OpenStack History

This timeline lays out the most important moments in the history of OpenStack.

2008-02-19 02:50:01

Rackspace Subsidiary Mosso Launches Cloud-Like Services

2008-10-22 02:50:01

Rackspace Acquires SliceHost, JungleDisk

Web hosting provider Rackspace has acquired JungleDisk, an online backup service, and Virtual Machine provider Slicehost in a deal designed to help bolster its offerings against top competitor Amazon Web Services. The announced acquisition price is $11.5 million in cash and stock, with the possibility of up to an additional $16.5 million depending on performance. Jungle Disk is a file storage and backup service that up until now has relied on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). With the new announcement the company says that it will begin offering the service using Rackspace’s similar service Cloud Files, but will continue to support storage using Amazon with plans to support even more services in the future. Slicehost offers developers “slices” in Xen-based virtual servers that are much cheaper and generally easier to use than a traditional dedicated server. The service is a direct competitor to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

2009-12-08 01:11:15

Open Government Iniative Signed by the President

On his very first day in office, President Obama signed a memorandum to all federal agencies directing them to break down barriers to transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the people it is to serve.

2010-03-01 22:48:49

Rackspace Decides to Open Source Cloud Software

Not announced until July 19, 2010.

2010-04-07 22:48:49

NASA Open Sources Nebula Platform

In January, the White House announced the Open Government Directive, instructing all Federal agencies to break down barriers to enable transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the American public. Today marks 120 days since the Open Government Directive was announced and is the deadline for federal agencies to publish an Open Government Plan laying out how they intend to be more open and integrate Open Government principles into their activities. I am honored to have been peripherally involved in developing some parts of NASA’s Open Government Plan. One of the most gratifying parts of the experience was discovering that a large number of NASA’s activities already embody Open Government principles. The Open Government Plan simply continues to build upon NASA’s long heritage of forging new ground and sharing its results with the American public. NASA’s Open Government Framework postulates that agencies must focus on policy, tools, and culture to successfully implement Open Government principles within their organization. I am thrilled to report that Nebula was identified as one of the primary tools that will enable NASA to more easily engage with the public in addition to providing a more efficient method for NASA to deliver IT services to its Scientists and Researchers. Nebula Infrastructure-as-a-Service allows groups inside NASA to provision resources within minutes, avoiding the lengthy procurement, certification, and security processes required for new computing infrastructure and allowing NASA to realize tremendous savings through it’s pooled resource model. When completed, Nebula Platform-as-a-Service will provide NASA software engineers with a robust development environment and sophisticated set of tools that make it faster, easier, and much less expensive to deliver data-driven and scalable Web sites that encourage public participation and collaboration. Nebula will open the doors to transparency, participation and collaboration with powerful, economical computing resources built for government. By releasing the Nebula software stack as Open Source and publishing our entire operating model, Nebula will enable other government Agencies to benefit from NASA's experience. Providing a way for the public to more easily participate in its activities will allow NASA to tap into the incredible power of American innovation. When citizens can give feedback, contribute ideas, and engage in an open dialog with the Government on issues that matter to them, everybody benefits. The Nebula team is honored to be part of this journey toward a new type of Government, one that is more open, efficient and responsive to the needs of American citizens.

2010-04-07 22:48:49

Lew Moorman and Jim Curry interviewed at OSCON 2010

Lew Moorman and Jim Curry interviewed at OSCON 2010

2010-06-04 16:33:46

Jim Curry Writes to Chris Kemp

“I run corporate development at Rackspace, and am very interested in talking with your team about Nebula. Confidentially, we are in the process of open sourcing our cloud stack and I am interested in seeing if there might be some synergies/opportunities for the two projects to work together. Would it be possible to setup some time to discuss with your team?”

2010-06-06 16:33:46

Rackspace Travels to NASA AMES, Forms OpenStack

Rackspace brings Swift, NASA brings Nova. A Technical meritocracy is born.

