When we started OpenStack, the goal was to form a community of like-minded companies and contributors to push for an open alternative to proprietary cloud software. We saw open source as a platform to foster swift innovation and to give customers more choice.
It feels like yesterday that Frank Frankovsky, vice president of Hardware Design at Facebook and chairman of the Open Compute Project (OCP), sent me a Facebook message - how fitting – about a budding open hardware project that he was working on. At Rackspace, we immediately jumped at the chance to be among the first companies to join the community, as we believed Open Compute was poised to flip the hardware model much like we did with cloud software when we founded OpenStack.
One of the things that we value at Rackspace is being “open,” which means that we prioritize sharing and collaborating over self-focused work. Being open creates value by aligning us with those whom we serve. It brings us all into closer and more productive partnership with each other, and enables us to deliver the Fanatical Support that is our trademark.
The mood in San Jose vacillated between quiet and congratulatory as participants in the fifth Open Compute Summit shared both their plans and their successes in front of a crowd of 3,800 registered attendees, up 90 percent from the 2,000 who registered last year.
Last year, in my 2013 cloud predictions, I focused on Big Data and the rise of cloudy SSDs. And this year, those predictions became reality: in 2013 Rackspace launched new Performance Cloud Servers with SSD storage and businesses all over are enjoying the benefits of analyzing and getting true value out of critical data sets of all shapes and sizes. And it wasn’t just Rackspace; several other cloud providers followed suit with solid state storage-based offerings to keep up.
We’re three and a half years into OpenStack® and there is still confusion about exactly what OpenStack is, how to compare OpenStack to other cloud platforms, and specific use cases for OpenStack. I find myself having the same conversations over and over again in an attempt to debunk the myths and misperceptions in the market. There are a number of them, but to help people who are still getting up to speed with OpenStack, let’s focus in on the three largest.
In The New Kingmakers: How Developers Conquered the World, author Stephen O’Grady chronicles the rise of developers and how they have become a defining force in technology. Developers now rule the world, O’Grady writes as he examines how developers became the most important constituency in business today.
With a mission-based focus on scientific research, universities and research institutes have long been at the forefront of technology innovation that embraces open standards and ease of collaboration. By nature, the academy well understands that when hundreds of researchers contribute to a shared purpose and solve a shared problem in open and transparent ways, everyone benefits. The pace of innovation is accelerated and the diversity of solutions and approaches ensures that good solutions persist and not so good ones are quickly identified. Some might argue that the relative success of open-sourced platforms suggests that proprietary technologies often preclude necessary innovation. The growth of cloud has further challenged both researchers and industry. The scale economies of cloud-based solutions brings with it attendant challenges for the research community – beginning with the question of how to scale a conversation that brings both sides of an open community together to ensure that the full benefits of the cloud can be realized.