In Cloud Jockeying, IBM, Red Hat, Dell Join OpenStack Foundation

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OpenStack, the open-source platform used by many companies to build cloud services, took a significant step forward Thursday, adding IBM, Red Hat and Dell as backers and becoming a full-fledged foundation.

Started in July 2010 as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing project by Rackspace Cloud and NASA, it has grown at the rapid pace of the cloud computing model itself, with more than 150 companies participating in the project.

On Thursday, Rackspace transferred control of the project to the OpenStack Foundation, which will use a formal process to continue development of the platform with bylaws, committees, and community review. The foundation will include Platinum members who will pay $500,000 to participate, Gold members who will pay $200,000, as well as other companies that will be participating for free.

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The participation of IBM, Red Hat and Dell continues momentum for the OpenStack cloud platform, which has rivals in Amazon Web Services and the open-source Apache Software Foundation.

Action in the cloud space has been fast-paced. On Tuesday, Hewlett-Packard announced its Converged Cloud Services of public, private and hybrid cloud services, which uses OpenStack reference architecture.

Last week, enterprise software vendor Citrix shook up the cloud world by splitting with OpenStack and joining with Apache Software Foundation, which gives Citrix and its customers greater access to Amazon Web Services.

One analyst said OpenStack has taken a step that will encourage others to join.

“These moves clearly demonstrate that OpenStack is gaining industry acceptance and momentum as a viable option for businesses of all sizes, but especially midsize and large-scale enterprises,” Jeff Kaplan, managing director of research and analysis firm, Thinkstrategies, said in an interview. "Growing vendor support for OpenStack will also accelerate the evolution of its functional capabilities."


Next: IBM, Red Hat Outline OpenStack Strategy

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