Missing in action: The OpenStackers lost from Gartner's quadrant

I see no ships ... or boxen, come to that

And the rest! Come on, dudes

Similarly, Hitachi Data Systems has impressed with what they can offer. If you need OpenStack done right, HDS will compete with HP, IBM or Ericsson head-on and deliver.

Add in (off the top of my head) EMC2 (Cloudscaling), Bright Computing, Platform9, Canonical, SUSE and Stratoscale and we've got open source nerds all over the place and makings of the world's most awkward party.

Jibbers only knows how many other distros are out there. Quite a few, I suspect... but isn't uncovering that sort of thing and then reporting on the state of the market exactly what Gartner's Magic Quadrant is supposed to be for?

Now, we can have a good argument about who is visionary and who is not, but many of the companies mentioned above absolutely meet the relevant criteria Gartner posted in its Magic Quadrant. Yes, even the 100 customers criteria.

Personally, I rank HP, IBM and Red Hat pretty highly because, at the end of the day, these companies are the biggest contributors to the project. The vision of their nerds and executives (including the ability to listen to ideas from outside their echo chamber) drives things forward.

If you create a map of virtualization companies that includes OpenStack vendors and don't have IBM on the bleeding edge of "visionary", then I have lost every last shred of respect for you. Spend an hour in a room with IBM's Angel Diaz (vice president for cloud architecture and technology) and the man will change your religion.

Now, I'm not saying I agree with Diaz on his vision. That's a debate for another day – but the man has a very well defined vision that is exceptionally well supported by experience and tempered by a realistic understanding of what is required to get things done. He knows how he would like to see OpenStack evolve and what it will take – from technology to politics – to make that happen.

Perhaps more critically, these companies are out there executing on that vision. They are doing at least some things that VMware or Microsoft can't quite do yet... and that they may never intend to. Mostly because those things involve interoperability and support for heterogenous environments.

Other companies are "merely" repackaging OpenStack offerings from others (see: Oracle and Red Hat.) Some are legitimately building their own distros with their own management software and a few minor extras. Despite the lack of vision, their ability to execute is frequently excellent.

Openstack is a way – way – bigger than Huawei. And the companies contributing to Openstack that matter to the larger virtualization market also include more than just Huawei. This is not to take anything away from Huawei at all, but it does go to show that it is worth investigating beyond the names mentioned an analyst's list. You might be surprised at the excellent quality of the offerings that have been left ignored. ®

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