Not to be outdone by the many other vendors offering their own OpenStack cloud computing distributions, Cisco has released the Cisco Edition of OpenStack. This contains all the core OpenStack services for the Essex and Folsom releases, along with installation scripts and other open source components to make it easier to install and run in production. It’s also worth noting that Cisco VP and CTO of cloud computing Lew Tucker is also chairman of the OpenStack Foundation. Cisco is likely to throw a lot of support resources at its own distribution, so this is an OpenStack flavor to pay attention to.
The OpenStack open source cloud platform hasn’t been short of powerful companies backing it, and companies ranging from HP to Red Hat have either already delivered their own distributions or soon will.
According to the Cisco blog, the Cisco Edition of OpenStack can be downloaded from an FTP site, and information on the packages can be found on a wiki. The packages are free and open source. The Cisco Edition of OpenStack is tested on Ubuntu 12.04 with the Cisco Nexus family of switches and Cisco UCS C Series servers. Cisco adds this: "You do not need to run the Cisco Edition of OpenStack on Cisco hardware, but it is validated on this hardware configuration."
Of course, support will be the big differentiator for Cisco with its OpenStack efforts, and the companies that come closes to Red Hat’s model of supporting open source cloud deployments in a world-class way will win. Cisco hasn’t specified exactly what its support arrangement will be, but the company has extensive experience supporting enterprise customers, and we’ll probably be hearing about support options very soon.
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