Interview: RightScale’s Bailey Caldwell on IT Cloud Managment and OpenStack

In this interview Bailey Caldwell, V.P. of Business Development at RightScale, discusses his company’s role in the cloud world and their involvement with OpenStack.

Inside-Cloud: Bailey, please tell me a little bit about RighScale’s beginning and where you are now.

Bailey Caldwell: RightScale started essentially at the same time that Amazon launched its EC2 service and at the time our CTO and Founder, Thorsten von Eicken, recognized that the cloud was essentially a way to deliver IT services. We realized that there would be many choices to be made in the cloud market, so we started building our Multi-cloud Management Platform which is essentially an extraction layer  which sits on top the APIs of all of the resource clouds that we support and allows customers to run their apps and get their content data out on the cloud more effectively.

Inside-Cloud: Let’s talk a little bit about the history of your relationship with the OpenStack Community and where it presently stands.

Bailey Caldwell: Our work started with OpenStack because of our partnership with RackSpace. We watched it evolve over time and formally joined the foundation in September and we currently have a lot of customers asking for it and have a lot of projects started based on OpenStack-driven private clouds.

Inside-Cloud: How has the cloud evolved over the years and which market segment do you help?

Bailey Caldwell: As the cloud has evolved and organizations continue to use more and more cloud resources, the most innovative IT organizations are trying to deliver the same self-service capabilities that public clouds have been providing  for a couple of years. Because of this, we see private clouds as an extremely important strategy for the modern IT organization and in that case OpenStack is certainly front and center on that agenda. Most of the conversations we have with the larger companies that we work with–everything from media/entertainment to banking to insurance–involves some discussion around hybrid clouds whether they want to use it now or in the future, it has to be a part of their strategies.

Inside-Cloud: Which companies have successfully employed these RightScale strategies?

Bailey Caldwell: IHG is one that talks publicly about our relationship–they run all of their international hotel websites with a hybrid cloud strategy which is of course public and private. Pearson Education is another one that has done a really good job with integrating their existing IT systems with a public cloud strategy. So these sorts of integrations have really become the standard for IT strategies.

Inside-Cloud: What’s the future look like for IT in the cloud? Where is it all going?

Bailey Caldwell: Well it’s been a one horse, arguably, a two horse race (AWS and Rackspace) relative to public cloud for the past several of years. We’ve have been working with Google for a while and Microsoft as well and we feel that those offerings are going to expand the total population of cloud users.  So, our view is that it is going to be a multi-cloud world in the future, there may not be hundreds of them but there will be  several  mega clouds, those companies that by the very nature of their business don’t need to build a data center to provide a cloud service and the public cloud will be shaped by these mega clouds. So, the public cloud will be where all of the innovation happens, the new services such as Amazon’s Redshift other similar services will be what gets created by these large infrastructure providers and the private cloud will try to replicate those where they make sense.