy here. To learn about the consequences of these new initiatives and what they may mean for your organisation why not attend the Cloud Computing Course or if you are time constrained, the half day overview.


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