OpenStack Grows Cloud Training Marketplace

Strong demand for the open-source OpenStack cloud platform is fueling new efforts to get IT professionals trained and certified.


The open-source OpenStack cloud platform is a rapidly growing effort that is driving increasing demand for skilled professionals who know what it's all it about. To that end, the OpenStack Foundation this week officially announced the OpenStack Training Marketplace to help meet the demand for skilled IT professionals.

In 2012, a number of companies emerged that began to offer some basic training on OpenStack, Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, told eWEEK.

OpenStack, which was born in 2010 when NASA joined with Rackspace to formally launch the project, now has the support of many of the world's leading IT vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Intel, Cisco and AT&T, among others.

"There is now a huge demand for OpenStack expertise, so what we want to do is to try and put in place some standards for OpenStack education and training," Bryce said.

Training needs to cover core topics on the current release for OpenStack, Bryce said.

The Training Marketplace is all about getting vendors to sign on to a program where the OpenStack Foundation can aggregate all the different training offerings and make them available to the global community of OpenStack users. Currently, multiple vendors—including Rackspace, Mirantis, Piston Cloud Computing as well as Red Hat—provide various forms of OpenStack-related training.

The Training Marketplace is step one in the OpenStack Foundation's broader effort to help get IT professionals up to speed on how to use and implement and OpenStack cloud. The next steps will be rolled out in the next 18 months and will further ramp up OpenStack education and training.

The OpenStack Foundation formed a committee made up of vendors and users that debated for several months over how OpenStack training efforts should be structured, Bryce said.

"One of the early ideas was to create a standard curriculum," Bryce said.

That's an idea that doesn't quite work as there are different areas of expertise and usage for OpenStack. For example, OpenStack storage training is providing by SwiftStack, and that is their core focus.

Storage vendors shouldn't necessary be forced by a standard curriculum to train users on compute requirements, Bryce said, adding: "We heard from users that there are different needs for different scenarios."

OpenStack Associate Engineer Program

Looking beyond the commercial vendors that will provide training, another training effort is under way: A community-developed OpenStack Associate Engineer Program is currently being worked on, Bryce said.

"It's noncommercial and is being collaboratively built," Bryce said.


Though there are now multiple OpenStack training vendors in the market, there is not currently a vendor-neutral certification to validate and certify skills. That's something that OpenStack Foundation will soon change.

"We're about to kick off another community process to define a baseline certification for OpenStack," Bryce said. "This will be a set of standard tests to evaluate basic, core OpenStack knowledge."

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

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

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