Rackspace and NASA open-source partnership could spur innovation

OpenStack product aids development of applications for cloud infrastructures.

Rackspace and NASA have teamed up to launch OpenStack, an open-source cloud platform designed to make it easier to develop new applications for cloud infrastructures.

Although Rackspace and NASA have not entered into a formal partnership, it is hoped that their collaboration on OpenStack will be an impetus for new cloud computing initiatives, Michael Cooter reported in Network World.

Rackspace and NASA have been joined by AMD, Citrix, Dell, iomart, Spiceworks and other companies.


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Fabio Torlini, Rackspace's head of cloud services, said that the move would rapidly accelerate the adoption of cloud services and also help to strengthen the move to interoperability, Cooter reported.

Torlini acknowledged the concerns that many users have about security in the cloud. However, he said freeing up the code would present more opportunities to improve security. He also stressed that this shouldn't be seen as purely a Rackspace initiative,

"Everyone is welcome to contribute," he said.

The new Apache-licensed project will feature several cloud infrastructure components, including a fully distributed object store based on Rackspace Cloud Files, the company's scalable storage engine, reports David Rosenberg, who writes the "Software, Interrupted" blog on CNET.

In addition to the initial offering, a scalable compute-provisioning engine based on the NASA Nebula cloud technology and Rackspace Cloud Servers technology is expected to be available later this year, Rosenberg wrote.

Rackspace has been hosting enterprise computing for many years and the use-cases of the OpenStack software are relevant to both software providers and enterprises, Rosenberg wrote.

Part of the reason this project is open source is that enterprise developers have more specific domain knowledge than service providers might and that open source provides a way for interested users to collaborate to create a better product, Mark Collier, Rackspace VP of business and corporate development told CNET.

Collier told CNET that the company decided to launch and support this project because it believes standardization is important in this space.

Rosenberg expects a number of companies such as Red Hat and Canonical, as well as Hewlett-Packard and others to be interested in including this as part of their enterprise Linux and data center offerings.

The companies have developed an OpenStack Web site with further information on the project with a complete list of members.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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