Since the free software movement (also known as the Open Source Software movement) began in 1983, it's estimated that businesses have saved more than $60 billion a year, according to a report by The Standish Group.
Combining the cost savings of open source software and the efficiencies of cloud storage software contributed to even greater cost savings, better security, higher quality software and the ability for businesses to avoid vendor "lock-in."
There are a number of available open source cloud storage solutions available today that can address the needs of almost any business from large to small, and across nearly any industry.
Here are the top five open source file sharing, storage and management cloud deployments, according to Rodney Gedda writing for CIO Magazine.
OpenStack burst onto the Cloud scene in 2011 with the promise of creating an industry standard for public and private Cloud infrastructure. OpenStack consists of two integrated projects - OpenStack Compute, which handles virtual machine management for Xen and KVM hypervisors, and OpenStack Object Storage, which separates physical storage into fault-tolerant pools, Gedda said.
The Eucalyptus project uses the Amazon Web Service API to allow interoperability with Amazon's existing Cloud services and tools. Eucalytpus supports both the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and Xen virtualization hypervisors to ensure compatibility with nearly all Linux distributions. The Eucalyptus project, which is endorsed by Red Hat and which develops solutions in conjunction with the open-source giant, also supports resource management for public, private and hybrid clouds.
Sheepdog originated in Japan, and is a Cloud storage system for the KVM that provides highly-available block level storage volumes in KVM clusters. Sheepdog is highly scalable to several hundred nodes, and supports advanced volume management features such as snapshot, cloning, and thin provisioning.
Ganeti is a virtual server management and cluster tool for Xen and KVM hypervisors developed and hosted by Google. With Ganeti, Clouds can be created and managed with the integrated suite of applications, and allows for recovery of entire virtual machines in the event of a physical machine failures. Ganeti scales from one to 40 physical nodes, and live migration of virtual machines across and between clusters is also possible.
OpenNebula touts itself as the "open source toolkit for cloud computing," and pre-dates the Cloud moniker by a few years; it began life as a research project in 2005, Gedda said. OpenNebula manages users, virtual OS images, virtual networks, services and storage, and supports not only Xen and KVM hypervisors, but VMware, too; Gedda adds that OpenNebula includes support for "cloudbursting" to Amazon's infrastructure if necessary.
There are, of course, many more available open source options for use with cloud computing deployments. A longer list of these is available here, from Wikipedia. If you're looking to benefit further from the cost efficiencies you're already gaining from cloud computing, open source solutions can be a great place to start.
Bio: This post is written by Rackspace blogger Sharon Florentine. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.