Rackspace adds storage features to its OpenStack distribution

The updates to Rackspace’s distribution of the open source cloud management system OpenStack brings features from the latest distribution of the software to the hoster's supported distribution.
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

Rackspace has added advanced cloud storage features into its distribution of the OpenStack infrastructure management and orchestration software.

The new storage features include the ability to pool storage into volumes split across multiple virtualised drivers on multiple servers, saving potential spend on dedicated storage gear.

As well as the added storage features, Rackspace's private cloud distribution of Openstack also saw upgrades to its automation and systems management.

The free Rackspace Private Cloud Software, released in August, gained the new features on Thursday following the integration of technologies from the recent Folsom release of OpenStack.

"We did version one [of the Rackspace Private Cloud Software] because we recognised that unless you had an awful lot of Python skills and technical knowledge, getting Openstack up and running wasn't as easy as it could be," Nigel Beighton, international vice president of technoloogy at Rackspace Hosting, said. 
Besides the help-the-developers reasoning, Beighton said Rackspace has also been building out the software so that it can get more people used to working with OpenStack. The theory is that, as more people use the software, there's a chance they will either pay Rackspace for additional support, or move some of their data into Rackspace's public cloud, which is based on the same technology.

While the software is available for free, it is limited to running across 20 servers. To scale beyond that, users will either have to switch to the main open source OpenStack distribution, or if they want to pay for support from Rackspace, pay Rackspace to up the node-limit.

OpenStack is an open source tool for managing and running private and public clouds and is designed to do for the cloud what Linux did for the server - that is, provide a credible, easy-to-use competing set of tools to those made and sold by large companies.

Rackspace co-founded the OpenStack initiative in 2010 along with NASA. Since then over a hundred IT companies have joined and contributed code to the software. 

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