The Guardian goes all-in on AWS public cloud after OpenStack ‘disaster’

While The Guardian has ditched the open source cloud platform, British Gas Connected Homes is setting up OpenStack cloud to hold sensitive data on-premise

The Guardian has revealed that it is moving all its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services’ public cloud, after a project to deploy the open source platform OpenStack in its own data centres was aborted.

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“Two or three years ago, before we were ready to move to AWS, we had to refresh the hardware in our data centres,” said Graham Tackley, director of architecture at The Guardian, speaking at the AWS Summit in London today.

“We decided to build our own private cloud based on OpenStack. I would say it was a complete and total disaster. We invested a huge amount of effort.”

The Guardian initiated the project in 2012, when its existing data centre infrastructure was nearing ‘end of life’ and reaching full capacity. The project involved creating a private cloud built on Cisco’s UCS servers and NetApp storage, running the Ubuntu operating system and OpenStack management and orchestration software.

Writing for The Guardian’s website in 2013, senior systems integrator, Stephen Gran, said OpenStack was chosen for the “best mix of features and developer mindshare”. 

“It has an EC2 API that is complete enough for our use cases, and offers an awful lot of flexibility in the native API and in deployment strategies,” he said.