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OpenStack cloud fluffer does VirtualBox

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OpenStack – the open source cloud computing fabric launched by NASA and Rackspace Hosting at the end of July – has added support for additional hypervisors.

According to a blog post by Mark Collier, vice president of business and corporate development at Rackspace, Ewan Mellor (a coder from Citrix Systems) has tweaked the OpenStack Compute cloudy infrastructure fabric so it can now support the XenServer hypervisor, and Justin Santa Barbara, a programmer who hails from database-as-a-service provider FathomDB, has added support for Oracle's open source VirtualBox hosted hypervisor.

The initial OpenStack Compute code already supported the KVM hypervisor being championed by commercial Linux distributor Red Hat and also used enthusiastically by Canonical in its Ubuntu Server distribution.

That's three hypervisors in three weeks. And there are some important ones that need to be added - namely VMware's ESXi and Microsoft's Hyper-V - but this is complicated by the fact that neither of these hypervisors are open source.

The code behind the "Nova" fabric controller created by NASA is the starting point for the OpenStack compute fabric. It was created at NASA Ames, a hub for cloud computing at the space agency, because it was dissatisfied with the scalability of the open source Eucalyptus cloud fabric. As Rackspace told El Reg back in July, the design goal for OpenStack is to scale to 1 million host machines and 60 million virtual machines in a single cloud.

On the storage front, the OpenStack Object Storage code that Rackspace is contributing to the OpenStack effort, which is code-named "Swift," will get a developer kickoff at NASA Ames on August 26, with James Williams, chief information officer at NASA Ames, and Will Reese, the Swift lead architect from Rackspace, giving presentations about where the storage part of the OpenStack project will be heading.

Collier said that the first bug in the OpenStack software was reported within eight minutes of the launch of the OpenStack project, and the patch was submitted in 20 minutes. To date, 35 bugs have been fixed in the compute and storage portions of the OpenStack code, with 1,250 code commits and more than 55 active branches across the two projects.

Collier said that somewhere between 130 and 140 programmers are parked on the IRC channels each day, which he characterized as a "strong showing for a relatively new community." Including NASA and Rackspace, 34 companies are listed as contributors to the OpenStack project. At the moment, the Nova project within OpenStack has 129 active members, while the Swift project has 123.

The release dates for the OpenStack software have firmed up since the July launch of the project, when NASA and Rackspace would only commit to delivery sometime in the fourth quarter. According to the OpenStack release schedule, feature freeze for the OpenStack 1.0 release is expected on September 30, with code freeze coming on October 14 and the final code being coming out on October 21.

The next developer summit to discuss features to be added to the subsequent OpenStack 2.0 release is planned for November. ®

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