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InfoQ Homepage News Rackspace Has Open Sourced Its Cloud Platform

Rackspace Has Open Sourced Its Cloud Platform

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Rackspace has opened its cloud computing platform source code under Apache 2.0 license as part of OpenStack initiative. NASA is contributing with technology powering NASA Nebula Cloud Platform.

Rackspace has announced the creation of OpenStack Project, an initiative aiming to become the open source solution for cloud computing. The first component of the platform is Object Storage based on Rackspace’s Cloud Files source code, while a second component, Compute, based on NASA Nebula’s computing engine and Rackspace’s Cloud Servers technology, is to be added later this year. Cloud Files is a storage solution accessible via a RESTful API, while Cloud Servers is a technology offering Linux virtual images based on Xen Virtualization. NASA Nebula is a cloud computing service offering computing, networking and data storage services to NASA scientists, including the ability to process large scientific data sets.

OpenStack is for companies wanting to create their own cloud solution either for a their internal private use or to provide services to other users. Being an IaaS platform, OpenStack is going to compete more with Amazon and to a degree with Windows Azure, rather than or Google.

Rackspace organized an OpenStack Design Summit on July 13-16, inviting technical advisors, developers and founding partners in order to present the code and establish a roadmap. A RightScale representative commented on the requirements gathering proceeding:

Despite the fact that there were over 40 technical folks discussing architectural details, Rick Clark [Chief Architect and Project Lead, OpenStack] managed the requirements gathering very openly using a “scaled-up” version of the Ubuntu design conference process he is very familiar with, having been the lead of the Ubuntu Server project. The process felt very inviting yet still focused on firming up a first release later this year, which doesn’t leave much room for crazy new stuff. I expect we’ll see a good number of companies contributing code to this project.

Over 25 companies, including Citrix, Dell, NTT Data, RightScale, AMD, and Intel, are supporting the project either by contributing with architectural ideas, code, or even using it as a business solution.

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Community comments

  • What an Interesting World

    by Mike Gale,

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    I wonder where this will take us?

    Now how easy is it to do .NET programming under this model!

    Maybe first release before year end.

  • Re: What an Interesting World

    by John L,

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    Just wait. Microsoft will take care of you. You just need to wait.... :)

  • Another interesting news story on this topic

    by John L,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

  • Re: Another interesting news story on this topic

    by Mike Gale,

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    I'm not going to guess whether this is risky or not. The interesrting thing is that this area is hotting up. Testing ideas out in the real world will help to shake out a better future, I hope.

    (In many ways the guys at the original PARC invented our current future in the 70's. Much of it was ideas that conventional wisdom said was plain stupid. (OO, Internet, GUI...) In fact Xerox senior management agreed that it wasn't their game so others capitalised on the output of the "thinktank"!)

    Not sure what the MS comment means. MS has Azure and it's looking good. They seem to be going down a "closed box appliance" for third party deployment.

    At the back of my mind I was wondering there about bringing some of the benefits of recent language developments (F#...) to whatever Rackspace is offering. If it's entirely under Linux that would mean Mono. There seems to be a disturbing trend to hunker down inside older language technologies, which sure means reduced productivity and reduced breadth of thought. I'd like to see an increase in the opposite trend!

  • Awesome

    by David Peterson,

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    Private cloud ... here I come!

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