Rick Delgado feels blessed to have had a successful career in the tech industry and has recently taken a step back to pursue his passion of writing. He’s started doing freelance writing where he occasionally works with tech companies like Dell Computers. He enjoys writing about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.
It’s no secret that cloud computing has become a popular small business solution. Companies all over the world are always on the lookout for effective strategies designed to get results, essentially boosting productivity while reducing overall costs, which is what makes the cloud so desirable. Once business leaders were able to get past their initial fears and concerns over what is cloud computing, they began to see how valuable it can be. Cloud providers have now become a big business, with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google leading the way with their various cloud services. Yet despite the clear advances made in the cloud in just the past few years, the search continues for even more effective methods at cheaper costs. As has proven the case in many other areas in the business world, open source software may be the solution for many companies. In fact, open source cloud computing may very well represent an emerging trend that small businesses should pay attention to.
Before pursuing an open source cloud computing strategy, it’s important to understand that the open source option hasn’t been created as a response to the current commercial offerings. Open source cloud applications have been around for a long time, in many cases pre-dating commercial options. So the open source approach isn’t a new approach. Years of experience have gone into developing cloud technology, making it a viable option for companies that don’t want to become entrenched with a limited number of providers.
The reasons for using open source cloud computing are many, and the benefits largely depend on what a business wants from it. If a company would like access to the most innovative solutions that are released on a regular basis, open source cloud computing is likely the way to go. Open source developers pride themselves on offering cutting edge applications and solutions, and in the case of cloud computing, the developments and advances are usually fueled by problems encountered in real world scenarios. That makes updates to open source code more applicable and usually helpful to the current challenges businesses face.
In addition to the innovative advantages, open source cloud computing can also offer competitive advantages. The open source world isn’t a monolithic structure; there are a large variety of applications that businesses can adopt. Many of those applications are already used by larger corporations, so a small business pursuing the open source cloud could end up using the same code that giant competitors employ. In a sense, this levels the playing field, giving smaller organizations the same capabilities as the big guys. Beyond the competitive factor, open source cloud computing also features a large, closely knit community where businesses can find expert advice and support whenever they need help. The idea is to advance cloud technology, and the open source community is well up to the task.
The benefits that come from using open source cloud computing are clear, but challenges may remain in choosing the right open source solution for a specific business. The large variety of open source cloud computing technologies leads to big leaps in innovation, but it also makes it hard to choose which one is the best fit. This is where learning about current open source options can pay off. A recent study by Crisp Research showed what they consider to be the best open source cloud computing technologies of the past year. At the top of the list was OpenStack, followed by Cloud Foundry, KVM, Docker, and Apache Mesos rounding out the top five. The research looked at the innovation each technology offered, development of the open source community, and adoption rate. For example, one of the reasons OpenStack scored so high was because it’s used by nearly 200,000 people in almost 150 countries, making it popular and also highly influential. In short, when choosing to use open source cloud computing, businesses should consider their options, study what each has to offer, and choose the right one for their operations.
While commercial vendors will continue to be a powerful force, it’s pretty clear that the open source option is trending upward. Open source cloud computing may represent the future of the cloud, providing more innovation, a vibrant supportive community, and a more cost effective way to use cloud computing. Small businesses may remain uneasy about all that the cloud offers, but the open source strategy is a great way to see cloud computing benefits while staying away from some of the more restrictive vendor barriers.