Rackspace Moves Quick to Monetize OpenStack

Support will come from a new business unit called Rackspace Cloud Builders

By Maureen O'Gara

Rackspace the other day started offering to support OpenStack, the eight-month-old open source cloud infrastructure platform it put together with NASA much to the chagrin of NASA buddy Eucalyptus Systems, the other open source cloud platform.

Support will come from a new business unit called Rackspace Cloud Builders that will also provide training, certification, management and deployment services to enterprises and service providers. The OpenStack widgetry is supposed to be ready to deploy at SP scale next month.

Rackspace said in a statement, "We are ready to support OpenStack deployments anywhere starting today." What exactly it will cost is unclear. Presumably it'll eventually add monitoring and management software from Cloudkick, its other recent acquisition.

The support team consists of Rackspace developers and the 10 or so people from Anso Labs, the California-based professional services company that Rackspace just bought. Anso built the compute fabric under the Nebula mojo that NASA kicked into OpenStack. Rackspace supplied the more mature storage piece.

Anso co-founder Jesse Andrews is now director of development for Rackspace Cloud Builders and for all the cumbayĆ” community malarkey Rackspace pretty much controls OpenStack. Even with the addition of three seats to the Project Oversight Committee (now the Project Policy Board) last week, Rackspace still controls seven of the 12.

Rackspace is apparently moving early in the game to justify the cost of OpenStack development despite the 50-odd partners the project has now gathered and to spur adoption. The widgetry recently reached the so-called Bexar cut, good for limited production runs, early last month and the more scaleable Cactus release is due in April.

Canonical, another Eucalyptus buddy, and Citrix are supposed to turn out software distributions.

Dell is supposed to bundle OpenStack with its servers, networking and services. It will be pushing customers to do a proof of concept and has built an OpenStack installer to turn bare metal servers into clouds that will be contributed to the community once field tests are run.

One of the first Cloud Builders clients is a collaborative project led by Cybera and Compute/Calcul Canada that is using OpenStack for a new program to reach out to Canadian small and medium-sized tech companies.

CANARIE, otherwise known as Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network, recently launched the DAIR (Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research) Program that leverages CANARIE's high-speed network and adds compute and storage capabilities to deliver a shared R&D environment. To support the DAIR Program, Cybera and Compute/Calcul Canada are supplying and managing two large-scale compute and storage nodes using OpenStack as the pilot's cloud service platform.

Rackspace says it is also working with Canonical, Citrix, Cloudscaling, Equinix, Intel, Microsoft and Opscode to deliver training, system integration and deployment services. Cisco has also recently signed up to contribute to OpenStack and integrate it with its own stuff.

source: sys-con.com