Feeds

Rackspace borgs OpenStack project cloud brains

NASA Nebula team beamed up

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

OpenStack co-founder Rackspace is buying the brains behind the other half of the open-source cloud project, in a deal that radically alters who runs the initiative.

The Reg has learned that Rackspace is buying Anso Labs, the tiny software and services specialist who designed and built the Nova compute fabric that underpins NASA's Nebula private cloud.

News of the deal was leaked by a Citrix OpenStack community member in a blog post that was subsequently edited to remove mention of the deal. The Reg found a fragment of the blog in Google cache, below, and spoke to Rackspace. On Wednesday afternoon, the company confirmed the deal .

Rackspace buys Anso Labs

The blog fragment found by The Reg that blew open Rackspace's deal

The acquisition is intended to speed up development of the OpenStack compute fabric, which is lagging the other main component: Object Storage, which was originally built by Rackspace.

This is Rackspace’s second acqustion in recent months. The company bought cloud-management start up Cloudkick in December.

The Reg understands from OpenStack community members who wished to remain anonymous that Rackspace's own project leaders are coming under pressure from their board to show that OpenStack has some value to the company.

Seven months into OpenStack, Cisco and Canonical just became the latest to join a long list of project members. But it will be at least another year before the compute fabric is in a state where it can be considered mature enough to brought in house and sold as part of Rackspace's cloud.

A consequence of the Anso deal, however, is that Rackspace is left in a significantly stronger position running the whole OpenStack project.

Despite the long list of OpenStack members, Anso employees are among the top contributors of code OpenStack.

And, while much of the credit for Nebula was given to NASA at the time of OpenStack's launch, The Reg has now learned NASA's cloud was designed and built by Anso, which was a contractor to the US government. Anso's site says it now maintains Nebula.

The OpenStack project oversight committee has nine seats: five appointed and four elected. Before the acquisition, Rackspace controlled five seats and Anso controlled two. Now Rackspace controls seven (four appointed).

That will alarm those in the OpenStack community already worried Rackspace has far too much control of a project that's supposed to be run by and for the community. OpenStack is under the Apache open-source license.

These concerns will received added impetus given the project's now expanded to include Cisco and Ubuntu maintainer Canonical on the heals of giant Microsoft and others. Cisco and Microsoft will be unwilling to see a single company running a project they've now got a vested interest in.

It is unclear whether the governance process will change to compensate for the new order. OpenStack has just finished a project-management revision process that saw the currant board and oversight committee formed at the end of 2010. ®

Update: This story has been updated to correct the description of OpenStack's project oversight committee.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.