Nineteen technology companies have announced plans to become Platinum and Gold members of the new, independent OpenStack Foundation, which will manage and house the OpenStack open-source cloud
operating system. The companies include AT&T, Canonical, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, RackSpace, Red Hat, Cisco, Dell and Yahoo.
The members plan on providing technical and financial support to the foundation, as well as supporting the OpenStack concept.
More than 150 Companies
Jonathan Bryce, a member of the OpenStack Project Policy Board and co-founder of the Rackspace Cloud, said in a statement accompanying the announcement that, "in less than two years, we've had five software releases from hundreds of contributors from more than 50 companies." He added that the cloud operating system has grown in that time from two core projects to five, focused on computing, storage, and networking.
The foundation is now in the process of forming a drafting committee to create the bylaws, which will be offered for community review. The intent is to have them ready for ratification by third quarter.
OpenStack is an open-source platform and software for building public and private clouds. It currently has support from more than 150 companies, over 2,600 project participants worldwide, and has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
It is designed to allow businesses to manage computing, storage and networking resources in the cloud through a self-service portal and APIs that are used on standard hardware, in a massively scalable cloud operating system.
In summer of 2010, hosting provider Rackspace announced it was opening the code for its cloud infrastructure, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it would provide its Nebula cloud technology to the initiative.
Nebula was an open-source cloud computing project and service for providing an alternative to additional data centers for NASA scientists and engineers. It was first developed in 2008 at the NASA Ames Research Center, and it became a cornerstone of the OpenStack initiative.
Cloud Tech 'Will Never Look Back'
At the time, a NASA executive told news media that the "perfect scenario" was for the agency to "get out of the cloud R&D business altogether," and get back "into the space exploration business."
"Cloud technology will never look back," Rackspace proclaimed on its Web site.
The goals of an open source cloud OS are for business users to prevent vendor lock-in, increase flexibility in deployment of a highly elastic commodity cloud, offer a larger and more robust ecosystem that what might otherwise be available, drive greater industry standards, and increase the speed of innovation for cloud technologies.
All of OpenStack's code is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license, meaning that anyone can run it, build on it, or submit changes. In its present state of development, the target users are providers, institutions, and enterprises which have sizeable technical teams ready to deploy large-scale clouds.
The foundation contends on its Web site that the OpenStack development is analogous to the movement that occurred in the early days of the Internet, as there was a transition away from fractured UNIX flavors toward open-source Linux.