Icelandic cloud provider GreenQloud, which has been a major open source cloud supporter, has informed customers it is closing its public cloud service. The company will go on focusing on selling Apache CloudStack cloud called QStack to be managed by others. The public compute and and storage services are ending in October 2015.
By offering both public cloud services of its own and providing QStack infrastructure to be managed by others, the company was competing with some of its own customers. That will no longer be the case. QStack is the provider's own distribution of the open source cloud software CloudStack.
In a letter to its customers GreenQloud explained: “As we do not wish to hinder this adoption [of QStack] by competing against our own customers, we have decided to focus our expertise and resources on QStack – continuing to bolster its position as the best IT infrastructure management solution available."
Founded in 2010, GreenQloud offered a public cloud powered 100 percent by renewable energy. Iceland touts renewable energy as part of its appeal as a data center location. In 2013, GreenQloud entered the U.S. market, allowing customers to replicate their data between Iceland and its Seattle data center. The U.S. cloud was also powered with renewable energy bought from Seattle City Light.
There is increasing pressure on service providers to extend services as customer hybrid needs grow, and they look to hand over a larger part of the relationship. The options for service providers are to build, buy or partner – GreenQloud is shifting from building to partnering. Limited resources means it no longer makes sense to manage a public cloud.
There is also enormous competition in the public Infrastructure-as-a-Service space from the giants such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
Public cloud is a game of scale. GreenQloud had an interesting differentiator in its green take on cloud, but the internet giants have been making massive investments in renewable energy for their data centers.
Such competition puts small cloud providers like GreenQloud in a tough position, and some analysts are forecasting that more of them will have to pivot or shut down in the near future.
The Icelanding company has decided to focus its resources on QStack. It was an early investor in Cloud.com, the startup that eventually became CloudStack.
Following acquisition by Citrix, CloudStack did lose some ground to OpenStack, the other big open source cloud suite, due to uncertainty of how Citrix would handle CloudStack. But Citrix kept it open and community-driven. It has remained an Apache project.