However, is OpenStack in danger of becoming sidetracked or even fragmented, and is the project's scale and complexity putting it at risk of doing a Unix?
Hewlett-Packard and Oracle are offering their badged versions, supposedly enterprise ready, while a small army of highly-paid consultants roam the land knitting the OpenStack APIs together for customers with money but not skills.
Muzilla acknowledges there is some fragmentation but counters that OpenStack is maturing “as would be expected” with lots of projects and lots of voices. “It’s a matter of time before the whole project matures.”
Even so, he believes Red Hat is a safe choice if you want true OpenStack. “Red Hat has the history of staying true to the project and to the core and not trying to deviate and fork,” he said.
Rallying developers behind Red Hat's OpenStack cloud is therefore critical to ensuring its cloud platform is the one that wins.
But why the curious choice of Mower, a former cheer leader who until now would have been telling customers, partners and devs Microsoft's proprietary stack was easier to use and had a lower total cost of ownership than anything Linux and open source could offer?
Well, critically for Red Hat, Mower’s evangelism took him into the land of the telcos. One of the perceived endpoints for OpenStack is something service providers can sell against AWS. Red Hat is partnering with Nokia to put Red Had Enterprise Linux and OpenStack on Nokia’s gear for cloud-based services.
Also, he'll be bathed in knowledge and experience in how to run a convincing and compelling campaign that resonates at the grass-roots.
“It’s not an issue of open source versus cloud source,” Muzilla said of Mower’s proprietary past. “We focussed on his ability to develop the relationship with developers and customers, with people who use middleware and application platforms and cloud technology."
"Microsoft does a good job of talking about the uses of the technology and how to approach those developers, whether they are in corporate IT or academia, and the build programs.”
That’s what Red Hat's really going to need if it’s to deliver on Whitehurst’s promise and become than "just" a leading Linux distro. ®