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The Secret to OpenStack's Cloud Success? Gravity

PORTLAND - In July 2010 at the OSCON conference here in Portland, Rackspace joined with NASA to launch the open source OpenStack project. At the time there was some skepticism that the effort would succeed.

Nearly three years later, thousands of users and developers have gathered in Portland at the OpenStack summit to prove the naysayers wrong.

"We're obviously building something that is growing and big with lots of contribution around it," Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, said during his keynote presentation.

Bryce stressed that OpenStack is not just about software or about having a bunch of vendors involved, though both of those elements are important.

"We're building a new platform ecosystem for the cloud," Bryce said. johnathan bryce openstack

This platform ecosystem builds on a baseline level of momentum and extends it further. A successful platform ecosystem is one that is extensible and allows for innovation around it.

Just like there are multiple forces that keep an airplane in the air, Bryce noted there are key forces that are propelling OpenStack forward. These forces include powerful software, an innovative ecosystem and having successful users.

Bryce noted that when all these forces are aligned, it's like gravity pulling in more developers and users. To prove his point, Bryce brought out executives from Bloomberg, Best Buy and Comcast. All of those household-name companies are now running OpenStack in production.

Comcast went so far as to provide a live demo of its set-top box that millions of cable users have today, noting that the guide services are now all powered by an OpenStack cloud.

"We have empowered the user; our users are ready to come to a design summit and help make the software better based on their experiences," Bryce said.

"It's nice to see what we are building and where it is going," Bryce said. "The software we're building is going to all these places and more."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on April 16, 2013
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