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Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, described IBM's move as "very smart." She noted that, by becoming such a big supporter of OpenStack and open cloud standards, the company will now "have a bigger say and can help to drive the standard."
DiDio added that, while proprietary cloud standards will continue to exist in niche markets, the big issue for users is interoperability -- and if open standards can provide that, those standards win. Users, she said, only want to know that "it's reliable, secure and can help to relieve management's burden."
OpenStack is an open-source cloud operating system that controls computing, storage 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 cloud-based system. Besides IBM, other corporate members include AT&T, Canonical, Hewlett-Packard , IBM, Rackspace, Red Hat, Cisco , Dell and Yahoo.
The OS began 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.