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The OS began in the summer of 2010, when 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.
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT, noted that the "cloud incorporates a lot of technologies and management tools that a lot of IT pros are familiar with," but assembling those technologies into a cloud environment "is not as common."
He added that OpenStack "does seem to be catching hold as a cloud platform," and that it already has a number of major companies behind it. But what's needed to put it over the top in adoption, King said, is backing by at least some of the biggest cloud players, notably Amazon, Google, Oracle and Microsoft.