Wal-Mart takes aim at Amazon by open-sourcing cloud code
- Wal-Mart’s technology arm, WalmartLabs, says it will soon open its OneOps cloud-storage solution to the public, making it easier to move data between cloud systems.
- The company wants to help avoid cloud lock-in, or the so-called “Hotel California” syndrome, in which once a customer place its data in a given cloud, it gets difficult to move it.
- WalmartLabs will post the open-source OneOps software on Github by the end of the year.
Wal-Mart is entering the cloud services business with the promise that the data placed in its OneOps system can be moved to another cloud infrastructure with minimal hassles. The company has used the system internally for company operations so far, but plans to release the open-source OneOps code for general use by the end of the year, meaning developers could use Wal-Mart’s cloud for pay-as-you-go storage and transfer data in and out of it at any time.
If the plan goes forward, Wal-Mart will go head-to-head with Amazon—accused of being the “Hotel California” of data—in the general retail and cloud-service categories, and inspire a price war among cloud services providers by making it easier to “check out” and take their data elsewhere. And if OneOps succeeds, there will be no question that big retailers—even those reliant on big-box brick-and-mortar stores—are now really big data companies.