As the Foundation for the operating system for the cloud and organizer of the CloudOpen conferences , we frequently get requests from members, investors and analysts for a guidebook for the open cloud: something detailing who are the top open source cloud projects, who are the top contributors and how to find them. We were asked so often for this that Jennifer Cloer and I decided to produce a white paper available to all.
Our new paper “Understanding the Open Cloud” attempts to put a stake in the ground and serve as both a guidebook on the top principles behind the open cloud as well as a directory of many of the top projects. I say “many” since undoubtedly we left off many great projects. We intend to repeat this paper so if we left anyone out, please accept our apologies and send suggestions our way. While most people know OpenStack and CloudStack, there is a layer below those projects that comprise storage, provisioning, virtualization and so on that are included here.
Why should you care about the open cloud? For one thing, it’s the future; just as open source technology has displaced proprietary pieces of the enterprise stack, we fully intend the cloud to do the same. And as the paper states:
“Building upon an open cloud provides all the same beneﬁts as the rest of the universe of open source software, such as:
• improved code quality of the underlying cloud implementation;
• insurance against lock-in as well as the failure of your cloud provider;
• increased security, with the ability to ﬁx vulnerabilities yourself; and
• freedom from mandatory licensing costs; among others.”
You will see mention of projects you likely know about, such as KVM, OpenStack and Puppet, and others you may not be as familiar with, such as Vagrant, Salt and Docker.io.
All of the open cloud projects included in this paper, as well as many others, will be represented at our annual CloudOpen  conferences that take place in North America, Europe and Asia. CloudOpen Europe is in fact kicking off this week from Scotland. Project leaders and committers from every one of these projects will be speaking or attending, and other projects will be sharing their latest work in the booth areas. I am personally very excited about these conferences and the collection of devops and traditional IT pros who attend. Please let us know your feedback on the paper, and we hope it’s useful for you. You can download it here .