OpenStack Provides An Open-Source Cloud Platform Alternative

Rackspace has launched OpenStack, an open-source cloud platform. Rackspace is donating the code that powers its Cloud Files and Cloud Servers public-cloud offerings to the OpenStack project. The project will also incorporate technology that powers the NASA Nebula Cloud Platform.

OpenStack will feature several cloud infrastructure components including a fully distributed object store based on Rackspace Cloud Files. The next component planned for release is a scalable compute-provisioning engine based on the NASA Nebula cloud technology and Rackspace Cloud Servers technology. It is expected to be available later this year. Using these components, organizations would be able to turn physical hardware into scalable and extensible cloud environments using the same code currently in production serving tens of thousands of customers and large government projects.

“We are founding the OpenStack initiative to help drive industry standards, prevent vendor lock-in and generally increase the velocity of innovation in cloud technologies,” said Lew Moorman, President, Cloud and CSO at Rackspace.

Rackspace and NASA have committed to use OpenStack to power their cloud platforms, and Rackspace will dedicate open-source developers and resources to support adoption of OpenStack among enterprises and service providers.

“OpenStack provides a solid foundation for promoting the emergence of cloud standards and interoperability,” said Peter Levine, SVP and GM, Datacenter and Cloud Division, Citrix Systems. “As a longtime technology partner with Rackspace, Citrix will collaborate closely with the community to provide full support for the XenServer platform and our other cloud-enabling products.”

“We believe in offering customers choice in cloud computing that helps them improve efficiency,” says Forrest Norrod, Vice President and General Manager of Server Platforms, Dell. “OpenStack on Dell is a great option to create open source enterprise cloud solutions.”

OpenStack isn’t the first or the only open source cloud platform with players like Eucalyptus already around. However  Ars Technica says “We asked how OpenStack compares to Eucalyptus, an existing open source cloud computing framework that is compatible with EC2. Engates says that Eucalyptus is hindered by scalability challenges that OpenStack can handily overcome.”

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