Cloud's version of Game of Thrones

Openstack acquires big allies in Red Hat and IBM for OpenStack Foundation

Chris Mayer

The fallout from Citrix’s defection continues as their rival for cloud infrastructure supremacy OpenStack reveals the names forming their OpenStack Foundation

The ripples from Citrix’s decision to break away from
OpenStack to push their own IaaS, CloudStack can still be felt as
they chose to stay closer to Amazon APIs like

Rather than be left reeling on the ropes from losing a big
commercial partner, OpenStack have revealed the names of companies
that are backing their move from loosely-governed model to
fully-fledged open source foundation, with IBM and cloud aspiring
Red Hat both signing on the dotted line as Platinum

Originally mooted in October 2011 after concerns over
management, 19 companies have staked their claim to OpenStack and
form the list of partners. AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula,
Rackspace, Red Hat and SUSE will be Platinum members of the new
foundation whilst Cisco, ClearPath, Cloudscaling, Dell, DreamHost,
ITRI, Mirantis, Morphlabs, NetApp, Piston Cloud Computing and Yahoo
are all joining as Gold Members. It’s important to note that the
only difference between the tiers is the amount of money invested
and not relative to creative direction. In fact, all recently
contributed to the latest OpenStack release, Essex.

Having the likes of IBM and Red Hat gives a certain amount of
prestige to OpenStack, with both offering $550,000 per year for the
next three years, according to reports, as well as donating source
code to the stack. In total, the OpenStack Foundation can expect to
pick up at least a cool $4m in funding to push the OpenStack
commercial offering forward, in terms of code and

Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the Project Policy Board for
OpenStack told reporters that this wouldn’t change the way
development works:

Money is just one part of it, we want companies to all
pitch in so we can build something great together,” Byrce said.
“Platinum members also have requirements around full-time employees
that they have contributing to the open source project and a
corporate strategy that lines up with OpenStack as

The purpose of the foundation is really focused on community
building. The actual development, technical meritocracy and project
technical leads that are elected by committers – all of those
things are not changing.

Despite being a big contributor according to stats from the
Essex release, Red Hat have been decidedly coy about how OpenStack
fits in with their plans. A statement read:

Now that OpenStack is moving to a foundation, Red Hat felt
that this new governance structure would provide a good framework
for enhancing open source collaboration around

Yes, Red Hat is planning to introduce an
distribution of OpenStack.
However, we are not announcing any specific product plans right

Half the battle was getting interested parties to commit
formally, with rumours swirling for months now that Red Hat and IBM
were both set to jump onboard the cloud infrastructure game of
thrones, so to speak. To us, it seems that this IaaS war will be
between the OpenStack foundation and Citrix’s Cloudstack, having
taken it to the Apache Software Foundation recently, wanting to
keep ties to Amazon Web Services when OpenStack’s vision was to
provide cloud stacks within interested vendors.

Both want to claim their rightful place as enterprise
cloud king, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
With 166 already signed to OpenStack, this infrastructure was
needed to truly make it a contest. The men at the top of OpenStack
have done their research too – inspired by Apache and Eclipse’s
models for example.

The group intends to meet next week in San Francisco at
OpenStack’s Spring Conference to thresh out the structure for the
foundation, with the final draft of bylaws expected to be in place
by September. Until then, we wait to see how each partner takes
OpenStack forward. Who will win this cloud war? We just don’t know

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