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IBM OpenStack Adoption Ushers In New Cloud Era


IBM’s endorsement of OpenStack is both insignificant and more significant than it might have seemed on its March 4 announcement.

IBM was already behind OpenStack. It joined the project in March 2012, taking a $ 500,000 seat on the board of directors in November. So wasn’t too surprising when IBM ‘fessed up earlier this month and said, “Hey, we like OpenStack.”

But as Jim Curry, the early organizer of the OpenStack project at Rackspace, said, IBM’s endorsement “is exactly what we wanted to happen — build an open cloud platform for the world.” As a matter of fact, he says, “I would have liked it if IBM had gotten on the list sooner rather than later.”


But IBM, like many companies, was concerned about the future of a cloud project that was under the initial control of one company, San Antonio-based managed hosting and public infrastructure provider Rackspace. Rackspace hadn’t sought to end up as sole proprietor, but its founding partner, NASA, fell away from the initial July 2010 launch during the recession.


IBM said that it has adopted OpenStack as the foundation for its own private engagements and SmartCloud public cloud projects. Curry was VP of business development when Rackspace management arrived and launched an OpenStack community, and he handled much of the organization to get a project up and running and able to accept code. He built and cultivated a community around the project. When OpenStack needed an initial place to meet for a design summit, Rackspace provided it, organized speakers and made sure someone was hosting events.

Network Computing

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