Open source programming isn't a niche territory anymore and definitely not with the cloud. OpenStack is becoming a more and more popular choice for a public cloud. Major companies like IBM and HP have jumped on board, and large businesses like Best Buy and Hubspot have adopted. But where does this leave managed service providers (MSPs)?
Smaller MSPs should have some knowledge of OpenStack, but it's not as key. It's more important if they plug into clouds that are run by IBM, Rackspace, and other adopters; however, focusing on applications that run atop OpenStack will be vital. Small MSPs might benefit if one of their client services is standing up private clouds.
Larger MSPs, on the other hand, have plenty to gain from more intimate knowledge of OpenStack. Whether they focus on standing up their own clouds or whether they want to manage and deploy private clouds for their clients, OpenStack offers a variety of possibilities.
Due to the bare bones nature of OpenStack, MSPs can use its software and tools to take an empty data center and make a full-functioning cloud extremely fast. There are already dozens of useful management and deployment tools developed for the platform. Due to the evolving nature of open source code, over time, the options will only increase.
Perhaps the best way to explain why MSPs need to keep an eye on OpenStack is to showcase HubSpot's success with the platform. HubSpot says that OpenStack makes moving workloads between public and private clouds much easier. With OpenStack, applications see little to no change in the way they run based on whether they're deployed on a private or public system.
That alone gives MSPs a reason to pay attention, especially considering the rate at which open source platforms evolve. What will the future hold for OpenStack? Only time can tell, but it's looking up.