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More Thoughts on the OpenStack Community

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The OpenStack project is just about 1 year old now and while I've kept an eye on their effort, I haven't really had a chance to really dig in until now (you can also check out Josh's summary of the event).

After attending the Conference and Summit last week week I am  extremely impressed at what the community has built in the short timeframe. The competition, if there even is any, should be very scared. I've seen people do things with and around OpenStack that simply haven't been done by anyone, no one can't even touch it.

Here are a couple of examples:

1. The Crowbar Project

People might call Crowbar a cloud installer, however, that's not really doing it any justice. Crowbar allows you to take a bunch of bare metal servers and turn them into a cloud platform within a few hours. Once you have a cloud platform, you continue to use OpsCode's Chef to deploy your applications in a completely controlled and automated fashion. As a result, you're able to deploy hundreds of servers and thousands of VMs, including all the apps on top of them. Best of all, once your cloud is deployed and running, you can take any server, and simply rip and replace the hardware. The newly racked hardware will be rebuild identically from the ground up. Check out this demo video of the project from SXSW.

2. The OpenStack Network Project

As a joint effort between Midokura and NTT, this project allows an OpenStack node to be hooked up to the network. Hereby an effort has been made to create a flexible networking framework which allows the backend to be replaced by a physical Cisco device or a software switch such as Open vSwitch. Drivers for various network backends have been developed and many more are to follow. Also, the project is currently part of the Nova/Compute project but will most likely be split into its own project to grow independently.

What's mentioned above are just two examples of how well the OpenStack ecosystem is coming along. What we are seeing is the rise of a dominant cloud platform delivering unseen innovation using classic Open Source principles.

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