2010-06-23 02:50:01

Chris Kemp Named NASA CTO of IT

Chris says he sees three major initiatives in his new role; all of which will impact Nebula: Enterprise Architecture. Chris says he will study in-depth the existing IT infrastructure at NASA and help shape the Agency’s future architecture. Nebula could very well play an important role in the Agency’s future EA. Open Government/Open Source. Chris says it is all about connecting to the public what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. Nebula is an open source project; open source helps enable open government. Nebula’s model could prove important to several other Agency initiatives. Nurturing IT Innovation. NASA needs to understand emerging IT technologies better to meet the needs of NASA’s employees and contractors. Nebula is a great example of how NASA is already driving IT innovation at the Agency and elsewhere in the federal government. Nebula is presently helping NASA’s scientists and researchers test new software, but its long-term use could be even greater.

2010-07-10 16:33:46

Lew Moorman Speaks at Design Summit

2010-07-13 10:24:03

First OpenStack Design Summit

An OpenStack Design Summit hosted by Rackspace was held July 13-16 in Austin, where more than 100 technical advisors, developers and founding members joined to validate the code and ratify the project roadmap. More than 25 companies were represented at the Design Summit including AMD, Autonomic Resources, Citrix,, Cloudkick, Cloudscaling, CloudSwitch, Dell, enStratus, FathomDB, Intel, iomart Group, Limelight, Nicira, NTT DATA, Opscode, PEER 1, Puppet Labs, RightScale, Riptano, Scalr, SoftLayer, Sonian, Spiceworks, Zenoss and Zuora.

2010-07-14 16:33:46

NASA's Nebula Cloud

Chief Architect Josh McKenty

2010-07-18 00:00:00

Opening The Rackspace Cloud

Imagine a world where code used by the biggest clouds is freely available to any developer, anywhere. A world where that code was a standard used to build private clouds as well as a variety of new service offers. In this world, workloads could be moved around these clouds easily – you could fire your cloud provider for bad service or lack of features, but not have to rewrite the software to do it. Imagine an open source cloud operating system that lifts IT to the next level of innovation, just as Linux drove the web to new heights. Today, we at Rackspace launched an ambitious project called OpenStack that aims to make this new world a reality. I want to lay out the thinking that got us here and why we think this moment will change computing forever. “The cloud” at its most fundamental level is all about a massive supply increase in computing power. The PC era was all about putting a computer on every desk. The cloud era goes a step further, putting the power of supercomputing at the literal fingertips of every individual at anytime. Whether it’s enabling a youth soccer coach to schedule practice across the online calendars of 18 families, or helping a scientist fold proteins to design new cancer drugs, or encouraging a frontline employee to instantly and cheaply test a new marketing campaign, the exponential growth in computing power and applications is changing every corner of our economy and society. And, this era is truly just beginning. We have seen only a tiny fraction of the potential gains that arise from cheap, ubiquitous computing power. As this landscape has evolved, some have dismissed cloud computing as just a return to the mainframe era. This view is fundamentally wrong. Mainframes were available to only the smartest employees at the richest companies. The cloud is accessible to all, and usable by anyone, at low cost. Its ubiquity is the source of its power. However, there is one area where mainframe concepts are intruding into the cloud – the vertically integrated technology stack. As hardware and software merge into services, the danger of locked down proprietary software stacks are emerging in the cloud space. The cloud world changes everything, and that is not good to many entrenched interests of the old guard. Core technologies from operating systems to hypervisors to databases are being used to tie cloud customers into an integrated view of the world. If the web has taught us anything, it is that open systems, portability, and choice drive innovation. The open Linux system brought us a mountain of software and tools to help accomplish almost any task. And, each component, whether a database or a widget could be moved in and out freely based on the job getting done. We at Rackspace have long talked about an “open” cloud. And as a service provider built on our Fanatical Support difference, we have never had an interest in creating technical walls around our service. But, given that no standards tools have emerged to build massively scalable clouds, we too have had to build custom software that creates some level of wall around our cloud offerings. For months we have debated how to drive greater standards and increase the velocity of cloud technologies in general. We finally converged on the obvious answer: open source our cloud technology. Today, we announced a new open source project that includes those core technologies: OpenStack. And, we are not alone. As we looked at all the projects that already existed to drive standards we saw that other efforts were underway that complemented what we have done. We saw a ton of promise in the Nebula computing project built by NASA and are making it a core part of the project. Taking the contributions of Rackspace and NASA as a starting point, OpenStack forms a powerful foundation of technologies including, a scalable compute provisioning engine – OpenStack Compute – and a fully distributed storage engine – OpenStack Object Storage. The community, which we plan to actively support and drive, is live today at with code available for download. Last week we assembled a strong group of cloud community leaders and developers to meet and review the architecture, engage on technology direction and contribute code. The effort attracted more than 100 participants from 25 companies including hosting companies, telecom providers, hardware manufacturers, cloud ecosystem companies and beyond. This enthusiasm and collaboration around OpenStack has laid the foundation for a vibrant and innovative approach to building the core software to power the future cloud world. What do we expect OpenStack to mean for the cloud community? Some pretty major things. One, anyone will be able to run this cloud and do it anywhere. Enterprises and governments will be able to build private clouds. Service providers will have the same technology used by Rackspace and NASA to build new offers. Choice and portability are inevitable in this world. Two, the entire tech ecosystem can build around this foundation. With wide adoption, there will be a market for new services all around this core engine. From storage systems to monitoring tools to management systems, there is no end to what can be attached to the core project. Three, the cloud will advance faster than ever. Between just NASA and Rackspace, an army of developers are committed to the continued advancement of OpenStack. With our emerging supporters in the project, we expect to dramatically expand that army. Finally, a core set of standards will be freely available and totally open. New technologies can be attached. Better solutions will be driven into the product. And, the use of this powerful technology will not tie you to the use of any other technologies. For our customers, we think there are many benefits that flow from these community gains. Not only will this help our offers develop faster and more transparently, but our customers can run private editions of our core systems in house or in our managed hosting operation. We could not be more excited about the launch of this project and the enthusiasm around it. As a company that has invested a great deal in the development of cloud technologies, we did not take the decision to open source lightly. We think this decision will serve our interests and those of our customers. While we at Rackspace hire top developers and engineers to make sure our technology is second to none, seeking a technology advantage has never been our approach. We have our own vision about how to deploy this technology and serve customers – by giving them seamless access to scalable computing with the trusting partnership that comes through Fanatical Support. But, there will be many approaches and winning formulas. We think by welcoming those approaches and driving standards and more rapid innovation we will all win. We hope you join us in this cause. We know there are many parties who may want to join us in the effort; please reach out to us on this blog or through the OpenStack page on If you would like to know more, please click here to read the OpenStack press release, click here to see the OpenStack page on, or click here to visit We look forward to updating you as we make progress. inShare

