Rackspace Announces Plans to Collaborate with NASA on OpenStack Project

Posted by at 9:52 am on July 26, 2010

Rackspace Hosting has announced the launch of OpenStack, an open-source cloud platform designed to foster the emergence of technology standards and cloud interoperability.

Rackspace, the leading specialist in the hosting and cloud hosting industry, is donating the code that powers its Cloud Files and Cloud Servers public-cloud offerings to the OpenStack project. The project will also incorporate technology that powers the NASA Nebula Cloud Platform. Rackspace and NASA plan to actively collaborate on joint technology development and leverage the efforts of open-source software developers worldwide.

“Modern scientific computation requires ever increasing storage and processing power delivered on-demand,” said Chris Kemp, NASA’s Chief Technology Officer for IT. “To serve this demand, we built Nebula, an infrastructure cloud platform designed to meet the needs of our scientific and engineering community. NASA and Rackspace are uniquely positioned to drive this initiative based on our experience in building large scale cloud platforms and our desire to embrace open source.”

OpenStack will feature several cloud infrastructure components including a fully distributed object store based on Rackspace Cloud Files. The next component planned for release later this year is a scalable compute-provisioning engine based on the NASA Nebula cloud technology and Rackspace Cloud Servers technology. Using these components, organisations would be able to turn physical hardware into scalable and extensible cloud environments using the same code currently in production serving tens of thousands of customers and large government projects.

“We are founding the OpenStack initiative to help drive industry standards, prevent vendor lock-in and generally increase the velocity of innovation in cloud technologies,” said Lew Moorman, president, Cloud and CSO at Rackspace. “We are proud to have NASA’s support in this effort. Its Nebula Cloud Platform is a tremendous boost to the OpenStack community. We expect ongoing collaboration with NASA and the rest of the community to drive more-rapid cloud adoption and innovation, in the private and public spheres.”

Rackspace and NASA have committed to use OpenStack to power their cloud platforms, and Rackspace will dedicate open-source developers and resources to support adoption of OpenStack among enterprises and service providers. Rackspace recently hosted an OpenStack Design Summit where more than 100 technical advisors, developers and founding members joined to validate the code and ratify the project roadmap. More than 25 companies were represented at the Design Summit including AMD, Autonomic Resources, Citrix, Cloud.com, Cloudkick, Cloudscaling, CloudSwitch, Dell, enStratus, FathomDB, Intel, iomart Group, Limelight, Nicira, NTT DATA, Opscode, PEER 1, Puppet Labs, RightScale, Riptano, Scalr, SoftLayer, Sonian, Spiceworks, Zenoss and Zuora.

“OpenStack provides a solid foundation for promoting the emergence of cloud standards and interoperability,” said Peter Levine, SVP and GM, Datacenter and Cloud Division, Citrix Systems. “As a longtime technology partner with Rackspace, Citrix will collaborate closely with the community to provide full support for the XenServer platform and our other cloud-enabling products.”

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