Big news for OpenStack community

Rackspace hands over keys to OpenStack Foundation

Chris Mayer

The day the vendors were waiting for – Rackspace steps aside from the infrastructure project, leaving the vendors to continue the success of OpenStack

With the much-anticipated Folsom release just one week away, Rackspace have finalised relinquishing their control of the cloud platform to the OpenStack Foundation.

It’s a symbolic day for anyone connected with OpenStack, as all the code and intellectual properties now fall into the hands of the rapidly expanding collective. The newly-formed foundation has launched with an initial $10m, donated by its founding members, to fund development and marketing efforts.

According to Rackspace, the initial goal had always been to create “an open and ubiquitous platform for public and private clouds,” that would obtain the backing of some of the industry’s biggest cloud infrastructure players. And by looking at the stats (850 organisations and 5,600 individuals pledging allegiance) and the names signed up such as Red Hat, IBM, HP and VMware (amongst others), it seems that Rackspace are bowing out with their heads held high.

In fact, this move had been in the works for over a year, after Rackspace’s initial announcement in October 2011. The other founding member of the initiative, NASA, stepped aside back in May, suggesting that the role of the two creators was reaching its end.

Rackspace’s drive to create such a thriving community around the project cannot be understated, however, and rightly deserves to be commended. Just over two years after its inception, half a million lines of code have been contributed to OpenStack, whilst the software has been downloaded more than 300,000 times from the central repositories.

The next release, Folsom, is almost ready to go, with deployability improvements, security enhancements and an updated dashboard. The biggest challenge however for Folsom is the inclusion of the incubating Networking (Quantum) and Block Storage (Cinder) projects, splitting from the larger Compute (Node) to allow for greater flexibility.

Any new direction in OpenStack’s roadmap will become apparent from the Grizzly design summit in October, with the release itself planned for April 2013. We can expect Ceilometer (providing metering) and Heat (responsible for basic cloud orchestration) somewhere down the line, though.

Whilst Rackspace won’t desert the project entirely (they’ve built their private and public clouds on it, after all), governance now falls solely down to the community – as it should be if OpenStack wants to reach the lofty but now attainable goal of becoming the Linux for Cloud.

Image courtesy of racheocity

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