2010-07-19 22:48:49

OpenStack Launches with 25+ Partners

Rackspace(R) Hosting (NYSE:RAX) today announced the launch of OpenStack(TM), an open-source cloud platform designed to foster the emergence of technology standards and cloud interoperability. Rackspace, the leading specialist in the hosting and cloud computing industry, is donating the code that powers its Cloud Files and Cloud Servers public-cloud offerings to the OpenStack project. The project will also incorporate technology that powers the NASA Nebula Cloud Platform. Rackspace and NASA plan to actively collaborate on joint technology development and leverage the efforts of open-source software developers worldwide. "Modern scientific computation requires ever increasing storage and processing power delivered on-demand," said Chris C. Kemp, NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT. "To serve this demand, we built Nebula, an infrastructure cloud platform designed to meet the needs of our scientific and engineering community. NASA and Rackspace are uniquely positioned to drive this initiative based on our experience in building large scale cloud platforms and our desire to embrace open source." OpenStack will feature several cloud infrastructure components including a fully distributed object store based on Rackspace Cloud Files, available today at The next component planned for release is a scalable compute-provisioning engine based on the NASA Nebula cloud technology and Rackspace Cloud Servers technology. It is expected to be available later this year. Using these components, organizations would be able to turn physical hardware into scalable and extensible cloud environments using the same code currently in production serving tens of thousands of customers and large government projects. "We are founding the OpenStack initiative to help drive industry standards, prevent vendor lock-in and generally increase the velocity of innovation in cloud technologies," said Lew Moorman, President, Cloud and CSO at Rackspace. "We are proud to have NASA's support in this effort. Its Nebula Cloud Platform is a tremendous boost to the OpenStack community. We expect ongoing collaboration with NASA and the rest of the community to drive more-rapid cloud adoption and innovation, in the private and public spheres." Rackspace and NASA have committed to use OpenStack to power their cloud platforms, and Rackspace will dedicate open-source developers and resources to support adoption of OpenStack among enterprises and service providers. An OpenStack Design Summit hosted by Rackspace was held July 13-16 in Austin, where more than 100 technical advisors, developers and founding members joined to validate the code and ratify the project roadmap. More than 25 companies were represented at the Design Summit including AMD, Autonomic Resources, Citrix,, Cloudkick, Cloudscaling, CloudSwitch, Dell, enStratus, FathomDB, Intel, iomart Group, Limelight, Nicira, NTT DATA, Opscode, PEER 1, Puppet Labs, RightScale, Riptano, Scalr, SoftLayer, Sonian, Spiceworks, Zenoss and Zuora. "OpenStack provides a solid foundation for promoting the emergence of cloud standards and interoperability," said Peter Levine, SVP and GM, Datacenter and Cloud Division, Citrix Systems. "As a longtime technology partner with Rackspace, Citrix will collaborate closely with the community to provide full support for the XenServer platform and our other cloud-enabling products." "We believe in offering customers choice in cloud computing that helps them improve efficiency," says Forrest Norrod, Vice President and General Manager of Server Platforms, Dell. "OpenStack on Dell is a great option to create open source enterprise cloud solutions." To download or contribute code and get involved, visit Follow OpenStack on Twitter @OpenStack. About Rackspace Hosting Rackspace Hosting is the world's leading specialist in the hosting and cloud computing industry. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support(R) to its customers, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing. For more information, visit About the NASA Nebula Cloud Program NASA Nebula is a Cloud Computing service based at NASA Ames Research Center that provides high performance compute, network, and data storage services to NASA scientists and researchers. Nebula allows NASA to share and process large scientific data sets and was one of three flagship projects highlighted in NASA's Open Government Plan. For more information, visit Forward Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements concerning expected development of the OpenStack project; the acceptance of OpenStack technology as an industry standard; anticipated operational and financial benefits from any development of the OpenStack project; the participation of other companies or individuals in the OpenStack project; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility that expected benefits from the OpenStack project may not materialize because the underlying technology is not reliable or generally compatible with industry standards; there are changes in technology that adversely affect the adoption of the standards, and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, filed with the SEC on May 6, 2010. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

