Finally: IBM drops the other OpenStack shoe

IBM(s ibm) joined the OpenStack Foundation as a big-time Platinum sponsor last April. Since that time many have wondered when it would talk up its own plans to put its public and private cloud projects on the OpenStack open-source cloud platform. Well, that time has come at this week’s IBM Pulse conference on Monday.

IBM LOGOWhile it’s hardly surprising that IBM would make use of all these open source goodies it’s been working with, the news is, as AllThingsDigital reports, a big deal. In theory this means big cloud buyers will be able to mix and match cloud workloads among and between various OpenStack providers including IBM competitor Hewlett-Packard(s hpq), Rackspace(s rax), Red Hat(s rhat) and others.

All of these players have a strong vested interest in keeping those business workloads from going to either Amazon(s amzn) Web Services the leader in public cloud or to VMware(s vmw), which is trying to parlay its in-house server virtualization dominance in the cloud.

IBM, the champion of old-school IT, has some credibility in the open-source world thanks to its embrace of (and reliance upon) Linux and because it turned over the Eclipse Java toolset it fostered to the Apache Eclipse Foundation. That latter move has become something of the preferred boilerplate for other vendor-initiated projects that end up being open sourced. IBM is no piker here.

But then again, sometimes IBM can’t help itself from being, well IBM. According to Monday’s press release, the company is driving the creation of  a “400-member strong Cloud Standards Customer Council ” to help gel the standards around cloud computing. Here’s the worry about that. Last year, when IBM and other vendors (CA, SAP, NetApp and others) launched a consortium  to develop a standard to prevent cloud lock-in, all the big names were there except for the biggest — Amazon, Rackspace(s rax) and Microsoft(S msft). That’s like hosting a professional basketball championship series without inviting the Miami Heat, the LA Clippers or Oklahoma City.

From Monday’s release it appears that the first OpenStack deliverables will be IBM Orchestrator, due later this year and SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight, due in the second quarter.

This story was updated at 11:29 a.m. PDT with more detail about IBM’s plans and links to the IBM press release and again at 2:21 p.m. PDT to correct the Eclipse Foundation reference.