Cloud Freedom, Now Open for Business.
What is OpenStack?
Rackspace® Hosting is embracing an open source software development model for cloud computing, starting with the code behind Rackspace Cloud Files and Rackspace Cloud Servers. This effort is already growing beyond Rackspace, and we have established the OpenStack.org community to house the projects, with over 20 companies supporting the effort. The first two projects released under OpenStack will be OpenStack Object Storage seeded with code from Cloud Files and available immediately) and OpenStack Compute (seeded with code from Cloud Servers and a best-in-class opensource project, which is expected to be available in late 2010). We expect future versions of Rackspace Cloud Servers and Cloud Files to benefit from the rapid innovation of the entire OpenStack community as the two projects evolve.
Rackspace and our OpenStack supporters are working together to develop and publish our software under an open source model. That means we will make the source code for OpenStack publicly available and any interested party—including our peers, solution partners, and customers—will be able to collaborate with us to author, improve, and expand OpenStack technologies. Several software projects critical to the success of the Internet, including the Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP server, and the Firefox web browser, are open source software.
What does it mean for Rackspace?
For over a decade, open-source software has been an integral part of Rackspace’s success story. We host and provide Fanatical Support® for thousands of mission-critical websites and applications, a large portion of which are built using open-source technologies. This is also not our first time to participate in the actual development of open-source software. Among other projects, Rackspace developers have been substantial contributors to Drizzle and Cassandra, two open-source solutions for building cloud-scale databases.
This is, however, our first time as a founding member of an open-source software project, and the first time Rackspace has donated proprietary software to the open source community.
Why is Rackspace opening up code for public use?
The open-source software model has been proven to promote the standards and interoperability critical to the success of our industry. The explosive growth of the Internet can be attributed to open, universal standards like HTTP and HTML.
The early Cloud offerings, however, have bucked this trend and are largely proprietary. Users don’t benefit from a fractured landscape of closed, incompatible clouds where migration is difficult and true transparency is impossible. That’s not what our customers want. And that’s not what Rackspace wants. We’re not alone with this view: many people in the industry believe it’s critically important for the cloud to be open and share concern about the proprietary nature of the leading cloud platforms.
In fact, there are already a few projects focused on the goal of an open-source cloud with mass adoption.
When will Rackspace have code?
OpenStack Object Storage is currently available. The OpenStack Compute is expected to be available later this year.
Who is supporting the OpenStack Project?
Over 20 companies have agreed to support the mission of OpenStack by providing architectural input, contributing code, and/or integrating it into their business offering. The list of companies who have agreed to publicly support OpenStack will be accessible from the launchpad repository on OpenStack.org. We expect many others to contribute code to the OpenStack project. The contributors can be checked through the code repository on Openstack.org.