2010-07-22 22:48:49

Lew Moorman Announces OpenStack at OSCON

2010-10-10 06:24:53

John Engates Discusses OpenStack

2010-10-18 02:43:09

Nebula IaaS Goes GA in NASA

2010-10-21 22:48:49

First 'Austin' Code Released with 35+ Partners

An updated OpenStack code release dubbed "Austin" will be available Thursday, some three months after the project was first announced. OpenStack includes the code that powers Rackspace's Cloud Files and Cloud Servers technology, as well as software developed by NASA for its Nebula cloud platform. An initial component based on Cloud Files, OpenStack Object Storage, was released in July. The Austin update eases deployment, fixes bugs and adds new features, such as a statistics processor and better access control. A second component called OpenStack Compute is a provisioning engine built with code from Cloud Servers and Nebula. It is now suitable for testing and prototypes with the arrival of Austin.

2010-11-09 22:48:49

Inaugural Design Summit in San Antonio

2010-11-09 22:48:49

The Second OpenStack Design Conference (First Public Conference)

2010-11-10 16:33:46

Chris Kemp Talks About OpenStack

Uploaded on Nov 10, 2010 Dell's Cloud evangelist Barton George interviews NASA CTO of IT, Chris Kemp. Chris talks about cloud computing at NASA and their participation in the OpenStack project. Filmed at OpenStack design summit, Nov 9, 2010, San Antonio, TX.

2011-02-03 03:34:12

Bexar Release

The Bexar release introduces large file support for OpenStack Object Storage (Swift), the OpenStack Image registry and Delivery service (Glance) and a lot of new features in OpenStack Compute (Nova).

2011-02-09 15:30:18

Rackspace Acquires Anso Labs

Anso Labs is a participant in the OpenStack project and has already contributed substantially to its success. They are best known for work they have done with NASA to help build their Nebula cloud platform, the code behind which NASA contributed to the open source community as the basis for OpenStack Compute last summer. Anso Labs – like Rackspace — believes the world needs a truly open cloud platform and are committed to building it.

