Rackspace OpenStack Cloud Play Gets Major Update, Release

Rackspace officially released the first sets of code for its open-source cloud computing platform, OpenStack, on Thursday, just three months after the project's inception.

Dubbed "Austin," the release includes the code for OpenStack Compute, the computing infrastructure, and Object Storage, the cloud storage play. Since the OpenStack initiative was announced in July, it has seen myriad contributors and has built an ecosystem of more than 35 partners, Rackspace has said.

"The support and active participation from the community has been amazing to see; we are much further along than we expected to be three months into this project, and the future is very promising," OpenStack General Manager Jim Curry said.

OpenStack has been heralded as a cloud computing game-changer, allowing companies and service providers to leverage the code to build out their own private clouds while creating a level of standardization within the cloud computing ecosystem. Curry said that the release of Austin means that "server providers won't have to reinvent the wheel with proprietary cloud stacks, and cloud consumers will have the freedom to move their applications among clouds, whether an enterprise private cloud or simply to change service providers."

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The July launch included a preview of the code for OpenStack Object Storage, a cloud storage platform, which was released as a developer preview. The Austin update makes Object Storage easier to install and deploy and adds dozens of bug fixes and features, such as a statistics processor, enhanced access control and user-defined metadata. Rackspace uses the code behind OpenStack Object Storage to power its Cloud Files offerings.

NEXT: OpenStack Compute Release; Next Update In January

Austin also marks the initial release of OpenStack Compute, a large-scale compute provisioning engine, which combines features from Rackspace's Cloud Servers offering and the NASA Nebula cloud platform. The new release makes OpenStack Compute ready for testing and prototyping. Rackspace encourages users to install the code, offer feedback and participate in the development process.

The goal, Rackspace has said, is to create an easier path to cloud adoption for service providers building cloud offerings, enterprises and government agencies developing private clouds and cloud technology providers integrating with OpenStack. At the Rackspace Partner Summit in San Antonio earlier this month, Rackspace also outlined how the channel can leverage OpenStack. For example, solution providers 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.

The release of OpenStack Austin leads to the next OpenStack update, dubbed "Bexar," which is expected in January. Bexar will mark a full multicluster release, Rackspace has said.