Open cloud: Creating new opportunities for enterprise storage

An open cloud must have freely accessible, open application programming interfaces (APIs), the freedom to move data between providers at will and no on-site hardware requirement, according to Alex Williams writing at TechCrunch. 

And an open cloud is federated, meaning that your organization can move data, images and files across multiple cloud environments at will.

These factors make the cloud a perfect platform for storage solutions, especially open-source storage solutions. The cost savings of open-source software and the cost efficiencies of cloud storage software create a "perfect storm" for organizations, bringing greater cost savings, better security, higher quality software and the ability for businesses to avoid vendor "lock-in," according to Williams.

Whether you’re a corporation, a service provider, a research lab, a university, a major enterprise, a midsized business or an SMB, adopting an open source storage solution and leveraging the support of a global open source community is a great option. And, of course, the issue of vendor lock-in is critical for any and all organizations. Being able to move your stored data whenever you need to, between providers on a whim is extremely important.  

It’s a major reason why most prefer using open source cloud solutions built on OpenStack. Building a community to produce a ubiquitous cloud computing platform for both private and public clouds can make a simple, scalable and feature-rich solution available to any developer, retailer, service provider, enterprise or small business who can run it.

OpenStack, which started as a collaboration between cloud provider Rackspace and NASA, is becoming increasingly popular; currently, there are around 200 companies — from start-ups to large enterprise firms and every size in between – that contribute to OpenStack. 

The code for OpenStack is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license, and is available to any developer who can run it, build upon it and/or submit updates and changes back to the project. This way, a higher quality cloud solution can evolve, without the fear of proprietary lock-in, according to the organization.

Storage needs to be secure, reliable, easily accessible and, of course, affordable. With a cloud-based, open-source storage solution, your organization can achieve all of these. And that’s good for business.

Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from data center technology to holistic veterinary care and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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