Rackspace, NASA launch OpenStack: Can it prevent cloud lock-in?

Rackspace, NASA launch OpenStack: Can it prevent cloud lock-in?

Summary: Rackspace launched OpenStack, an open source cloud computing operating system, designed to take on the likes of VMware's vSphere and Microsoft's Azure.

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Rackspace on Monday launched OpenStack, an open source cloud computing operating system, designed to take on the likes of VMware's vSphere and Microsoft's Azure. NASA, Citrix and Dell are among the key partners.

While it's early in the cloud computing game, the playbook of creating an operating system---proprietary in many cases---to garner a dominant position is alive and well. These cloud operating systems are designed to meld private and public cloud platforms. Like the PC industry, the cloud OS is seen as an entry to providing a complete IT stack.

Rackspace, a key hosting and cloud computing provider, is hoping to change that operating system equation a bit (Techmeme). In a nutshell, Rackspace is donating the code behind its Cloud Files and Cloud Servers offering to the OpenStack project. Open Stack will also use the code behind the NASA Nebula Cloud Platform.

Combined, Rackspace and NASA plan to collaborate and develop the OpenStack OS. This open source formula has worked before---Android in the mobile space is one key example---and there's no reason why OpenStack couldn't do well in the cloud. Cloud Computing customers are very aware of potential lock-in so the message surrounding OpenStack could resonate. In a statement, Rackspace president Lew Moorman said OpenStack is aiming to prevent vendor lock-in. Indeed, customers are ultimately looking to be able to swap cloud providers at will in the future.

Among the key parts of OpenStack:

  • There will be several cloud infrastructure components based on RackSpace's Cloud Files.
  • A compute provisioning engine is on tap later this year. The technology is based on NASA's Nebula technology and Rackspaces's Cloud Servers.
  • The code is proven since it's the base of Rackspace's offerings as well as government projects.
  • OpenStack will be offered under the Apache 2.0 license.
  • OpenStack Compute is currently a developer preview and will be released in mid-October.
  • OpenStack Object Storage is also in developer preview and will be released mid-September.

Meanwhile, there are a bevy of partners involved with OpenStack. Partners include AMD, Autonomic Resources, Citrix, Cloud.com, Cloudkick, Cloudscaling, CloudSwitch, Dell, enStratus, FathomDB, Intel, iomart Group, Limelight, Nicira, NTT DATA, Opscode, PEER 1, Puppet Labs, RightScale, Riptano, Scalr, SoftLayer, Sonian, Spiceworks, Zenoss and Zuora.

Also: Rackspace, cloud computing topic centers

Of that group, Citrix, which provides open source virtualization technology, will be critical. On the hardware side, where OpenStack would presumably be integrated and bundled, Dell, AMD and Intel are the heavy hitters.

Simply put, OpenStack is a powerful idea and the timing is good. Dell indicated that it plans to feature OpenStack on its systems for open source cloud deployments. Dell is talking the anti-lock-in message as rivals build enterprise IT stacks. However, OpenStack will need more hardware providers---notably IBM and HP---if it's going to crack the enterprise and garner momentum.

Related:

Topics: Virtualization, Cloud, Hardware, Open Source, Operating Systems, Servers

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  • RE: Rackspace, NASA launch OpenStack: Can it prevent cloud lock-in?

    What is the all important support model; do they and who is the "they" guarantee 7x24 support for this? If I am going to base my whole data center on a technology I want someone with a proven track record.

    I agree with that vendor lock in is a problem (can you say Microsofts .net and only .net Azure). It will be interesting to see what VMWare comes up with for their cloud offering.
    fento@...
  • RE: Rackspace, NASA launch OpenStack: Can it prevent cloud lock-in?

    hahahaha you people and your pay for clouds. I have a pogoplug. I'm off the cloud grid in my own personal cloud.
    prof.ebral
  • I feel like taking a bit of crap TOO! (Not related to this story at all)

    Every time I reply to one of these posts, it ends up being the 4000th posting that nobody would ever read. Well this one only has 2 comments. So many someone with read this.
    Lets start. How to make your PC usage better. First have 2 PC's one with Windows on it that is never connected to the Internet. This allows it to run better by not hindering it with Antivirus etc programs to slow it down. Put all your amazing Windows Software on it and Play those fantasy based games like "World of Warcraft" because you want to hide yourself away from the real world. How about turning off your PC once and awhile and take a drive to the beach, lay in the sun and interact with real People. May be find a real friend (Not 5000 unknown Facebook friends).
    So now we load Ubuntu 10.04 on the 2rd PC, (I hated Ubuntu for years because their product never lived up to the hype. 10.04 changed that.) download the missing restricted codecs easily, add a few Apps and we are now ready to enjoy our on line life.
    Once Again! Windows for most off line activities. Ubuntu 10.04 Linux for Online activities. Now wasn't that simple!
    John Biles
    • RE: Rackspace, NASA launch OpenStack: Can it prevent cloud lock-in?

      @John Biles
      Sounds great, but you can't play your web based MMOs on a computer not connected to the internet.
      hoaxoner
      • RE: Rackspace, NASA launch OpenStack: Can it prevent cloud lock-in?

        @hoaxoner
        If your referring to online web based games (MMO's) as long as they are Flash or Java based then Ubuntu should allow you to play them. Windows can still remain unconnected.
        John Biles