This week Cisco CTO Lew Tucker weighted in on the role that NASA and Rackspace collaborative project, OpenStack, might play in the future of Cisco’s cloud business. As Simon Bisson pointed out in advance of his interview with Tucker, getting Cisco’s take on anything open source is bound to be interesting given the company’s historical closed doors to open source.
It should be noted that Cisco is one of OpenStack’s larger member organizations due to the role it expects to play in coming open cloud networks. Tucker says that we are in an era of clouds where customers are more concerned with the ability to build their own. This DIY mentality is, “in conflict with the traditional enterprise development model, where scale-up architectures have led to the development of massively inefficient datacenters.”
Tucker wholly endorsed the open source model for cloud computing on the developer, provider and user level. He said that open source clouds can “leverage the work of a large number of developers, working across multiple hardware implementations” and that many of their customers were already evaluating or using OpenStack.
He discussed how his company is investing heavily in the underlying technologies behind cloud computing and says that they will be “developing the project in the open on the web itself, a process that will include porting the existing OpenStack package to its UCS arrays to help users get private and public clouds off the ground.
Tucker says that “customers need to have a common platform and to be able to move data in and out. They also want standard APIs to simplify development that will give them the opportunity to use open source tools” which, as he points out, is exactly the opposite of what is possible with services like Azure or Google’s AppEngine.