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A truly open cloud has to be open source, says OpenNebula

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There are many cloud providers who call themselves open or say that they are open-source, but most of them are dependent on a single large vendor or series of vendors, Open Nebula co-founder and CEO Ignacio Llorente told attendees at GigaOM’s Structure Europe conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Unlike these other competitors — such as OpenStack, which was started by Rackspace — Llorente said that OpenNebula is truly open, and relies on a community of users to develop and contribute to the codebase, which is used to run data centers.

Although some large companies such as Research In Motion and China Mobile also contribute to OpenNebula, they don’t determine the future of the service, Llorente said. Each one develops their own plugins or other systems for integrating with their infrastructure and then in many cases they contribute those features or additions back to OpenNebula — RIM, for example, recently gave the Carina environment manager it developed back to the open-source project so that others could make use of it.

Llorente said that OpenNebula — which was funded initially by European infrastructure grants — doesn’t get as much attention as OpenStack because it doesn’t spend money on marketing, and because it isn’t necessarily trying to recruit new customers for the service. “We serve our users, we don’t serve vendors,” he said. “Our contributors are the users of the technology, and they contribute new features they develop to the project, but they are not developers who have been hired by a vendor.”

Llorente said that RIM is using OpenNebula to help run its network operation centers, and China Mobile is building its own elastic-compute system using the open-source technology.

Check out the rest of our Structure Europe 2012 live coverage here, and a video recording of the session follows below.

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