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Cloud Expo: Article

Rackspace Lets Go of OpenStack

Since Rackspace and NASA concocted OpenStack it has gotten the support of 180 companies and 550 contributing developers

OpenStack is finally supposed to be really and truly shot of Rackspace's control, turned over to an independent foundation charged with developing, distributing, promoting the adoption of the open source cloud platform and strengthening its ecosystem.

To achieve this grand design, the OpenStack Foundation, which claims 5,600 individual members, has gotten $10 million in funding and Rackspace, which had been supplying most of the management and money, has recently turned over the OpenStack trademark and technical assets like the cloud controller.

Since Rackspace and NASA concocted OpenStack it has gotten the support of 180 companies and 550 contributing developers.

In its official birth announcement Wednesday the Foundation said it has eight Platinum Members including AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat and SUSE, and 13 Gold Members including CCAT, Cisco, Cloudscaling, Dell, DreamHost, Mirantis, Morphlabs, NetApp, Piston Cloud Computing, Yahoo, with Intel, NEC and VMware - in a bow to its $1.26 billion acquisition of Nicira - joining in September.

Companies that have begun supporting the Foundation as corporate sponsors include Brocade, eNovance, Gale Technologies, GridCentric, Huawei, Internap, Metacloud, PayPal, RiverMeadow Software, Smartscale Systems, Transcend Computing and Xemeti.

The Platinums and Golds are shelling out the $10 million.

The individual, Gold and Platinum members each make up a third of the board, which is supposed to provides strategic and financial oversight of Foundation's resources and staff.

As previously reported, Alan Clark, director of industry initiatives, emerging standards and open source at SUSE, is chairman, and Lew Tucker, CTO of cloud computing at Cisco, is vice-chairman.

According to Clark, "The new board of directors is feverishly working to ensure that the Foundation is structured with the right executive leadership, staff, fiduciary models and controls..."

Separate from the board, a 13-strong elected OpenStack Technical Committee - an evolution of the Project Policy Board - is supposed to steward OpenStack's technical direction. It includes project technical leads from each of the core software projects.

Tim Bell, operating systems and infrastructure services group leader at CERN, has been appointed by the board to help establish a new User Committee, to represent enterprise, academic and service provider users with the Technical Committee and the board of directors.

Jonathan Bryce from Rackspace has been named executive director, and he's supposed to hire 10-12 employees, if he hasn't already, to coordinate the project's infrastructure, such as systems for testing the software at scale, community building activities, and managing the OpenStack trademark.

An OpenStack Summit is set for October 15-18 in San Diego, around when the Folsom release should come out.

Once the OpenStack announcement was made, Nebula, the OpenStack commercializer with NASA bloodlines and chi-chi backers, said that the founding engineers from NASA's Nova project, the compute part of OpenStack, had left Rackspace and joined the company.

They include Jesse Andrews, Jake Dahn, Vish Ishaya, Andy Smith, Dean Troyer, and Anthony Young. Brian Waldon, responsible for the OpenStack virtual machine image repository project, Glance, at Rackspace, also bolted to Nebula.

William Eshagh, the NASA lawyer responsible for getting Nova open sourced, also joined the start-up, which has reunited most of the original NASA team.

NASA of course has dropped OpenStack in favor of Amazon.

Nebula said in its press release that it is now OpenStack's second-largest code contributor, a distinction Red Hat claimed last spring, and employs four of the project's 13 technical leads.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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