Backers of the OpenStack open-source cloud platform have joined forces to announce the formation of the OpenStack Foundation.
On April 12, 19 technology companies announced their plans to become Platinum or Gold members of the OpenStack Foundation, an independent and long-term home for OpenStack, the open-source cloud operating system. AT&T, Canonical, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat and SUSE have indicated their intent to join the foundation as Platinum Members, and Cisco, ClearPath Networks, Cloudscaling, Dell, DreamHost, ITRI, Mirantis, Morphlabs, NetApp, Piston Cloud Computing and Yahoo as Gold members, based on the principles outlined in the published mission and framework.
These companies said they plan to provide technical and financial resources to ensure the long-term viability of the project. The companies were active contributors to the most recent release of OpenStack, have expressed their belief in the open development process for OpenStack software, and have expressed or executed corporate strategies that align with OpenStacks mission, the foundation said.
"We believe the OpenStack Foundation is a significant step in the evolution of the OpenStack initiative and for open-source cloud innovation, said Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager of Dell Server Platforms, in a statement. Dell has always been about openopen standards, systems and solutions to promote innovation and give our customers choice. We look forward to participating in the OpenStack Foundation as part of our continued efforts to empower and grow the open-source cloud ecosystem."
"IBM has a long history of supporting standards and open-source initiatives, and believes that cloud standards should be user-driven, based on real-world client needs, Angel Diaz, vice president of IBM Software Standards, said in a statement. We will be a platinum sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation and will leverage our extensive client experience and SmartCloud offerings in support of this initiative. The adoption of cloud standards should be a top priority for the industry so that end-users will not have to fear vendor lock-in and can participate in a growing market of cloud providers."
The OpenStack Foundation will be an independent body providing shared resources to help achieve the OpenStack mission. The companies involved in its formation are committed to the "OpenStack Way," an open development process for OpenStack software that is driven by a technical meritocracy, supported by significant investments in community-building and a focus on driving adoption. The process for finalizing the foundation documents will be open to all members of the community, with the initial committed companies providing legal support to aid in the drafting process, the foundation said.
"In less than two years, weve had five software releases from hundreds of contributors from over 50 companies, and the cloud operating system has grown from two core projects to five core projects across compute, storage and networking," Jonathan Bryce, a member of the OpenStack Project Policy Board and co-founder of Rackspace Cloud, said in a statement. "The formation of a foundation is about preserving and accelerating what's working and moving the community-building activities to a neutral long-term home with a broad base of support."
"Continuing Yahoo's strong support of open source, Yahoo is developing OpenStack for our infrastructure, said Sean Roberts, director of infrastructure strategy at Yahoo, in a statement. We believe this emerging technology will allow Yahoo to increase our competitive infrastructure advantage. To facilitate the long-term stability and new features that Yahoo and the rest of the OpenStack collaborators want and crave, Yahoo will continue to support and nurture the OpenStack foundation into the future."
The next step in the foundation-building process is to form a drafting committee with the legal help of committed Platinum and Gold members, who will write the detailed bylaws based on the published framework, and will publish drafts for community review. The goal is to reach a final draft for ratification by the Rackspace board and the OpenStack community by the third quarter of 2012.
In addition to Platinum and Gold membership, the OpenStack Foundation will also be open to individual members for free. There are also multiple ways to get involved in the foundation or influence the project that do not involve monetary support. More information is available.