It’s Official: Dell Committing to OpenStack This Year, Will Beat HP Cloud Services

Nnamdi Orakwue, Dell’s vice president of cloud, is cautious about jumping on the OpenStack bandwagon. But he says that an open-source public service is already on the drawing board for his company, which has every intention of getting in on the action when the technology is “where it needs to be.” Orakwue says that we can expect a product announcement near the end of 2013.

The VP says that Dell has decided to play it safe with the open cloud. The reasoning is that it’s better to retain a significant portion of the OpenStack codebase as opposed to rushing a launch and potentially veer away from the key principals of the initiative. He elaborates, using HP’s early support of OpenStack as a cautionary tale:

“Their timing was bad in my view,” he said. “They jumped on this early, saw a lot of holes and did what any reasonable firm would do which is use their own IP to fill them. But what they created in the end doesn’t look a lot like OpenStack.” He called the code HP is using to run its cloud “dramatically forked.”

Ideals are not the only thing that Dell plans to compete with. The executive said that the company will focus on delivering a better quality of service than HP Cloud Services and other rivaling offerings, while sticking with the agenda of offering public services as a supplement to the private cloud and not a replacement.  This is key for Dell, which makes most of its money from selling desktops and servers to corporate clients.

IDC Chief Research Officer Crawford Del Prete discussed this strategy thoroughly during his Cube interview at Dell World 2012 last month (see below). In Prete’s eyes, marketing should be just as big of a priority as SLAs for Dell if it wants to succeed in this sector.