What is OpenStack? The greatest fear for some IT managers with making the leap to Cloud is not security but being locked in to a proprietary system. OpenStack emerged to address this fear and, as Rohan Pearce explains, it shows every sign of successfully opening up the Cloud?

OpenStack is a collection of open source software for building public and private Clouds. It can be used either by providers who want to deliver infrastructure as a service to customers or enterprises that want a private Cloud for on-demand, self-service provisioning of compute services for departments.

The roots of the project, which launched mid-2010, lie in collaboration between NASA and Rackspace. According to Mark Collier, Rackspace vice-president of business and corporate development and one of the founders of the OpenStack project, NASA had been working to leverage the Eucalyptus Cloud platform to build a compute Cloud, but in the end chose to create its own software — Nova — which is now incorporated into OpenStack

At the same time, Rackspace had been assessing its position in the market. “We were the second largest Cloud and we had a lot of momentum, but also knew that Amazon was really doing an amazing job on the technology front in terms of advancing their platform very quickly,” says Collier. “We were looking at our options for ways to accelerate our roadmap ways to get develop technology.”

More on: Open Source Spotlight – OpenStack: Building a more open Cloud