Dell has announced the introduction of an open source cloud computing solution to Europe, including the UK, and also China.
The OpenStack powered cloud will be aimed at service providers and enterprise users. The platform will run on Ubuntu, as opposed to cloud solutions based on proprietary, licensed software, and Dell says that it will be fully tailored to the customer's requirements.
In terms of hardware, the OpenStack system will run on Dell PowerEdge C-Servers. Dell will employ its Crowbar tool to facilitate a swift deployment for customers. The charge for the service hasn't been specified, as it will vary widely depending on project requirements, but should be competitive given the open source nature of the scheme.
The move is part of Dell refocusing away from hardware and more towards software and services, and it's not the only company to have been thinking like this given the recent economic weakness in the hardware market. HP came close to selling its PC division late last year, although kept it on in the end, and just announced its merger with the company's printer group yesterday.
Andy Cash, Dell's European Director of next-generation computing solutions, told ZDNet: "The Dell Datacentre Solutions and PowerEdge C platforms are already used in some of the top internet and cloud services on a worldwide basis."
He added that it was competitive with Amazon Web Services (AWS), noting: "If you add the nominally lower cost of standing up an open-source environment, if you have the right skill levels to take it into production, and you can base it on a highly efficient easy-to-operate platform environment."