Dell Ditches Public Cloud

Dell Ditches Public CloudDell has announced in a press release that it will be moving from a public cloud platform to selling cloud services through partners. This is a bit surprising – you may remember our report on OpenStack hosting, listing Dell as one of its major partners. However, it has been confirmed.

The company has been talking all year about their plans to build a public cloud relying on the OpenStack platform, so what's changed their minds?

The OpenStack Project

It's true that the OpenStack project has experienced its share of ups and downs. It was reported unofficially that Dell was testing it in beta, but some wondered if it was in danger of being cancelled altogether after some employees working on the OpenStack project left the company.

A cloud official with Dell, in a statement earlier this year, said that the OpenStack project still had a ways to go before it was ready, probably until the end of 2013. Dell has been part of the OpenStack project development for two years now.

Acquisitions To Blame?

Another kink in the works: Dell bought Enstratius, a company that manages resources across multiple cloud platforms, and also partnered with OnApp, allowing a platform just for companies to launch their own public cloud services. These factors, coupled with the fact key employees have left the company altogether, has people wondering about their future with the OpenStack project.

It seems that rather than providing the public cloud platform, they'll be putting it off on partner companies such as ScaleMatrix, ZeroLag, and Joyent.

The Partners

Are any of these companies built on the OpenStack platform? ScaleMatrix does offer OpenStack hosting, but it's a private cloud option rather than a public cloud like AWS. ZeroLag is VMware-based, and Joyent operates a proprietary cloud. So how are these partner companies going to provide public cloud services if they don't offer them in the first place?

Dell will still offer private cloud solutions that are built on the OpenStack platform, but will not offer any public cloud services directly.

Dell Ditches Public Cloud: Speculation

Experts don't see this as a blow to OpenStack. The question remains: why isn't Dell jumping on the public cloud concept? With AWS dominating the market, it's tough for other hosting providers to compete against them. Dell's financial issues are well-known, so it's assumed that they just can't financially back the building of a public cloud platform that's big and powerful enough to compete.

We'll have to wait and see what this means for the future of OpenStack and public cloud hosting in general.

Do you have any input regarding this topic? Do you think anyone will be able to compete against Amazon when it comes to a public cloud offering?

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