Amazon Web Services can’t match our global data centre footprint, says OpenStack COO

OpenStack chief operating officer Mark Collier has taken aim at ‘monolithic’ public cloud provider Amazon Web Services, claiming it is unable to meet enterprise customer demand for localised data centre capacity.

Addressing delegates at OpenStack Summit in Paris, Collier said that the network of operators running its open source cloud management software was more comprehensive than that of its rival.

This is despite AWS' announcement of a second European data centre in Germany last month in order to address data sovereignty demands, expanding on its Irish facility.

“You might say they have a lot of capacity, that they are in every region of the world. But if that capacity is not in the country that you need, then it is not really capacity,” he said

“If you have a  cloud in France and somebody comes to you and says ‘don’t worry, I have got one in Germany’, then that claim is a little bit suspect and it is not really capacity. It is audacity to tell you that that is good enough for you, and that they have it figured out.”

“That is alright if you need the technology they have and you are in Germany, but if you need the technology and you are in France, it might not be enough.’

He added: “We have multiple clouds in Germany, multiple clouds in France, multiple clouds in the UK, and in many other regions of the world such as Mexico - that is pretty exciting.”

He added that, if private clouds running OpenStack are entered into the equation, uptake is even more pervasive geographically.

Collier went on to say that, despite AWS’ clear dominance in the public cloud market in the past, the individual demands of customers means that it is no longer a one-horse race.

“Amazon is certainly impressive, but I think that one provider is not going to be enough,” he said, adding that many will want the benefits of the cloud, but in their own data centre.

“This is a very common model for cloud computing and OpenStack is one of the ways to do that. It is not a surprise that everyone is going to have a slightly different cloud strategy because it affects every business slightly differently.

“There is not going to be one cloud strategy that is gong to work for everybody, or one cloud provider that is going to work for everybody.”

As for OpenStack itself, he said that the technology developed within its community would not be immune to what he describes as a wider trend towards distribution of power within the industry.

“I believe that if we look forward a couple of years, and we think about where OpenStack is going to evolve to, it as a technology will become more distributed,” said Collier.

“There are a lot of discussions about how we can make it easier for our users to mix and match and compose different services, made up of different OpenStack projects.We see strong API contracts, and more emphasis on how individual components can be mixed to meet the needs of different people.

"At the end of the day, OpenStack is not trying to be a monolith any more than anyone else if we want to be on the right side of history. We should be thinking about ourselves as distributed all the way down.”

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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