OpenStack Moves Closer to Prime Time
OpenStack represents a powerful force in cloud computing and Rackspace, the company behind the open source cloud offering, continues to move the technology forward. The most recent news shows that the company has moved its cloud servers, powered by OpenStack Compute, into 'beta' for its customers. This represents a major step for the technology,attracting a number of industry giants.
OpenStack and the Cloud
The origins of OpenStack date back to the summer of 2010, when Rackspace and NASA teamed up to create an open source solution for cloud computing. The company saw that vendor lock-in, where clients have little hope of changing cloud vendors mid-stream, was becoming a big problem and could significantly reduce cloud innovation. OpenStack was designed to be a cloud computing solution in the same way that Android was a smartphone solution: Both platforms were essentially designed to get more players involved while reducing the stress for users and clients, who may want to look for other providers. The program had some initial success, and has gained support from major cloud and IT companies ever since.
Move to Beta
In late February of this year, Rackspace announced that OpenStack Compute would be moving from 'alpha' to 'beta' for customers. This decision demonstrates the maturity of the technology, and while it’s not quite production ready, it’s still a big step forward. The delay seems to be centered around ensuring that the software will hold up under the pressure of tens of thousands of instances, instead of the hundreds on which it has been tested. If successful, the company will continue testing and reportedly hopes to move into production in the second half of 2012. The move to production will reveal if the open source project has what it takes to compete with the popular proprietary technologies offered by companies like Amazon and VMware. In the meantime, Rackspace maintains about a two week delta between what they are deploying and what is available for everyone to see, allowing companies to keep up with any advances that Rackspace makes.Continued on the next page