Internap Launches Storage On OpenStack; Rackspace Open Source Cloud Hits Milestone

As the Rackspace-led OpenStack open source cloud computing initiative hits its six-month milestone, the first service provider outside of Rackspace has launched the first public service leveraging the open source cloud.

Internap Network Services Corp., a provider of high-performance IT infrastructure services, on Tuesday launched a public cloud storage service, Internap XIPCloud Storage. The XIPCloud Storage service is built on the OpenStack open source cloud platform, developed by hosting and cloud computing provider Rackspace and launched last year. Internap's new cloud storage service is built on OpenStack's Object Storage software, which enables a highly-scalable and redundant cloud solution that can store terabytes of data while also letting customers leverage third-party tools to move content in and out of the storage cloud without additional development work.

Internap has been involved with the OpenStack initiative since shortly after Rackspace launched the OpenStack open source cloud project last July, said Scot Hrastar, Internap's senior vice president of technology. Hrastar said that Internap will use OpenStack Object Storage for XIPCloud Storage while also contributing back to the OpenStack project.

"We're big believers in the value of openness in the cloud," he said.

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Internap XIPCloud Storage features self-provisioning that lets customers log into a Web portal and buy storage capacity and network bandwidth as needed and the ability to scale services up and down. The service leverages Atlanta-based Internap's Performance IP technology and is backed by a 100 percent SLA.

Hrastar said XIPCloud Storage can be sold as a standalone service or to compliment and extend Internap's other services, such as collocation, connectivity and managed hosting. Some typical use cases are archiving, disaster recover, backup and restore, he said, adding that it will be leveraged by companies that encounter seasonal variations and loads and are looking for on-demand capabilities.

Pricing for Internap XIPCloud Storage is still being finalized.

The launch of XIPCloud Storage based on OpenStack is a big step toward tighter cloud standards and federation across common clouds, said Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the OpenStack Project Oversight Committee. OpenStack is tailored to be leveraged by service providers, but Rackspace has also said the channel can leverage OpenStack by contributing code, using the platform as a deployment target for client applications, adding it to their software stack or launching consulting services around it.

"Everyone expects us to run the software, but one of the big steps the project needed to take was a deployment from someone that is not a developer," Bryce said. "It gives credibility and validation to the project and the quality of the software."

NEXT: Rackspace OpenStack Open Source Cloud Celebrates Six Months

Internap's launch of XIPCloud Storage comes as San Antonio-based Rackspace's OpenStack open source cloud initiative hits the six month milestone. The six-month mark comes after Rackspace's first major OpenStack update and release in October, dubbed Austin, which included the code for OpenStack Compute, the computing infrastructure, and Object Storage, the cloud storage component.

In its first six months, the OpenStack project has grown to include 40 member companies and partners, a big jump from the inaugural 25 members. Bryce said OpenStack has now also received contributions from more than 60 developers.

Currently, Rackspace's Cloud Files offering runs OpenStack Object Storage and Rackspace has plans to expand OpenStack into other offerings as the project grows and matures.

Rackspace is also prepping the second OpenStack release, "Bexar," which is expected to be available for download on February 3, Bryce said. The Bexar release will add approximately 30 new features and include IPV6 support, image repository and will increase large file support by removing the 5 gig limit.

Bryce said the partnership with Internap is the first of many for OpenStack, and that he expects more companies to leverage the platform and make their offerings available. Bryce could not name specific companies; he said more partnerships and offerings based on OpenStack will come soon.