Taking Stock Of Oracle’s Corporate Sponsorship Of OpenStack And Pledge Of OpenStack Compatibility

Oracle recently announced that it will become a corporate sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation, and that it will achieve OpenStack compatibility with the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Oracle Compute Cloud Service and Oracle Storage Cloud Service, as well as integrate OpenStack’s cloud management tools into Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux and Oracle VM, Oracle Infrastructure as a Service, Oracle’s ZS3 Series, Axiom storage systems and StorageTek tape systems. On one hand, this announcement constitutes the most explicit affirmation to date from Oracle about its commitment to OpenStack compatibility, its acquisition of Nimbula and proleptic statements about its integration with the Oracle Cloud aside and notwithstanding. On the other hand, a large part of the announcement means that OpenStack customers will be able to take advantage of OpenStack’s “cloud management components” to manage the Oracle cloud, while the current state and timeline for the Oracle Cloud’s achievement of OpenStack compatibility remains unknown. That Oracle is allowing OpenStack management tools to manage what is currently a proprietary cloud platform is hardly a coup for OpenStack. Moreover, the announcement in Oracle’s press release that the company “will also be working to achieve OpenStack compatibility” discloses little in the way of specifics either regarding timeframe or what compatibility means for Oracle. According to The Register, Oracle has committed zero lines of code to the OpenStack project to date in contrast to the thousands of lines of code contributed by HP and Rackspace. All in all, the OpenStack community would do well to be less than celebratory about Oracle’s announcement. Oracle’s reported commitment to the project of achieving OpenStack compatibility may be great news for OpenStack’s PR machine, but the specific ramifications of Oracle’s embrace of OpenStack remain to be seen.

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