OpenStack™ Compute enters testing stage at Rackspace

About a year ago, Rackspace, along with 25 other companies launched OpenStack.  While it has been an incredible year for the project and deployments are cropping up around the globe, many have asked when Rackspace would put OpenStack into production.

Truth be told, we have been running OpenStack Object Storage (code named Swift) in production since the announcement of OpenStack last year.  And now, we are happy to start talking about our move to OpenStack Compute (code named Nova).  We have been working tirelessly to build a cloud to support our 100,000+ customers, and we are making great progress.

Two weeks ago, we started inviting a small set of customers and partners to use a private alpha of Compute running in our data centers.  Over the coming weeks and months we will add features, capabilities and customers.  We will refine the code, work out bugs, solidify our operational systems and start hooking in our production systems.  Priority #1 inside our cloud product development organization is making this shift, and we could not be more excited about it.

While we are not announcing dates at this time we do have a plan for a phased launch program and will be very transparent about it with you over the coming weeks and months.  In the current Alpha stage we are limiting participation to a few select customers and channel partners (by invitation only).

We are still accepting requests for the forthcoming private Beta stage, if you are interested, please email Will Promecene if you want to be considered. We expect the private Beta to start once we’ve completed initial testing with the alpha customers. We hope to be at near production quality for the private beta, but we won’t offer an SLA yet and there will be no cost to participate.

As we approach public beta and GA launch, we will be incorporating a ton of new features and products that have been requested by many: a new control panel and monitoring system based on the technology from our acquisition of Cloudkick, as well as an exciting set of new offers.

Concurrently we have a team that is very carefully architecting and planning an automated process to transfer current customer instances to the OpenStack powered cloud in a seamless way. We will have more details when plans are finalized.

With the widespread adoption of OpenStack, the dream of establishing true cloud standards, removing fear of proprietary lock-in for customers, and creating a large ecosystem that spans cloud providers is in sight.  Today Rackspace is helping customers run OpenStackprivate clouds in their own data center, and also on private clouds hosted at Rackspace.  The ultimate goal is to enable features like cloud bursting and cloud federation, giving enterprises ultimate flexibility and agility.

With the Alpha program fully in flight, we are one step closer to delivering the next generation in cloud services, powered by OpenStack and the world class community and ecosystem that stand behind it.  We think you are going to love the results.  We can’t wait to get it to you.  Stay tuned here for updates as they happen.

Lew Moorman is a senior consultant to the top executives of Rackspace, focusing on strategy and product issues. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Lew joined Rackspace in April of 2000 and has served in a variety of roles, including as President and Chief Strategy Officer, while the company grew to $1.3 billion in annual sales. Before joining Rackspace, he worked for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, advising technology clients on strategic issues. A native of San Antonio, Lew received a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.


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