Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Open Source Cloud Platform

Cloud services and platforms are popping up everywhere you turn and everyone is jumping onto the bandwagon it seems. I have even been asked by 2 startup companies that want to jump into the space if there are needs that still haven't been met with what is available now. This is a growing market and it is still in its very early stages, so there will always be room for more right now. Rackspace and NASA's announcement about OpenStack makes it a little easier to jump into the cloud software and infrastructure game. Rackspace is contributing some of its code under an Apache 2.0 licence to the open source community for the management of compute instances and storage. These seem like just initial starting points for contribution as they have also asked for other needs from the community. I would guess that we will see parallel offerings from OpenStack that mimic Amazon's AWS offerings since they are the largest player in this space. OpenStack's computing platform is currently scheduled to be available in an initial release state in October and the storage platform is expected in September. If you would like to dabble some before then, you can go and download the code at There are projects there for the compute and storage platforms as well as projects for management from the web and from your favorite mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android). Seeing another open source project in this space is a good thing. I hope that people don't immediately start trying to claim standards on cloud computing out of this project. I believe that it is still way to early to try to start standardizing everything. We start to kill the pace of innovation when standards are forced early. That being said, this will be a project to watch closely along with Eucalyptus and will be one to offer a great playground for ideas.