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OpenStack Prepping Free Testing, Development Cloud

The OpenStack open-source cloud initiative is planning a free public testing and development cloud, called FreeCloud, which will let users take OpenStack for a test drive, CRN has learned.

OpenStack

The OpenStack FreeCloud project is for users and companies interested in developing for or getting familiar with OpenStack.

OpenStack could not share additional details on the FreeCloud offering, but a wiki page for the FreeCloud project says that "FreeCloud is a public deployment of OpenStack that highlights a set of common reference architectures and enables users to try out the OpenStack APIs for managing cloud computing resources."

According to the wiki, the project is designed to be a public sandbox for users interested in writing software that calls or extends the OpenStack API and the understanding of best practices around deploying OpenStack on a variety of reference architectures.

"The project also serves as a unique place for the OpenStack development and deployment community to identify problems with packaging and deployment; gain experience administering an OpenStack cloud on a variety of heterogeneous hypervisors and network topologies; [and] documenting differences in behavior, functionality and performance between different reference architectures," the FreeCloud wiki states.

During a presentation at the OpenStack Conference in Boston Thursday, HP Vice President of Cloud Infrastructure Jim Purrier let slip that HP is one of the contributing partners to OpenStack FreeCloud. Purrier said HP plans to donate data center space to OpenStack FreeCloud, including the power, cooling, nodes of its Nova compute capacity and Swift object storage.

Sources have told CRN that NTT and Rackspace will join HP as participants in the OpenStack FreeCloud project, with more to follow.

According to the FreeCloud wiki, users of FreeCloud can launch instances in one of the "FreeCloud zones," each of which is a reference architecture that highlights different hypervisors and configuration settings. OpenStack said on the wiki that instances last a week and after one week they are destroyed.

"…FreeCloud is not meant for permanent storage or compute resources, but rather a test-bed for OpenStack enthusiast and developers to experiment with the OpenStack API," OpenStack said.

Currently, the proposed terms of service for FreeCloud users allots each user 1 GB of RAM, and users can allocate any number of instances they wish with cumulative RAM of all instances not going over 1 GB. Additionally, instances will have different expiration times based on their RAM size and CPU count. For example a 256 MB/1 CPU instance will expire in 72 hours; a 512 MB/1 CPU instance will expire in 48 hours; a 1,024 MB/1 CPU instance will expire in 24 hours; and a 1,024 MB/2 CPU instance will expire in 12 hours.

According to OpenStack, the code that runs FreeCloud is a collection of deployment scripts and modules that automatically purge instances after a certain period of time.

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