Rackspace's OpenStack Cloud: Where Does The Channel Play?

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Rackspace launched its OpenStack open source cloud computing platform earlier this year to a great deal of fanfare and whispers that it could represent a major shift in the cloud computing landscape.

It's still early in the OpenStack initiative, an open source private cloud software platform through which Rackspace is opening up its Cloud Servers cloud compute and Cloud Files cloud storage code. But Rackspace is on the cusp of releasing the first major update -- and the first to include compute code -- to OpenStack since it launched in July. The October 21 release, code-named "Austin," will be geared toward developers and is designed to get them up to speed with OpenStack on a small scale of roughly 100 servers before the full multi-cluster, 1,000-server release in January.

At its Partner Leadership Summit in San Antonio on Wednesday, Rackspace outlined what role the channel will play in the OpenStack initiative and how partners can leverage the open source technology to launch new services and build a new revenue stream.

John Engates, Rackspace CTO, said partners can leverage OpenStack in several ways. They can contribute code, use the platform as a deployment target for client applications, add it on as a part of their software stack or launch consulting services around it.

"If you're building for the cloud...you want to think about where that application gets deployed," he said, adding that OpenStack will be compatible with Rackspace's public cloud so partners could help their clients move applications between the OpenStack private cloud and the Rackspace public cloud.


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