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OpenStack in China: Fast and furious 2016-11-30


Based on the article published on Nov. 29th, 2016 by Nicole Martinelli.

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While Silicon Valley may be home to many large tech companies and thousands of startups, innovation reaches far beyond its borders. Here’s the story of 99Cloud, a Chinese startup growing its business purusing OpenStack.

99Cloud, a rapidly growing startup founded in 2012 and one of the OpenStack Foundation’s newest Gold Members, Kai says 99Cloud currently has five core members in different OpenStack projects, underlining its dedication to contributions.Kai says there are three overarching challenges in China: fewer startup buyouts, building differentiation and finding and growing talent. “From day one we knew we needed a long-term survival strategy; this year we’re at the break-even point,” Kai says. That translated to a focus on building differentiation in solutions and service models. For example, they have homed in on plug-in development to fill the gaps between community distro and clients needs, “key pain points during Open-Stack adoption,” Kai says. They also focused on injecting more “vertical industry DNA into OpenStack” for customers with solutions for China Central Bank, China UnionPay and JinZheng.  The company also delivers a cloud to State Grid that will offer electricity to 90 percent of China by the end of 2017.

The advantages, Kai says, are also many.

“China is still one of the most OpenStack-friendly markets for startups,” says Li Kai, co-founder and vice president, adding that there are three main types of clients. The largest is government cloud or state-run companies who prefer private clouds over public clouds due to information security concerns and customization needs. Then there are traditional companies—banks, for example such as its client China UnionPay—who look to open source technologies for lower costs, better scalability and higher performance. The third are internet companies building community clouds such as ZBJ.com, China’s top crowd-sourcing platform, where 99Cloud supports billions of transactions.

Kai outlined 99Cloud’s strategy for success in four points:
     - Talk is cheap, show clients more code and demos.
     - Don’t push the cloud product—be a “cloud coach” and design the solution with clients.
     - Avoiding vendor lock-in is not just a slogan; show clients it’s doable.
     - Focus on the last kilometer issue during adoption over distros. Community releases are not perfect, tell clients the truth. Let them know what’s mature and immature and provide provide alternatives if necessary.


Read the article "Fast and furious: Inside China’s startup scene" by Nicole Martinelli for more details.

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