OpenStack Cloud Computing

Rackspace and NASA along with leaders Citrix, Dell, NTT Data, Right- Scale, and others, have joined together to create OpenStack.org.

The goal of OpenStack is to allow any organization to create and offer cloud computing capabilities using open source software running on standard hardware. OpenStack Compute is software for automatically creating and managing large groups of virtual private servers. OpenStack Storage is software for creating redundant, scalable object storage using clusters of commodity servers to store terabytes or even petabytes of data”

The OpenStack project builds on efforts already underway by both Rackspace and the space agency. Rackspace had been developing its own cloud storage technology, while NASA, by way of its Nebula project, was building out a distributed compute fabric. Nebula is an open source cloud computing project and service developed to provide an alternative to the costly construction of additional data centers whenever NASA scientist or engineers require additional data processing. Nebula also provides a simplified avenue for NASA scientists and researchers to share large, complex datasets with external partners and the public.

All of the code for OpenStack is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license. Anyone can run it, build on it, or submit changes back to the project.
The combined OpenStack effort will challenge Amazon’s cloud and S3 services; it will also provide a useful option for open source users. OpenStack is another step towards high-speed interclouding. Though it hasn’t happened yet, I believe that Amazon, Google, and VMware will all eventually support it.


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