Summary:

Hitachi Data Systems, which has already contributed code to OpenStack, is now officially a corporate sponsor of the open source cloud effort.

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The OpenStack initiative has a new contributing sponsor as Hitachi Data Systems, the $4 billion-a-year storage-and-IT power, officially joins up

Michael Hay, HDS

Michael Hay, HDS

To be sure, HDS is not new to the open-source cloud effort. It’s already contributed code, including a Cinder driver to its volume storage so it can be managed within the OpenStack framework. That driver will be available in the next, Havana release of OpenStack code this fall, said Michael Hay, who is VP of product planning and chief engineer of HDS’ Information Technology Platform Division (ITPD).

That, along with work it’s done on the KVM hypervisor, ties back into HDS’s own software efforts.  HDS is a name that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle — which is ironic since it is a $4 billion arm of Hitachi, its $115-billion parent company. And since HDS CEO Jack Domme was named to the Hitachi executive committee in March, Hay says HDS’ influence at the parent company will grow.

That HDS making this move is proof of “the infamous Snowden effect,”  which is driving demand for private cloud, said Hay, referring to the Edward Snowden disclosures about NSA data collection that have worried many companies about using public cloud infrastructure provided by U.S. vendors.

HDS will be infrastructure agnostic in its private cloud push — supporting infrastructure from Microsoft, from VMware and now (officially) from OpenStack, he said.  It will not be an either-or world in private cloud, Hay said.”Some customers will run VMware technology for one aspect of their business and OpenStack for others.”

When it comes to the OpenStack community, it’s now more notable to not be involved than to be in the mix. Virtually all of the tech vendors — Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM  and Red Hat are involved and most are on the OpenStack Foundation board. The notable exceptions are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. Even VMware, is aboard, by virtue of its acquisition last year of Nicira, an OpenStack proponent. Generally, OpenStack is viewed as an open-source cloud infrastructure alternative to AWS in public cloud and VMware in private cloud.

Update: HDS will host a Google Hangout with OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier and Rackspace’s Robert Scoble to discuss the news at 12:00 P.M. PDT. 

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