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The Role of Open Source in Cloud Computing Innovation

Enterprise Cloud News

Open source software stacks offer a huge amount of customization so the cloud being built does what is expected - and without huge licensing fees.

A recent article on GigaOm.com asks, "How can open-source cloud management tools like Eucalyptus, CloudStack and OpenStack impact the adoption of cloud technology?"

Lowering the barrier to entry

Most organizations adopt cloud to optimize their IT investment, to improve existing services or to support new business and service models, according to the article. In this scenario, open-source lowers the barriers for new organizations to build their private cloud.

Facilitating custom clouds

Many organizations appreciate that open source allows great customization to meet individual requirements. They can build a differentiated cloud service to meet customers needs.

Open-source clouds beget more clouds

Open source also encourages and supports innovation in the development of new cloud products.

User-supplier collaboration makes a better cloud

Collaboration between technology providers and users is a huge advantage in the open source arena. In open source projects, the project roadmap is driven by user needs. That means features will meet real end-user expectations.

Bringing Air Traffic Management into the Cloud
Cloud computing will allow airlines and air traffic controllers to perform their tasks by sharing not only real-time information, but also data analysis and decision support tools to improve aircraft operations and airspace efficiency, according to an article on ScientificComputing.com.

GE researchers are working with NASA to enable next-generation air traffic management operated through cloud computing to improve aircraft operations and airspace efficiency. The effort to bring cloud computing to air traffic management is part of GE's efforts to build the Industrial Internet.

Commercial airlines already are beginning to replace their data centers with cloud computing, which is saving millions of dollars in capital and maintenance costs.

GE's program with NASA will identify opportunities within air traffic management that can benefit from cloud computing.

A key program objective is to explore how air traffic controllers, airlines and aircraft can interact more efficiently in a cloud computing environment.

How Cloud Is Changing the Roles of IT Professionals
According to CompTIA's Third Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study, more than eight in 10 companies currently use some form of cloud computing solution, and more than half plan to increase cloud investments by 10 percent or more in 2012, according to an article on Business2Community.com. But that cloud popularity also means that businesses are re-examining the functions of their IT staff.

"We are seeing the modern IT pro being moved in a number of different directions," said Antonio Piraino, CTO of ScienceLogic. "Firstly, there are the newer tasks of being the orchestrator and decision maker for a critical component of corporate budgets shifting toward IT. The IT pro is being seen as the trusted adviser for business productivity applications that are leveraged in critical ways, and by far more impatient and demanding users than ever before."

IT pros will soon no longer be expected to hole up within the confines of a single function all too often under-appreciated or less understood by the rest of the organization, he added. Instead, there are a variety of tasks, including being involved in project management, server administration, app development, social media strategy and branding through the web site or portal, amongst others, that are gaining higher exposure.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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