Remember all that hardware that used to be in datacenters?  That is/was infrastructure.  If you haven’t noticed, most of those machines are gone. Either consolidated or outsourced.  Very few home-grown datacenters have much in them any more.  I remember there was a time when we would actually grant tours of a datacenter.

Most of the infrastructure that was part of a companies capital expenditure budget is now virtualized to the degree that a host is not tied to one specific piece of hardware any more.  They have become tenants.  They use up CPU and memory as needed and stay segregated from other hosts quite nicely.

Over recent years there have been a number of on-premise and cloud infrastructure providers that have emerged.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been, arguably, the most notable.  Google Compute Engine (GCE), Rackspace and Microsoft’s Azure have also become popular recently.  Additionally, VMWare, for on-premise solutions, has been the de-facto solution for most.

Play-DohAdd to this list Openstack which has become play-doh in the hands of many vendors.  One use of Openstack is to build out your very own version of AWS.  Why would you want to do this?  AWS, as well as others in the virtual infrastructure space, have been criticized for not having enough fine grain control over all of their components.  Well, where there is a complaint there is an opportunity.

Companies shortly realized there was an opportunity to slice the virtualization market vertically to match up with an endless number of LOB (Lines of Business).  For instance, if your in the banking industry your probably not all that excited with off-premise virtualization.  Your also probably not thrilled with security features that you must maintain or tune repeatedly to get the desired effects.  What if someone built you an infrastructure tool that could be used just like AWS but instead of deploying external to your firewall, you deploy internally.  Add to that, each time you deploy you get an exactly configured node that holds to your LOB specifications.  Who might design this type of product?  Chase, Bank of America, etc.  Banks, in this example, have the ability to create a “Bank-itized” AWS.

Imagine this type of customization work going on for any number of individual business verticals.  Openstack is so moldable that leaders in this space can do this with ease.

OpenStackAs a note, Openstack is listed as Infrastructure and Platform usage on this site. It depends on which side of the product you are working on.  You can build out a custom Openstack implementation (platform) that can be later used by customers to deploy their infrastructure.  For more information on platforms check out