OpenSource For You
“The community drives OpenStack’s innovation curve”
In the world of open source, OpenStack has emerged as the ultimate solution to manage the cloud. It is an alternative to all the existing proprietary cloud management platforms and is considered to be easier to deploy than traditional offerings. But what
Q What was the original idea behind developing OpenStack? OpenStack was launched in 2010 through the initial contributions of Rackspace (a Swift Storage project) and NASA (the Nova Compute Project) as an open source cloud infrastructure management project. It quickly grew to include projects for block storage, networking, authentication, dashboards, container management and much more. Today, OpenStack is in its 14th release, called Newton. It is in production use worldwide by hundreds of companies, supporting a wide diversity of applications, and has emerged as the de facto private cloud standard as well as a widely deployed public and hybrid cloud platform.
Q What factors helped Rackspace and NASA to jointly bring the OpenStack movement into the open source ecosystem? One defining characteristic of the two founding organisations was the lack of any desire to directly monetise the software through an ‘enterprise’ version. Neither were software companies, per se. Instead, they simply wanted to see the technology develop rapidly. This helped build a large and thriving ecosystem fast, because it was easier to establish the trust that no one company would dominate the stack.
Q How is this OpenStack movement different from the initial development of Linux?
The biggest difference between Linux and OpenStack lies in the way each one’s community is structured. Linux is guided almost exclusively by its creator, Linus Torvalds. It is a model that has worked really well for Linux. OpenStack, by contrast, is governed by a technical committee and board of directors, who are guided and informed by an active and engaged group of developers and users from a diverse collection of companies and organisations. It is a model that is not without challenges but has on balance worked well for open source cloud management and is a prime factor in the success of the project.
Q What is your opinion on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud? How is OpenStack distinct from these major cloud platforms?
The major difference, of course, is that OpenStack is open source and capable of deployment both as a service and on-premise, while the others are proprietary and only available as a service— at least for the moment. OpenStack works with each of these platforms in a hybrid cloud context, either through APIs or via tighter degrees of integration. Vendors in our ecosystem have developed a variety of products and services to complement OpenStack with these public cloud providers, making the hybrid cloud real and productive for a growing number of users.
Q Why should one opt for OpenStack over VMware or any other proprietary cloud platform?
OpenStack is an open source cloud management solution,