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The Evolution of OpenStack Continues with New Projects

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted November 11, 2013


HONG KONG - Just over three years ago, OpenStack got started by NASA and Rackspace as a platform for cloud compute and storage. Today that platform has evolved to include networking, orchestration and monitoring, and even more services are on the way.

Speaking at the OpenStack Summit here, Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens explained that his company is all about brian stevensopen source, and OpenStack is one of the best examples in the world today of the open source model at its best.

Mark McLoughlin, Senior Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat, said that in order to make an impact in OpenStack, an individual or a company just needs to show up, contribute and make their voice heard.

"The individuals that make up the project is the magic for the project and that's what makes OpenStack great," McLoughlin said.

Beyond Compute and Storage

McLoughlin is one of the top contributors to OpenStack by volume of code commits and is well placed to understand its growth and its challenges. He said that the current growth of the project base is not about growth for growth's sake but rather it's a careful and metered approach to evolving the open-source cloud computing platform.

In the recent OpenStack Havana release, two new projects were added, the Heat orchestration system and the Ceilometer metering system. Looking out to 2014 and the next release of OpenStack codenamed Icehouse, more projects are looking for inclusion.

"We built this community as an awesome place to collaborate, so it's perfectly natural that we'll expand and tackle other problems," McLoughlin said.

Among the new projects in the pipeline is the Trove, a Database-as-a-Service project that's set to be integrated into Icehouse. The Trove project began its life in 2012 under the name RedDwarf.

There is the also the Marcroni messaging project as well as the Savanana Hadooop-as-a-Service project, both of which will be incubating during the Icehouse cycle and could become part of the integrated release in a year.

Other efforts are now ramping up inside OpenStack to grow it even further, including the Manila filesystems project and the Designate DNS-as-a-Service project, which are both making progress now as well. Then there is Project Solem, an effort to integrate Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) into OpenStack.

The one that has McLoughlin most excited is the OpenStack-On-OpenStack project, known as TripleO. With TripleO, cloud administrators will be able to deploy OpenStack clouds within an OpenStack cloud.

Looking out even further, McLoughlin is confident that OpenStack will continue to expand and will become a broad umbrella of projects.

"We need to evolve our culture, governance and process to handle that expansion," McLoughlin said. "It needs to be a careful and measured expansion."


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

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