IBM Explains Its Participation on the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors

VIDEO: Todd Moore, director, IBM Standards and Partnerships, discusses his participation as a member of the OpenStack board of directors.

IBM is a founding member of the OpenStack Foundation, which is an effort to build an open-source cloud platform. As a member, IBM both contributes code into OpenStack and provides guidance to the project through its participation in the foundation's governance.

IBM's representative on the OpenStack Foundation board of directors is Todd Moore, whose day job is director of Standards and Partnerships at IBM. In an video interview with eWEEK, Moore explains what his role is as an OpenStack Foundation board member and how it relates to IBM's participation in other open-source efforts.

The structure of the OpenStack Foundation is different from some of the other open-source and standards organizations in which IBM participates. Moore said that from the outset it was clear that a strong marketing effort would be needed. He added that the user community for OpenStack is also different from other standards and open-source efforts in which IBM is involved.

"We really wanted to make sure that the user has a voice," Moore said. "We can envision in our own limited ways what OpenStack will be used for, but the things that people are doing with it are amazing."

From a governance perspective, the OpenStack Foundation board at 24 members, is larger than many boards; that can make meetings a bit more unwieldy as everyone wants to have their voice heard in meetings. To help deal with that concern, Moore explained that there is a committee system in place to get work done that brings forward recommendations to the full board, with the intention of having shorter board meeting discussions.

"24 is unwieldy in some ways; you'd typically like to have a board with 10 or 12, but we figured out how to make it work," Moore said.

From a corporate perspective, Moore said that he does not get directives from IBM management to push through the OpenStack board.

"They're very respectful of the fact that when you're on a board of directors, you're working toward the responsibility that you have to the foundation," Moore said.

Watch the full video with OpenStack Foundation board of directors member Todd Moore below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.