Rackspace Looks to Drive OpenStack Adoption Everywhere

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Looking to make it a lot simpler for IT organizations to implement the OpenStack cloud management framework, Rackspace today announced an OpenStack Everywhere initiative under which it will deploy and manage a turnkey instance of OpenStack on behalf of an organization.

While interest in OpenStack as an open source framework for managing IT infrastructure is running high, many IT organizations find mastering OpenStack to be a daunting task. Not only are there several distributions, but not every component of OpenStack is equally mature.

Darrin Hanson, vice president and general manager for OpenStack Private Cloud at Rackspace, says Rackspace will not only deploy OpenStack on premise or in any cloud environment the customer may choose, it will also take on the responsibility of determining what elements of OpenStack are actually ready to be deployed in a production environment.

That approach, says Hanson, eliminates the “Pandora’s Box” challenge that gets created when an IT organization attempts to work with raw OpenStack bits of code. In contrast, Rackspace is willing to back its managed service for OpenStack with service level and high availability agreements, says Hanson.

The distribution of OpenStack provided by Rackspace will run on top of open source kernel-based virtual machines (KVMs). In the future, Hanson says, Rackspace will extend that capability to create a containers-as-a-service offering running on top of OpenStack.

Thanks to the arrival of OpenStack, many organizations are approaching a seminal moment in terms of how they manage IT. Open source frameworks such as OpenStack create an opportunity to significantly reduce their dependency on commercial management software. The challenge is that OpenStack is still not simple enough for many IT organizations to deploy and manage on their own. Rackspace clearly sees providing a managed service as a means for IT organizations to find a middle ground between reducing their licensing costs and not having the internal expertise needed to master OpenStack on their own.