7. Competitive Advantages with Open Source Cloud Infrastructure Solutions

Author(s): 
Miguel Koren Brien de Lacy
Focus area: 
Cloud services for business - realizing the innovation and growth potential for start-ups, SMEs and big corporations
Who stands to benefit and how: 
Directors and managers of commercial and government enterprises with a need to have reliable and low cost access to solutions stand to benefit by running their business software in the cloud be it public, private or hybrid. Konsultex has implemented private clouds based on the Xen hypervisor for enterprises and helped them achieve competitive advantages.
Focus of your position paper: 
The rise of computing power together with the globalization and interdependece of most economies led to cost and efficiency problems that are particularly relevant given the current state of the economies in most countries, especially in Latin America. This forces companies into more rounds of cost cutting so that their employees can be more efficient. The enterprise needs software that's always available, usually from anywhere, secure, dependable, scalable, energy efficient and cost effective. Cloud computing tends to be a privacy and security concern for some companies because they see that their data is living outside the enterprise. This also raises concerns about availability because the cloud hosting provider might have downtime. This situation can be considered in contracts but it's really hard to cover the risk of the provider closing shop or being shut down by a government security agency. The traditional IT model in the company means that companies run software in their data center and are responsible for hardware, energy, backup and maintenance for many physical servers. Each server is normally not used to its capacity. Open source software solutions have normally not been on the cutting edge of any specific field. They tend to offer comparable features to their commercial counter parts but without the licensing costs, usually more reliable, standards compliant and with quicker solutions to bugs, which makes them very attractive to most enterprises. In some areas though open source solutions lead and offer features earlier than in the commercial world. Cloud Computing is a good example so that implementing cloud computing with open source software makes a lot of sense. One very well known cloud platform is Xen Server which was open sourced in 2014. Previously the open source version was called Xen Cloud Platform but now there's no need to compare different feature sets between offerings. Xen Server offers a platform to build a company's cloud infrastructure in the data center. An enterprise that's concerned about their data leaving the premises doesn't need to worry with Xen Server. It's possible to implement a private cloud hosting the virtual servers on hardware that runs in the company's own data center so that everything stays in house. This enterprise gets all the benefits of cloud computing infrastructure and open source software with the features Xen Server offers. However, they're still responsible for supplying energy backups and maintenance but they can make better use of their hardware. Deploying a new server is much faster and problem free because no new hardware needs to be acquired. All this leads to savings and increased reliability. Konsultex has helped companies achieve these benefits in the past several years with minimal or no downtime during implementation.