Yahoo To Offer Open Source Cloud "Container"

Yahoo is making the technology it uses itself open source. Yahoo Cloud is somewhere between Iaas and Paas. Will it find a base is the question

Yahoo is planning to release as open source, the cloud based platform it uses for its own internal applications early next year according to this report in The Register. Know in internally at Yahoo as "the Cloud", it is described in the article as somewhere between Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Google App Engine.

Yahoo evidently describes its cloud as "containers" that are pre-configured with certain functions and applications like load balancing and security already configured. But it would still allow developers to work with many of the LAMP stack tools they know and love.  

To me this sounds like Yahoo is going to offer a bit of a hybrid between IaaS and PaaS. This would potentially give it a niche between Google's and Microsoft's PaaS cloud offering and Amazon's IaaS cloud offering.  However, besides releasing the software as open source, there is no mention of Yahoo offering a service built around this software. It would seem like a natural next step though. I would be very surprised if Yahoo was not a cloud provider by this time next year.

It would set up a familiar market dynamic. Yahoo, Google and Yahoo vying for cloud domination with Amazon set to take them on.  An interesting dynamic though is that Yahoo would actually be the "true open source" alternative. While Google has described much of the designs of what it uses available, it is not actually open source. Microsoft's Azure is not open and Amazon is not either.  

According to the Register article, Yahoo intends to open source almost its entire back end platform. Building a business around that will be the challenge for Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and the rest of the Yahoo team. A win in the cloud could be just what Yahoo needs to get back in the game.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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