Dell, Canonical Deliver OpenStack Cloud Abroad

Dell introduces its Cloud Solution at the WorldHostingDays conference in Germany. Photo: Courtesy of Canonical.

With an eye toward easing the deployment of private clouds, Dell said this week at the WorldHostingDays conference in Germany that it had partnered with Ubuntu Linux maker Canonical to deliver its Cloud Solution product in Britain, Germany and China.

The product, based on OpenStack-based software and mated with Dell’s servers, services, and its open-source deployment framework, Crowbar, has been available in the U.S. since last year. This is the offering’s first overseas trip.

Canonical’s Martin Stadtler writes at the company’s blog: “We know that when you’re building private clouds, you want access to a full feature set and the confidence that vendor support provides. With Dell’s OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, users of Ubuntu Server 12.04 Long Term Support (LTS) will be able to take advantage of the cost savings and flexibility of the open-source cloud, without the risk.”

“We have more than two years’ experience of bringing up, deploying and testing OpenStack clouds, in fact, most major public Openstack clouds are built on Ubuntu — for the simple reason that Ubuntu and OpenStack were built to work together,” Stadtler writes.

Built with the latest Linux and OpenStack versions, Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS is also undergoing “rigorous” integration and quality testing by OpenStack. “So a Dell OpenStack Cloud customer can deploy the best open source technologies with confidence,” he wrote.

The push toward private clouds seems strong. Even the public cloud giant Amazon said today it had partnered with Eucalyptus Systems to allow integration of its Amazon Web Services offerings with a the company’s private Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) product.

What does Ubuntu and OpenStack look like to businesses in the cloud? Is it turnkey and appliance-worthy?

Dell’s Andy Cash told Britain’s CloudPro there was still some overhead. “OpenStack is still a technology stack, not an appliance. Companies will need open source skills to take this on. You could use it to stand up a cloud with as few as 20 servers, but it is dependent on a certain level of skill. We would expect to be part of a customer project, but we are not intending to run this for people,” Cash said.

Is the shift a natural maturation of the cloud, with some services coming back down to earth? But perhaps the bigger deal here is for Ubuntu in the cloud and open source. Will it deliver what businesses expect?