This week in cloud: Amazon builds up; OpenStack staffs up; Oracle updates “faux” cloud

AWS beefs up east coast presence

awslogojpegIt looks like Amazon(s amzn) is taking steps to fortify its stressed US-East data center facilities in Ashburn, Virg. The company has signed on as the anchor tenant for a new multi-million-dollar data center facility being built by Corporate Office Properties Trust,  according to  The Washington Business Journal
US-East, Amazon Web Services’ biggest and oldest data center farm is where many of its shiny new services debut before rolling out to US-West and beyond.
Amazon had no comment in the Journal’s report.

OpenStack Foundation elects 2013 board

openstacklogolongThe OpenStack Foundation wrapped up its board elections last week (preliminary results  posted here.)  with elected and appointed directors to be seated at the January 31 board meeting. And with that the OpenStack crowd is off and running into another year in which news will likely include more details of IBM’s OpenStack plans. IBM is a Platinum member of the foundation but has not yet discussed plans for its own OpenStack cloud. Stay tuned for the next OpenStack Summit in Portland, Ore. in April.
In an interview on Friday, OpenStack director Jonathan Bryce said he is thrilled with momentum on the project –which claims 750 individual code contributors. Over the past year HP made its public cloud available and he expects more news in 2013 in the networking front. Nicira, now owned by VMware(s vmw),  Midokura, Juniper Networks(s jnpr), Brocade Communications(s brcd) and Big Switch are all doing interesting work in OpenStack, he said.
I also expect new names to surface in the OpenStack context. Netflix cloud architect Adrian Cockcroft recently told me that Netflix has been talking to several OpenStack players about possible uses of its open source tools in OpenStack and Bryce said he expected OpenStack players will attend Netflix Open Source Open House next month.
As for the new OpenStack board — the tally includes many holdover board members — CERN’s Tim Bell; HP’s Monty Taylor and some new names including Lauren Sell, formerly of Rackspace but now director of marketing for the OpenStack Foundation.

When is a cloud not a cloud?

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

Oracle(s orcl) has had a complicated relationship with cloud computing dating back at least to CEO Larry Ellison’s well-documented disdain for the overuse of the term itself. (Face it, he did have a point there. Best quote:  “What do you think Google(s goog) runs on? Water vapor?) In the past year, Ellison has fully embraced the C-word but in a way that critics say doesn’t truly adopt cloud principals. Pricing and licensing from Oracle, they say, remains old school.
So when Oracle unveiled new on-premises Infrastructure-as-a-Service capabilities, analyst David Linthicum took a look and declared this to be a “faux cloud.”.
In Infoworld, Linthicum, CTO of Blue Mountain Labs and a GigaOM Pro analyst, wrote:
“Unlike with a true cloud on-demand service, your monthly fee — which requires a three-year contract — covers just the hardware, its maintenance, and some degree of usage. You pay extra for the Oracle software licenses and for ‘peak’ usage (no definition or price given). It’s not the standard cloud model, in which the entire service is included with the fee.”
Oracle, like other legacy IT players — HP, IBM, Microsoft(s msft), name-your-favorite-here, have mixed agendas when it comes to cloud. They need to embrace it or risk losing business to rivals who truly “get” the model, but they also don’t like the idea that cloud efficiencies mean that customers  buy less — or less expensive — hardware gear and software licenses.  As Linthicum wrote, Oracle will come under increasing pressure from Amazon, the OpenStack crowd and others but is trying to drag its old model out as long as it can.
Feature photo courtesy of  Flickr akakumo