2011-03-19 02:50:01

Chris Kemp Resigns from NASA

"Deciding to leave NASA has not been easy, and is something I’ve been struggling with for the past few months. About a month ago, I mentioned to one of my mentors that “it’s a very difficult time to be an entrepreneur at NASA.” She responded “is it ever a good time to be an entrepreneur at NASA?” Reflecting on this, I realized that most of my accomplishments at NASA were not at Headquarters, but out in the field where I could roll up my sleeves and work on projects and get stuff done. Whereas I thought I had the best of both worlds being a Headquarters employee stationed in Silicon Valley, I actually had the worst of both worlds… no influence when I can't be in all of those meetings at NASA HQ, with no mandate to manage projects at Ames. As budgets kept getting cut and continuing resolutions from Congress continued to make funding unavailable, I saw my vision for the future slowly slip further from my grasp. So, today, I am announcing that I am leaving the place I dreamed of working as a kid to find a garage in Palo Alto to do what I love."

2011-03-25 02:50:01

Chris Kemp Founds Fourth Paradigm Development (Nebula)

Fourth Paradigm Development, Inc. with entrepreneur Steve O’Hara and former colleague Devin Carlen. In April, the company received seed investments from the first few investors in Google, including Andy Bechtolsheim, Ram Shriram, and David Cheriton. In May, the Company received series-A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield, and Byers and Highland Capital Partners. (The company name is a reference to this:

2011-04-05 15:02:07

Anso Labs Cloud Builders

2011-04-15 03:34:12

Cactus Release

2011-04-26 00:00:00

OpenStack Desgin Summit

In Santa Clara, CA

2011-07-12 13:37:49

Citrix Buys

Citrix Systems has purchased Silicon Valley startup as part of its effort to help customers build, deploy, and manage Amazon-style "infrastructure clouds". On Tuesday, Citrix announced the purchase of the three-year-old, 50-person, venture-funded startup for an undisclosed sum.

2011-07-27 00:15:03

HP Joins OpenStack

HP (NYSE:HPQ) Wednesday revealed it has put its support behind the OpenStack cloud, the open source cloud infrastructure project.

2011-07-27 15:51:53

Kemp Launches Nebula

Former NASA CTO Chris Kemp left his post in the spring to pursue a startup venture, and on Wednesday morning he introduced his new company, Nebula. It’s selling an OpenStack-based appliance for managing scale-out cloud deployments, and is backed by premier talent and investors.

2011-09-01 00:00:00

Rackspace Begins OpenStack Cloud Testing

Two weeks ago, we started inviting a small set of customers and partners to use a private alpha of Compute running in our data centers. Over the coming weeks and months we will add features, capabilities and customers. We will refine the code, work out bugs, solidify our operational systems and start hooking in our production systems. Priority #1 inside our cloud product development organization is making this shift, and we could not be more excited about it.

2011-09-22 16:03:24

Diablo Release

2011-10-08 00:15:03

Akamai joins OpenStack Community

2011-11-04 05:14:18

Why OpenStack Will Falter

Open source history suggests that Eucalyptus, a private cloud implementation of Amazon Web Services, will triumph over OpenStack -- By Savio Rodrigues | InfoWorld

2011-11-04 05:14:18

Piston Cloud OpenStack Play Gets $4.5 Million Boost

Open-source cloud player Piston Cloud Computing brought in a whopping $4.5 million in funding this week, cash that the startup will use to beef up its OpenStack software. The $4.5 million investment was led by Hummer Winblad and True Ventures, with Divergent Ventures and others participating.

2011-11-11 16:33:46

OpenStack Update

2012-01-09 05:14:18

AT&T Joins OpenStack

AT&T became the first U.S. telecom service provider to join OpenStack, the organization that has developed an open-source cloud software stack. Having a major carrier like AT&T backing OpenStack will help drive the project forward, Jim Curry, chief stacker at OpenStack, said. He spoke on Monday at the AT&T Developers Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

2012-02-16 00:00:00

TryStack Sandbox Launches

Today, a project that has been a long time in the making is finally coming to fruition. Back last summer, when I was working at Rackspace, Nati Ueno from NTT PF Labs came up with the idea of establishing a “Free Cloud” — a site running OpenStack that developers using the OpenStack APIs could use to test their software.

2012-02-29 16:57:30

Rackspace Cloud Powered by OpenStack™ [Beta]

Today the next-generation Cloud Servers, powered by OpenStack™, completed the private Alpha phase and entered the Beta phase. This transition is a huge milestone for OpenStack and for the Open era of the cloud. Through the Alpha program, working with our customers and early users, we have learned a lot. What we have today is their input resulting in substantial improvements – from better API responsiveness to the ability for a single user to concurrently spin up hundreds of servers within minutes. These are concrete steps towards making the OpenStack-based Cloud platform ready for production scale deployments. The Beta phase will allow us to continue to advance development towards that goal and Rackspace vision and enrich the user experience.

