infoTECH Feature

December 27, 2013

OpenStack Makes China Move

OpenStack has a bigger cloud footprint in China thanks to a service from China Unicom dubbed Wo-Cloud. Besides cloud services, Wo-Cloud, now on version 2, also offers big data, storage, SaaS (News - Alert), and hosting.

The company is aiming the cloud at software service providers, enterprises and the government.

“China Unicom will rely on its advantages in network resources, infrastructure, mobile internet technology, scope of customers, and dedicated service,” China Unicom president, Lu Yimin said in a statement. “China Unicom will focus on IaaS- and PaaS-level products for 3G, broadband, and public customers by creating a public service cloud.”

The updated cloud service is just the beginning. The company plans to continue investing in building out its cloud, especially in the area of operations management. For foreign companies, the best way to get into China is through partnerships, which is just what Amazon and Microsoft have recently done.

Ripe for Picking

According to Forrester (News - Alert) Research, China is one of the top five countries when it comes to the expansion of e-commerce, a technology largely driven by the cloud. Other ready countries include the US, UK, Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile the overall Chinese public cloud market is in its infancy compared to the US and other Western industrialized democracies.

“Cloud has come into trial and implementation phase from the initial recognition phase in China. Some metropolitan cities in PRC are trying to build up cloud datacenters and enrich various service types on the cloud platform to improve their own investment environment from the government side. Under such circumstances, public cloud was triggered and is entering into another era with more rapid growth,” a recent report from IDC (News - Alert) said. “Government is expected to adopt more aggressive measures to introduce more enterprises to leverage the infrastructure. In addition to public cloud, private cloud is expanding among enterprises. Virtualization, as one of the most important technologies, in private cloud is continuously adopted.”

China itself admits the market today is tiny, but expects some serious growing up. Last year the public cloud service market hit $561.6 million, which was up a whopping 73 percent form 2011. By the end of this year the overall market should be around $1 billlion, according to China Information Industry Net (CNII).

OpenStack Momentum

When it comes to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platforms, OpenStack is on a roll, as a full 84 of those recently surveyed plan to use OpenStack.

The research, sponsored by Red Hat (News - Alert) and performed by IDG Connect, shows that most enterprise IT shops think OpenStack will be part of their infrastructure at some point in the future. This is according to the “2013 Path to an OpenStack-Powered Cloud” report which surveyed 200 IT decision makers.

“The survey findings offer a clear indication that OpenStack is quickly becoming a reality for many IT organizations, and can serve as a viable cloud infrastructure backbone for private cloud,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization, Red Hat. “The survey shows that business leaders understand that OpenStack can bring improved visibility, speed, flexibility, and agility to the private cloud. As these organizations move to OpenStack-powered clouds, they are looking to IT industry leaders to deliver enterprise-class OpenStack by offering a normalized lifecycle, training and support, and a broad ecosystem of partners and OpenStack-certified solutions that will make their journey seamless.”

OpenStack is based on the Apache software license and is of course free. The tool is supported by a who’s who of tech companies including AT&T, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, NetApp, Rackspace (News - Alert), Red Hat and VMware, among many others including new recruit F5. OpenStack, managed by the year-plus-old OpenStack Foundation, is a complex series of software and services that handle storage, can pool processing, and control the network infrastructure.

These tools are aimed at IT, developers, vendors and of course service providers. The platform supports both private and public clouds.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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