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In Pictures: 10 open source projects that power the Cloud

With recent negative reports from Gartner and Zenoss, it seems “dump on open source Cloud” season is open. For those quick to point the finger at some of these technologies that may not have the market share some expect, it would be good to remember that without open source, it would be difficult to have a Cloud at all.

  • With recent negative reports from Gartner and Zenoss, it seems “dump on open source cloud” season is open. For those quick to point the finger at some of these technologies that may not have the market share some expect, it would be good to remember that without open source, it would be difficult to have a cloud at all.

  • Open Source PaaS: Cloud Foundry and OpenShift Some of the biggest names in tech are throwing their hat into the open source PaaS market. OpenShift by RedHat, scheduled to go to production early next year, boasts impressive support and features, while VMware’s CloudFoundry is already available in a commercially hosted version.

  • Open Source RDMS: MySQL and PostgreSQL While there is a lot of buzz and hype around NoSQL, good-old relational databases are still more than holding their own in the cloud. Even many Big Data solutions still use venerable MySQL or PostgreSQL either alone or in conjunction with NoSQL databases.

  • Open Languages and Runtimes: PHP, Ruby, Java Script, etc. Of course, it’s not the languages that are open but the runtime libraries that allow the code to run on the servers. There are enough choices to satisfy just about any developer. The great thing is they all have open source servers or great commercial servers built on the open source.

  • Hypervisor/Virtualization: KVM One of the most popular virtualization choices in the cloud, KVM has a bright future as Red Hat’s default virtualization choice. Standard with Linux, KVM continues to make strides chasing some of the other virtualization options. For those using Red Hat for their cloud infrastructure, KVM is a natural choice.

  • CloudStack Developed by Cloud.com, acquired by Citrix, and now turned over to the Apache Foundation, CloudStack is a complete open source IaaS platform. With API support for Amazon’s cloud, the Apache-supported project has great promise to be a popular choice for those seeking to set up their own cloud or hybrid private/public clouds.

  • Hypervisor/Virtualization- Xen One of the first virtualization choices, Xen was bought by Citrix for billions without any real revenue to speak of. Citrix subsequently developed a commercial version (Xen Enterprise), but the original open source version still powers some of the biggest public clouds out there.

  • NoSQL With the exception of the cloud itself, there are few more-hyped areas of technology than NoSQL. Although it may still be too early to say who really wins this prize, some good bets would be 10Gen’s MongoDB and CouchBase. Both are open sourced NoSQL databases that boast some very big customer names and lots of supporters.

  • OpenStack The brainchild of NASA and Rackspace, OpenStack has attracted the most support in the cloud world, and has subsequently made tremendous strides in a short amount of time. Critics say it won’t get widespread adoption, but the fact is that in a very immature market like the cloud, growing pains are expected.

  • Hadoop The Big Daddy of Big Data, Hadoop seems to be everywhere. The Apache project boasts several different distributions, including Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR. Big Data and Hadoop have attracted VC funding in the tens of millions, as well.

  • Linux Forget the cloud; we probably wouldn’t have an Internet without Linux. Whether we are talking about Ubuntu, Suse, or any other flavor, Linux has become the Lingua Franca of the Internet and the cloud. Heck, even Microsoft’s Azure supports some Linux apps.

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