Data center and cloud infrastructure service provider Rackspace is expected to announce Monday the release of a new open-source offering that will allow users to build and launch their own internal and hosted clouds. OpenStack, which was announced Monday, will include the code behind Rackspace’s Cloud Files and Cloud Servers technology. NASA is also involved, contributing software that runs its own Nebula cloud platform.
NASA’s Nebula infrastructure cloud is installed installed at NASA’s Ames Research Center and is in the process of being and extended to the Goddard Spaceflight Center outside of Washington, DC. The Nebula cloud was spearheaded by Chris Kemp, who is now NASA’s chief technology officer, and in an interview with El Reg, Kemp had nice things to say about the Eucalyptus cloud fabric controller that Nebula was currently using, which is an open source clone of Amazon’s EC2 compute cloud and S3 storage cloud.
Open-sourcing Rackspace’s code will increase the rate of innovation around it, and eliminate lock-in fears among clients, which is one of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of cloud services, said Mark Collier, vice president of business development. “If we’re accelerating the industry, that’s good for us,” he said.
OpenStack will be available under the Apache 2.0 license, with RackSpace employees serving as project leads, Collier said. But the governance framework has been deliberately structured to give others plenty of say, he added. There is an opportunity for open-source cloud infrastructure to become as ubiquitous as the Apache Web server. This project could provide a huge leap forward in opening up the clouds.
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