Rackspace has announced the launch of OpenStack, an open-source cloud platform designed to foster the emergence of standards and cloud interoperability. Rackspace is donating the code that powers its Cloud Files and Cloud Servers public-cloud offerings to the OpenStack project. The project will also incorporate technology that powers the NASA Nebula Cloud Platform. NASA Nebula is a Cloud Computing service based at NASA Ames Research Center that provides high-performance compute, network, and data storage services to NASA scientists and researchers. Nebula allows NASA to share and process large scientific data sets and was one of three flagship projects highlighted in NASA's Open Government Plan. Rackspace and NASA plan to actively collaborate on joint technology development and leverage the efforts of open-source software developers worldwide.
"Modern scientific computation requires ever increasing storage and processing power delivered on-demand," said Chris C. Kemp, NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT. "To serve this demand, we built Nebula, an infrastructure cloud platform designed to meet the needs of our scientific and engineering community. NASA and Rackspace are uniquely positioned to drive this initiative based on our experience in building large scale cloud platforms and our desire to embrace open source."
OpenStack will feature several cloud infrastructure components including a fully distributed object store based on Rackspace Cloud Files, available at OpenStack.org. The next component planned for release is a scalable compute-provisioning engine based on the NASA Nebula cloud technology and Rackspace Cloud Servers technology. It is expected to be available later this year. Using these components, organizations would be able to turn physical hardware into scalable and extensible cloud environments using the same code currently in production serving tens of thousands of customers and large government projects.