2012-04-03 00:15:03

OpenStack Gets a New GUI

The developers behind OpenStack have updated their open source cloud software package with a new graphical user interface and a unified authentication management system, the project's organizers announced Thursday.

2012-04-03 00:15:03

Citrix abandons OpenStack, takes CloudStack to Apache

Citrix has abandoned its Olympus OpenStack distribution and will focus instead on its open-source CloudStack operating system, which it has contributed as a project under the Apache Software Foundation. As part of the announcement, Citrix said CloudStack will continue to support Amazon's APIs (application programming interfaces) and believes such support is crucial to the success of cloud platforms. It implied it has Amazon's blessing.

2012-04-05 00:00:00

Essex Release

2012-04-16 16:57:30

Rackspace Moves to Production OpenStack

Today, Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX), the service leader in cloud computing and a co-founder of OpenStack®, launched new cloud capabilities featuring the world’s first large-scale, production ready next generation cloud, powered by OpenStack and backed by Fanatical Support®. Built on OpenStack, the next generation cloud incorporates a robust portfolio of cloud solutions such as Cloud Servers, Cloud Databases, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Networks, a completely new cloud Control Panel, Cloud Monitoring and support for the OpenStack API. “The open era of the cloud is a reality and Rackspace has positioned itself at the forefront of this massive, technological shift,” said Lanham Napier, CEO of Rackspace. “We’re drawing a line in the sand against proprietary cloud providers. With this launch, Rackspace is providing an open cloud alternative, backed by Fanatical Support and our core expertise on OpenStack, to deliver a strong product portfolio that will help customers navigate their way through an increasingly complex cloud environment.”

2012-05-09 00:15:03

HP Gets Its Cloud On

2012-09-19 00:10:43

OpenStack Foundation Launches With $10M in Funding, 5600 Members

2012-09-27 21:04:52

Folsom Release

2012-10-03 04:01:33

Rackspace Launches Certification Program for OpenStack®

2012-10-29 20:50:43

How VMware is Contributing to OpenStack

CTO Steve Herrod speaks.

