Rackspace Brings Real-World Training To OpenStack Cloud


Rackspace wants to get users of the OpenStack cloud, its open-source cloud project, up to speed with OpenStack with hands-on training courses on the ins and outs of all things OpenStack.

Mark Collier, Rackspace vice president of business development and corporate development, said that professional OpenStack training courses -- offered through Rackspace Cloud Builders, Rackspace's services, support and training arm for OpenStack -- will cover the fundamentals of setting up, administering and troubleshooting OpenStack clouds via real-world situations in a training lab environment.

"There's such a hunger for the knowledge and a lot of it is locked up in the mind of the folks at Rackspace," Collier said about the launch of OpenStack training.

OpenStack, which hit its one-year anniversary last month, is a collaborative open-source cloud project led by Rackspace. The open-source cloud stack has amassed to more than 80 participating companies and more than 200 developers. Among its biggest partner companies and contributors are Cisco, Citrix and Dell and HP recently pledged its allegiance to OpenStack.

The initial five-day training course, dubbed Fundamentals Training for OpenStack, will be offered in Boston before the October OpenStack Design Summit; at the Rackspace campus in London; and at the Dell campus in Austin, Texas. Additional training dates and locations are coming soon, Collier said.

According to Rackspace, two days of the fundamentals course will focus on OpenStack Object Storage, the open-source software that can create petabytes of distributed, reliable storage; and three days will focus on OpenStack Compute, the open-source software used to provision and manage large networks of virtual machines.

"It really goes deep into how to install, configure and support OpenStack," Collier said, adding that the training courses are designed to build the confidence of people "who intend to go out and build a cloud."

Cloud providers can take advantage of the training to build the expertise needed to launch an OpenStack practice or develop solutions based on the open-source cloud operating system. According to Collier, there is a great deal if interest in OpenStack from the channel and from Rackspace partners, and while the courses aren't directly aimed at channels, attendees will be able to leverage the lessons.

"There will be companies that want to take the training so they can go out and build a business," he said. Collier added that he sees Rackspace eventually offering more channel-focused training courses and courses to train new OpenStack trainers to create a network of education around the open source cloud initiative.

From there, he said, an OpenStack certification program around various disciplines, like architect, deployer and operator are likely.

According to Collier, more than 40,000 users have downloaded OpenStack -- and there are more unaccounted for that downloaded it from other places -- and the demand continues to grow. The training courses will give Rackspace a better handle on who is using OpenStack and how they're using it.

"It helps us get a clue as to how many people are really building clouds on OpenStack," he said.

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