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19 July 2010, 16:41

Rackspace and NASA launch OpenStack project for open clouds

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OpenStack Logo Hosting company Rackspace and NASA have announced launch of a new open source cloud platform called OpenStack. In addition to Rackspace and NASA, the new Apache-licensed project is backed by a number of technology industry leaders and organisations, including Citrix, Dell, Intel and AMD. Under the project's mission statement, the organisations hope to create an open source cloud computing platform that will be able to meet the needs of both public and private clouds, regardless of size, while being highly scalable and easy to implement.

According to a post on the OpenStack blog by OpenStack Lead and Rackspace VP of corporate development Jim Curry, in its current stage, OpenStack consists of two projects. The first is a fully distributed object store based on Rackspace’s Cloud Files offering called "OpenStack Object Storage". The second is a scalable compute-provisioning engine based on the NASA Nebula cloud technology and Rackspace Cloud Servers offering called "OpenStack Compute".

In his announcement post, Curry says that, as part of the project's commitment to the community, OpenStack is committed to producing "truly open source software", noting that "no artificial limits will be placed or performance limitations maintained", nor will a licensing model, such as one free and one paid, be introduced. The team are committed to an open design process with dedicated project leads from Rackspace to guide the roadmap and all development will be done in the open – publicly available in the project's source code repository on Canonical's Launchpad. Finally, the developers will do what they can to maintain an open community using a "lazy consensus" model with documented, open and transparent processes.

More details about OpenStack can be found on the project's FAQ page. OpenStack source code is licensed under version 2 of the Apache Licence.

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