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10 Signs OpenStack Has Come Into Its Own

OpenStack continues to build momentum in the tech industry. Since its inception in 2010, OpenStack has made considerable strides as an open source IaaS project. Enterprises are seeking ROI with their OpenStack pilot projects, brand-name IT companies such as HP and Juniper are doubling down on OpenStack initiatives, and venture capitalists are throwing cash at OpenStack startups in an attempt to help the market make good on the hype -- and profit in the process. Here are 10 recent OpenStack deve

Earlier this spring, European nuclear research agency CERN came forward to discuss why it decided to get rid of OpenNebula and build out its private IaaS cloud based on OpenStack. CERN said its deployment will support more than 10,000 scientists worldwide and is designed to support the massive amounts of data spit out by the agency's Large Hadron Collider. The agency expects to spin up 15,000 hypervisors on OpenStack by 2015.

The heart and soul of the OpenStack movement -- its open source community -- is just as excited about the project as vendors and VCs. That excitement is evident by the statistics coming out of the project and the development activity put out by participants. In just three years, 1,067 authors have contributed to the project, making more than 66,000 tweaks to the source code.

Juniper hasn't been shy about its support of OpenStack, pledging last year to help with the development of plug-ins that allow for better interoperability between the Juniper portfolio and OpenStack software. In April, it teamed with startup Cloudscaling to announce that the company would use Juniper's virtual networking software to power its virtual private computing extensions for OpenStack. A month later, Juniper was one of the major funders of a $10 million infusion of venture cash to Cloudscaling coffers.

Earlier this month, the OpenStack buzz reached fever pitch as HP was one of several major vendors to announce substantial OpenStack-based plans for its partners and customers. Drawn to OpenStack's extensibility across various cloud services, HP launched HP Cloud OS, an OpenStack-based platform designed to facilitate management across hybrid clouds.

At its annual conference this month, RedHat talked about how it would deepen its roots in the cloud with a new IaaS private cloud offering, Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI). Based on -- you guessed it -- OpenStack, RHCI will set its targets on competing with VMware vCloud Suite and Microsoft Azure.

One of the founding members of the OpenStack Foundation, cloud integrator Mirantis touts its ability to help large organizations like Gap and NASA to create cohesive OpenStack deployments using its Fuel automation library. Investors see the promise in Mirantis and this month the company kicked off the second round of $10 million venture funding in three years.

At last week's GigaOM Structure conference in San Francisco, Fidelity Investments came out in a very public way to talk about how it is partnering with Rackspace to leverage OpenStack for a shift from its current private cloud strategy to a more flexible hybrid cloud architecture.

This year has seen a bumper crop of venture funding for OpenStack startups. San Francisco-based Piston Cloud (and its nattily dressed founders and staff) started the frenzy in February when it announced that it would receive $8 million in series B funding from the likes of Cisco, Data Collective and Swisscom Ventures.

Putting together its own decoupled storage controller with the OpenStack Object Storage system, SwiftStack is hoping to make waves in the software-defined storage space. VCs see it as kind of like "Amazon S3-in-a-box" and put their money down on its success in March with a first round of $6.1 million in funding.

In April, PayPal announced that through its partnership with Mirantis to deploy OpenStack using Fuel, it has managed to reduce its compute costs by one third and is now able to provision 50 nodes in 30 minutes, as compared to the whopping three weeks it took in the past.


Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

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