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Rackspace cuts OpenStack’s umbilical cord

Hands reins of open-source project over to independent foundation. Article by Yevgeniy Sverdlik.Rackspace has handed the reins of OpenStack and all of the assets it has collected in the process of developing the open-source operating system for infrastructure clouds over to the independent OpenStack Foundation. The datacenter and cloud services provider started the open-source project together with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration several years ago, and this week, about one month after it launched its first commercial Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering built on OpenStack, the company decided it was time to let the project command its own destiny. Today, the OpenStack community is comprised of nearly 6,000 individual contributors from around the world and about 200 companies. The companies include some of the world’s largest and most influential IT players, such as IBM, HP, Cisco, Dell, NetApp and many others. In a blog post announcing transition of control over OpenStack to the foundation, Lew Moorman, the company’s president, and Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace Cloud Builders, wrote that the OpenStack software had been downloaded more than 300,000 times from central code repositories alone. “OpenStack now powers some incredible cloud environments, including our own public cloud here at Rackspace as well as our private cloud software offering,” Moorman and Curry wrote. While taking Rackspace’s hands off the OpenStack steering wheel, the two suggested several “directional concepts” they thought were important for the community to consider. These were ensuring strong focus on users, working toward true interoperability and making money around OpenStack, as opposed to making money on OpenStack. As OpenStack APIs evolved over time, the platform was a moving target for developers. “The volatility of the code and resulting upgrade path has been one of the major headwinds to OpenStack adoption, and we are not free of guilt in causing some of these issues,” Moorman and Curry wrote. “We need to work as a community to be more mindful of the deployments that are out there and how they will continue to benefit from the frequent advances.” The two also warned that federation across OpenStack clouds was critical to the project’s vision. They promised to push for the platform’s core to remain robust, consistent and stable. As long as core concepts and APIs are consistent, it will be possible to drive interoperability. Finally, Moorman and Curry warned against making money on OpenStack, encouraging companies to make money around it instead by providing things like hardware, service and support, system integration, management systems and software, networking software and hardware and more.
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