OpenStack Foundation – The next step for IaaS in the Cloud Eco-System

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Today, April 12, 2012, IBM announced that it would join with other industry leaders in support of Rackspace transitioning OpenStack to an open community foundation. IBM intends to be a Platinum Sponsor of the to be formed Foundation. IBM has a long-standing history of supporting open standards and open source communities in order to offer choice and open platforms for our clients. Bringing OpenStack to an open foundation model will do just that.

What does this open community foundation offered by OpenStack mean for the IaaS and the cloud eco-system?  I’ve fielded these and many more questions, and I’m here to say, it’s a win-win for the Cloud eco-system, Cloud consumers, IBM, and for our clients. But you don’t have to take my word for it, let’s look at the background in more detail.

Why OpenStack and why now?

Rackspace announced, in October 2011, that it would establish an independent foundation to serve the needs of the OpenStack projects and its community. With projects in Compute, Network, and Storage, IBM recognized the value being created though the code, community and adoption and now the commitment to a new governance model makes OpenStack the ideal environment to a consistent standardized IaaS layer to speed Cloud adoption and remove interoperability as a concern. IBM is especially encouraged because OpenStack shares our value of ensuring that the voice of the consumer is reflected in the governance of the project and the new foundation.

Why are open source communities good for the eco-system? 

Wide adoption of an open source, open standards based cloud will deliver significant value for all involved. It means customers won’t have to fear vendor lock-in and technology companies can participate collaboratively in a growing market that spans a diverse set of interests. It’s important to note that IBM joining the new OpenStack Foundation does not represent a shift in our SmartCloud strategy. Our technical strategy around interoperability, portability and heterogeneous environments is consistent with the architecture that the OpenStack platform offers.

IBM is excited that the OpenStack community is already working on the implementation of an important Cloud storage interface standard – SNIA’s Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI).  Another area for consideration is the Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface – Common Information Model (CIMI-CIM). Both activities will address the need for APIs to simplify the integration of OpenStack across multiple technology platforms. Additionally, IBM is encouraged by, and intends to contribute to, efforts that improve support for the KVM hypervisor in OpenStack.

To speed up adoption of Cloud Computing as an extension of the traditional enterprise, cloud consumers will want to be able to seamlessly implement new cloud services, whether the services are hosted in a private, public or hybrid cloud environment. Bringing together open source, open cloud standards and a community committed to evolving IaaS into an open platform, clearly is the next step for the cloud eco-system.

Now I would call that a win-win for the cloud eco-system, what do you think?

Look forward to your thoughts.

We’ll be continuing this conversation on Twitter today during #cloudchat from 4-5 p.m. ET. Join me (@angelluisdiaz) and Rackspace leaders in real-time by simply following and tagging your tweets with the hashtag #cloudchat (Twebevent is a tool that makes it easy to participate, you can also get more details on participating here). Feel free to send us your questions and comments using the hashtag.


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