When Barton George talks, The VAR Guy typically listens. George is a cloud computing evangelist at Dell. And this week, George is busy describing OpenStack Compute -- open source cloud computing software for building reliable cloud infrastructure. Rackspace and NASA are leading the OpenStack Compute charge. But George has emerged as OpenStack Compute's impromptu evangelist. Here's how.

George is a social media guru of sorts, blogging and posting videos on a range of cloud and open source topics while working at Sun Microsystems and now Dell. Check his blog and you'll find a boatload of background material about OpenStack Compute. His latest coverage includes:
There are some important lessons here. For starters -- a lengthy list of companies (including Dell) plan to promote OpenStack Compute. There should be plenty of OpenStack compute buzz at HostingCon this week in Austin, Texas. Also, George is heading to OSCON (Open Source Convention) in Portland, Oregon, where OpenStack will receive media attention as well.

There's a separate story thread here, too. It involves vendor employees leading a news cycle. In this case, George was ahead of the pack with OpenStack Compute-related information. And his efforts weren't Dell-centric. Instead, his videos post the spotlight on key third-party OpenStack players.

That's why The VAR Guy has been reading George's blog since... well, since The VAR Guy's own blog launched.

Of course, The VAR Guy has plenty of questions about OpenStack Compute. Will additional hosting providers sign on? What do Red Hat, Novell and other large open source companies think about the effort? Where do virtualization companies fit in? Oh, and what about channel partners?

More thoughts soon...

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