Cloudscaling, HP update their OpenStack clouds

In dueling announcements Monday, Cloudscaling and Hewlett-Packard(s hpq) outlined advances to their respective OpenStack offerings.

San Francisco-based Cloudscaling is one of the new-look OpenStack cloud providers. Unlike HP(s hpq), IBM(s ibm), Red Hat(s rhat) and even Rackspace(s rax), it doesn’t have to retrofit OpenStack into its legacy hardware or software and instead can focus on new applications and workloads.

On Monday, Cloudscaling said it’s teaming up with Juniper(s jnpr) Networks and will use that company’s Virtual Network Control to enable a new Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) feature that maps to VPCs in Amazon’s(s amzn) public cloud. Cloudscaling said its VPC can isolate elastic cloud resources from the outside world “without sacrificing the core benefits of elastic clouds.” Juniper and Cloudscaling will also work together to deploy Cloudscaling’s Open Cloud System 2.5 in customer accounts.

Cloudscaling CEO Michael Grant.

Cloudscaling CEO Michael Grant.

The advantage of partnering with Juniper is that the company — by virtue of its acquisition of Contrail Networks — is moving into the software-defined networking market, Cloudscaling CEO Michael Grant said in an interview. SDN support means companies can rely on standard, inexpensive hardware and reconfigure it as needed in software.

Cloudscaling is much smaller than many of its OpenStack colleagues/competitors and it made waves by announcing support for not only AWS APIs but with Google(s goog) Compute Engine APIs as well — a bet that GCE, when it comes out of preview mode, will become the second largest public cloud available, Grant said. Fidelity with key AWS services is crucial — hence the new VPC capability — because the goal is to let customers move workloads and data up into the biggest of the big public cloud infrastructure with minimal muss and fuss. Oh, and bring it back down again, as needed.

Hewlett-Packard has likewise made a big bet on OpenStack and this week said it has enabled HP CloudSystem, its private cloud, to “burst” workloads into other clouds. The Register has a more in-depth look here. Also by virtue of its support for the latest Openstack’s “Grizzly” release, OpenStack customers can use HP’s 3Par virtual storage. One key benefit of Grizzly is that it lets companies  mix and match storage subsystems from different vendors and manage them from one console.

With so many OpenStack clouds, what about interop?

Now that there are so many OpenStack clouds coming on line, the OpenStack Foundation and its members will have to address nagging concerns about interoperability between the various open source clouds.

The OpenStack challenge is to offer a common denominator of interoperable technology that also acts as a foundation for higher-level services that vendors can provide.

As Cloudscaling CTO (and OpenStack Foundation board member) Randy Bias explained recently: “The foundation needs to put a stamp on OpenStack — something like SQL 92  in the database world. Every [major relational] database — SQL Server(s msft), Oracle(s orcl), MySQL, runs that set of commands but then they diverge.The foundation’s intention in the short term is to put a stake in the ground around that baseline interop.”