OpenStack at Age 3: 11 Major Milestones in Its Evolution

1 - OpenStack at Age 3: 11 Major Milestones in Its Evolution
2 - A Private Cloud Is Born
3 - OpenStack Is Born
4 - A Solid Foundation Emerges
5 - Big Names Offer Support
6 - Big Projects Built on OpenStack Are Deployed
7 - What Quantum Did for OpenStack
8 - Hear the Grizzly Roar
9 - Worldwide User Adoption Rates
10 - 2013 and a Smorgasbord of Choices: The Good Side
11 - 2013 and a Smorgasbord of Choices: The Bad Side
12 - What's to Come? Ease of Use Becomes, Well, Easier
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OpenStack at Age 3: 11 Major Milestones in Its Evolution

by Chris Preimesberger

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A Private Cloud Is Born

In July 2010, Rackspace Hosting and NASA created OpenStack, an open-source cloud computing operating system, designed to take on the likes of VMware's vSphere, Microsoft's Azure, CloudStack and Amazon AWS. Citrix and Dell are among the key partners. The community's first official release, code-named Austin, becomes available just four months later with plans to release regular updates of the software every few months.

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OpenStack Is Born

In 2011, OpenStack rolled out version 2, Diablo, which ended up not being very easy to use and was later replaced by version 3, Folsom. Additionally, there was controversy in the community around the transparency of the project and Rackspace's control. Talks began about starting a governing party to add more transparency to the project.

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A Solid Foundation Emerges

In 2012, OpenStack made great strides by expanding its governance model. The board of directors formed and raised $10 million to support operations.

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Big Names Offer Support

Big names also decided to support the OpenStack initiative, including EMC, VMware and Red Hat—to name a few. Adding these big names to the roster drove more big players and community members to get involved and helped expand the project for greater potential, as Rackspace noted during the OpenStack and Design Summit in April of 2012.

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Big Projects Built on OpenStack Are Deployed

Large in-production deployments (Comcast and WebEx) in 2012 helped spark interest in the project and enticed more OpenStack projects. These production deployments served as proof points that the software was maturing.

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What Quantum Did for OpenStack

In October 2012, the Folsom release added the most important new component to OpenStack, Quantum. Quantum is more robust and replaces the networking functionality in Nova.

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Hear the Grizzly Roar

In April 2013, OpenStack Grizzly was the seventh release of the open-source software and had more than 230 new features. This release was another sign of OpenStack's increasing maturity. However, there are still major barriers to OpenStack projects being out-of-the-box production-ready.

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Worldwide User Adoption Rates

The adoption of OpenStack has seen a major uptick internationally in the last year, especially in China and India, and keeps growing. Today, there are a total of 16 U.S.-based groups, 40 groups outside the U.S and more than 9,000 community members in 87 different countries.

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2013 and a Smorgasbord of Choices: The Good Side

There are a number of private cloud offerings for OpenStack today, including Hewlett-Packard, eNovance, Rackspace, Red Hat and DreamHost. The competition and added involvement has accelerated development and promotes diversity of choices in platforms.

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2013 and a Smorgasbord of Choices: The Bad Side

Some of the players that have thrown their hats in the ring will not be around in a few years. Tech companies often get acquired or fade out. You might be running on a platform that does not exist in the future. Be sure to research the offering, the company and, most importantly, the communities attached to the platform. The larger the community, the greater the asset if the platform is lost.

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What's to Come? Ease of Use Becomes, Well, Easier

As the number of users and contributors grows, more bugs are identified and squashed, leading to a more stable and more user-friendly OpenStack.

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