OpenStack: Poised to Lead the Way to Open Cloud Computing

Note: Through Jan. 4, we are posting the top 10 posts of 2012. This post is #4 and was originally published Sept. 19, 2012.

Linux. Apache. Eclipse. Each of these defining open source initiatives can be credited with driving openness of their respective domain and fueling collaborative innovation within their respective ecosystems. With an independent and open governance model supporting the innovation and openness of its technical community, OpenStack is following in the footsteps of these other highly successful open source initiatives.

The importance of an open, effective governance model that draws from other proven and successful open source initiatives cannot be overstated – it’s critical to growing the ecosystem for any open source initiative. The opportunity to help shape the governance model of OpenStack by leveraging our considerable open source experience is one of the reasons that drew IBM to OpenStack.

The OpenStack community has moved quickly to come to agreement on an operating model and has already instantiated the fundamental tenets of the OpenStack Foundation. This new governance model will accelerate broader ecosystem support for OpenStack moving forward. In fact, over the past five months since the original OpenStack Foundation announcement in April, OpenStack’s momentum has been accelerating and is quickly becoming the ubiquitous Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds.  As of September, the OpenStack ecosystem boasted:

  • 5,600+ individual members from 88 countries
  • 190+ participating companies
  • 400+ contributing developers
  • 38 user groups in 26 countries across the globe
  • 300,000+ downloads of the OpenStack software from the central code repositories
  • 2,300+ attendees for the OpenStack Summit held in China in August

OpenStack is set up for long term success and is a force to be reckoned with. Today’s announcement ushers in a new era for the open cloud, enabling OpenStack to drive deeper industry collaboration and accelerate momentum for critical industry standards. Users in all industries can be confident betting on OpenStack with its growing number of members, strong ecosystem support, maturing technology and growing adoption.

IBM has a long history and excellent reputation of working in open standards and open source initiatives to produce real customer value. As a member of the Board of Directors of the OpenStack Foundation, we will leverage our vast experience in nurturing successful open source initiatives, such as Eclipse and Apache, and promote strategies intended to grow the OpenStack ecosystem.  We understand, first hand, that an open, vibrant ecosystem is the key to success. Our goal is to become a trusted and valued community member to help progress the platform, sustain a vibrant ecosystem, and position OpenStack as the IaaS platform of choice for cloud consumers and providers.

Over the past several months, IBM has played a key role as a member of the drafting committee that created the OpenStack Foundation bylaws. IBM drew upon its experience with other open source initiatives, such as Eclipse, to help formulate the governance policies for the Foundation. In addition, IBM has been making significant contributions to the OpenStack development community since the start of 2012:

  • IBM has made significant contributions towards improving the robustness and stability of many of the OpenStack projects, including Nova (compute), Quantum (network), Cinder (block storage), Horizon (dashboard) and Tempest (integration tests).
  • IBM has been leading the effort to develop a crowd sourced translation process for OpenStack documentation.
  • IBM contributed translations for Simplified Chinese.
  • IBM helped develop dynamic hypervisor support for the OpenStack Nova (compute) component.
  • IBM is contributing to the development and optimization of OpenStack on the KVM hypervisor.
  • IBM contributed drivers for Power Systems and our Storwize storage offerings.
  • IBM contributed integration tests for the XML APIs.
  • IBM contributed implementations of both SNIA’s Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) and the DMTF’s Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface (CIMI) standards to the OpenStack 3rd party repository.
  • Two IBMers have been accepted as OpenStack core contributors.

Our goal is to accelerate the rate and pace of both functional and non-functional (performance, scalability, reliability, etc.) enhancements to the OpenStack code base. In that vein, IBM will be a very active participant in the next OpenStack Design Summit scheduled for October 15 – 19 in San Diego.

The time has come to establish a de-facto base implementation for IaaS and related open interfaces. Without this, the industry risks fragmentation and complexity that will only serve to slow down the adoption of cloud technology and innovation. Support for OpenStack and the OpenStack Foundation is an effective way to achieve this goal. In a blog I wrote back in April, I highlighted three initial focus areas for IBM:

  1. Establish the OpenStack Foundation
  2. Support and expand the OpenStack Ecosystem
  3. Contribute to the OpenStack Development

As outlined above, much progress has been made in each of these areas over the past five months and more is expected as we close out 2012.

Your support is needed. Become a member of the growing OpenStack community and be part of the movement that defines open cloud computing.

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