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Rackspace Adds OpenStack to Its Infrastructure

Rackspace announced plans this week to deploy the OpenStack open source cloud platform across its entire infrastructure.

OpenStack was originally developed by Rackspace and NASA, which built the NASA Nebula Cloud Computing Platform. The year-old OpenStack Project now has more than 90 members, with a community of developers collaborating on the open source cloud operating system. The OpenStack code is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license.

"Rackspace is very committed to moving onto the OpenStack technology," said Rackspace VP of product Mark Interrante. The company's object storage system, called Cloud Files, is already based on the OpenStack platform.

The next phase is to move Cloud Servers, the Rackspace compute offering, onto OpenStack, Interrante said. Later this year, Rackspace will transition the Cloud Servers infrastructure to OpenStack Compute, code-named "Nova." OpenStack describes Nova as a cloud computing fabric controller, the heart of the Infrastructure as a Service platform.

"It's our plan to move our Cloud Servers infrastructure to OpenStack," Interrante said. "We will have customers running in 2011. It will be some customers at least. We don't have a fully locked-down set of dates for all the transitions yet but we are very happy with the progress we are making. We are definitely doing a lot of performance testing and QA right now."

The impact on customers should be negligible, he said, suggesting it would be the equivalent of typical maintenance activity. The Linux and Windows servers that customers are running shouldn't change, only the way they are controlled.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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