OpenStack, the open-source
infrastructure, is generating a downpour of new announcements. Headlining those flowing from the OpenStack Grizzly Summit this week in Portland, Ore., is a series of OpenStack moves by Hewlett-Packard.
OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls computing, and networking resources in a data center, and is managed through a dashboard. It is designed to be used on standard hardware and to accommodate a massively scalable system.
Grizzly is the name of the newest version of OpenStack, however conflicting the metaphors of a bear and a cloud might be. Among other things, Grizzly adds support for VMware ESX and Hyper-V hypervisors, as well as enhances scalability and new block storage options. Launched in the summer of 2010, OpenStack has been gaining support from the likes of Dell, Oracle, AT&T, Canonical, Red Hat, Yahoo and IBM, in addition to HP.
Earlier this month, IBM announced that all of its cloud services and products will be based on the OpenStack platform and other open-source cloud standards. Some observers compared that move to its support at the turn of the century for Linux, which helped that open-source OS gain acceptance in enterprises.
One of the biggest announcements at Grizzly is that HP will now integrate OpenStack into its HP CloudSystem 7.2. HP has been a major backer of the OpenStack project, and CloudSystem is the company's flagship private cloud solution. The integration of OpenStack technology will enable support of "bursting" capabilities and Red Hat KVM resource pools, so that companies can use external resources from CloudSystem on a pay-as-you-go basis.
New HP CloudSystem Bursting Activation Services will enable the quick installation and configuration of cloud-bursting, so that customers can add capacity as needed from one CloudSystem to another and service providers can deliver on-demand capacity. HP also said that new Cloud Messaging, currently in private beta, will use the emerging OpenStack Marconi API standard for a framework-independent exchange of data between applications.
'Cloud of Clouds'
Other announcements include startup Midokura's release of MidoNet, a distributed, software-defined virtual network that supports OpenStack and is intended for infrastructure-as-a-service. Cloudbyte has announced integration of its OpenStack Block Storage Cinder for managing Cloudbyte storage with the OpenStack Horizon client or with the Cinder API. Other announcements at the conference, which ends Thursday, have been made by NetApp, CloudScaling and Piston Cloud.
Meanwhile, hosting service Rackspace, which launched OpenStack, said Monday it was expanding its global cloud network to build and run interoperable OpenStack-based public clouds for service providers such as telcos.
Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier said in a statement that his company has had "interest from service providers on nearly every continent to extend Rackspace's proven OpenStack-powered public cloud solutions and expertise to their customers," and that the result will be a "fully interoperable global 'cloud of clouds.' "
Past 'Critical Mass'
Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, said interoperability was the key to OpenStack's rise and, at this point, the open source technology is "past the point of critical mass."
She added that some companies will still want to use proprietary systems, because of concerns or specific application needs, but companies that use OpenStack-based technology will make it "easier for their programmers."
The OS got its start in the summer of 2010, when hosting provider Rackspace announced it was releasing its code for cloud infrastructure, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it would provide its open-source cloud computing project, Nebula, to the initiative. Nebula was developed by NASA in 2008 as a way of providing additional data centers for NASA scientists and engineers.