Battle Lines Drawn – Linux and Cloud Computing – SUSE Annnounces Joining OpenStack

If you are older, like me, you remember the major technology battles in markets like ERP, relational database, and UNIX (you know – the thing people used before Linux).  But that was then. Now the big battle is in “cloud computing” and it appears the major Linux vendors are drawing battle lines.

In one corner:  OpenStack boasts 128 companies and 1644 people behind their open source cloud computing solution. This week, SUSE announced becoming a member of the OpenStack movement. OpenStack has Rackspace, NASA, and Ubuntu (Canonical) already behind it.

In the other corner:  Red Hat  is developing their own cloud computing standards with:

a) CloudForms at their Iaas, or infrastructure as a service.
b) OpenShift as their PaaS, or platform as a service
c) A network of “Red Hat Certified Cloud Providers”. Amazon EC2 is a Red Hat Certified Public Cloud.
d) Gluster (being acquired by Red Hat) is an open source storage solution

This, of course, simplifies the playing field. Linux vendors are only a small player in the cloud computing market.  These days everyone seems to have their own could computing solution. The question I’m asking is this:

Is cloud computing vital to the major Linux vendors?

Consider this:  Big money is being bet on cloud computing. Just consider the money the big players are pouring into the cloud computing market in the form of acquisitions.  This week Oracle just bought cloud-based customer management software vendor RightNow Technologies, Inc. for $1.5 billion.  Here are some other cloud computing acquisitions in 2010-2011:

– CA busy 3Tera, Nimsoft, and 4Base technolgies
– buys Heroku
– Cisco buys LineSider Technologies
– HP buys Stratavista
– IBM Buys Cast Iron Systems
– Red Hat acqures Makara, and Gluster
– Google snaps up DocVerse
– Dell acquires Boomi
– Acer buys iGware
– VMware (EMC) acquires Mozy
– Citrix Systems buys

Right now, it looks like Linux vendors need to have a viable, competitive cloud computing solution in order to remain competitive. My reaction to this week’s news on SUSE joining Canonical and the OpenStack gang:  Will Red Hat be able to stand alone?

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