2012-12-06 03:24:44

OpenStack’s Past, Present And Future

Jim Curry's Keynote at OpenStack EMEA While I was putting together my keynote presentation for OpenStack EMEA, I took a trip down memory lane and uncovered documents, emails and slide decks chronicling the earliest iterations of what would later become OpenStack. It’s been an incredible two and a half years since we launched OpenStack, but let’s take a quick look back and see how we got here. Most are aware of how Rackspace and NASA joined forces to create an open source cloud operating system. In 2010, the market was looking for alternatives to Amazon’s proprietary public cloud and VMware’s virtualization solutions. Rackspace, as a provider, was looking for scalable technology on which to base our public cloud. At that time, there were very few choices, and the choices that existed weren’t going to meet our needs. There was no choice. All we had were proprietary and/or licensed solutions that would cause customers to be locked into the technology. At Rackspace, our legacy technology was proprietary, too. When we acquired Slicehost to power our first generation of Cloud Servers, we made some code changes, and we had our own APIs and proprietary technology. We had seen how successful Linux was and we wanted to offer our customers open standards and enable choice. At Rackspace, our intent was that we would differentiate ourselves based on our service and support of those technologies. So we created rCloud – an early iteration of OpenStack, prior to NASA joining. But that original rCloud introductory presentation – the one we shared with folks thinking of joining the initiative – outlined some ambitious goals; some that we’ve already surpassed just two and a half years later. Looking back now, the summary slide from the rCloud presentation looks like a to-do list: Release our cloud software as open source projects? Check! Run the open source stack in production? Check! Dedicate resources like developers, code and marketing? Check! Check! Check! And the reasons we did it are still what drive the OpenStack project today. We wanted to accelerate the pace of innovation through collaboration; drive standards through ubiquity to accelerate adoption; eliminate the fear of lock in; open up a closed and fragmented market; and enable public, private and hybrid cloud interoperability with an open stack. The original note got a great response, but at the same time some folks from NASA released some compute code that also looked really good. We were really excited – here was another company, with a desire to build open source clouds and bring the community to its cause, which seemed to think like we did. It was an organization that had a great brand and major recognition. So, I struck up a conversation with Chris Kemp, then at NASA, now CEO of Nebula. My email was quick and to the point: “I run corporate development at Rackspace, and am very interested in talking with your team about Nebula. Confidentially, we are in the process of open sourcing our cloud stack and I am interested in seeing if there might be some synergies/opportunities for the two projects to work together. Would it be possible to setup some time to discuss with your team?” This is how rCloud evolved into OpenStack – a brief email sent on a Friday morning got the ball rolling. A few days later we got together on the phone, and a few days after that we got together in person. An amazing thing happened during those meetings – as I believe it was during those meetings that the technical meritocracy of our project was born even before it started. Rackspace had Swift code already running in production. The NASA team was building something similar, and rather than argue over who had the better widget, they took our code. And NASA had just started architecting Nova, with only a thousand or so proof of concept lines written. We had started a similar process for compute, but theirs looked good, so we decided to abandon our efforts and use theirs. So OpenStack was born not just with the talking points we all know today, but with actual give and take between the two founders based on technical meritocracy. Amazingly, we agreed on the rest of the principles without debate, and they stuck. The one thing that didn’t really stick was the name. Deciding on the name was a major debate. I spent more time coming up with names for OpenStack than with the names of my children. rCloud turned into Sangria, CodeRed turned into CloudOS and so on. I think OpenStack had more names than James Bond had love interests. Maybe we should’ve just called it 007. Other ill-fated monikers included Cloudbase, Cloudcontrol, Cloudware, CloudCommander and CloudManager. We even once had an OpenStack logo that had a stack of pancakes. Luckily we settled on OpenStack, and I think it represents the project very well. I also couldn’t imagine saying that the Rackspace Cloud is powered by CloudCommander. It doesn’t have the same ring to it. It’s incredible to look back now and see the humble beginnings of a project that turned the IT and cloud worlds on their ears. In just a short time we’ve gone from arguing about names to becoming a full-fledged community run by an independent foundation. The community itself comprises 6,695 people from 87 different countries at time of this blog, and it’s continuing to grow. Now OpenStack powers not only Rackspace’s public cloud and suite of cloud products, but also our Rackspace Private Cloud Software (Alamo), which delivers an OpenStack-powered private cloud in just minutes. Really, it’s that simple: You can download it for free, enter some IPs and basic credentials, go get a cup of coffee and come back to a fully-configured private cloud. It’s a step toward true IT-as-a-Service; IT delivered seamlessly that doesn’t require manual updates or upgrades. It just works. You don’t have to worry about the hardware, the host OS, hypervisors or any other component. Alamo is a step in that direction. It’s already been downloaded in roughly 150 countries on all seven continents; by just over a quarter of the Fortune 100 and more than 100 colleges, universities and research centers. Rackspace Private Cloud Software eliminates the headache of having to worry about dozens of different configurations. We provide an open cloud environment that marries the speed and scalability of our OpenStack-based public cloud with the control and reliability of a private, dedicated cloud environment. This delivers on another one of our promises: the ability to deploy an open cloud anywhere, whether it’s in our data center, your data center or in another data center altogether. It fulfills the vision of having OpenStack everywhere. I like to say “my place, or yours?” It’s in public and private clouds, it’s in your data center, our data centers or in a co-lo facility and you can run like Rackspace and run like an enterprise. It’s true IT-as-a-Service for customers. Customers deploying OpenStack have the option of having Rackspace support the software and actually run the environment for them, meaning that the same teams that operate our cloud can do the same for yours: monitor it and respond to events; patch it; upgrade it with every new build; plan for capacity additions; deploy best practices; test it and more. Basically, we take care of everything for you. You get an API and an infrastructure that just works. It’s everything you get from a public cloud, but delivered as a private cloud in your data center. You then can truly free resources from working on commodity infrastructure and instead work on the applications that sit on top – the parts that really differentiate your business. That’s where we are today. It’s incredibly impressive to see how far OpenStack has come since we first started with rCloud, Sangria and a stack of pancakes almost three years ago. I am both proud and humbled to have been involved since the first email was sent, and I’m even more excited about what’s coming in the future. We bet our company on OpenStack; and I can’t think of a better bet.

OpenStack History

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