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OpenStack Continues to Push Cloud Integration Vision

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At the OpenStack Silicon Valley event, the head of the OpenStack Foundation announces new nonprofit status and developer initiatives.

OpenStack continues to move forward, even as new technologies like containers enter the cloud virtualization landscape. At the OpenStack Silicon Valley event on Aug. 26, OpenStack supporters discussed why the open-source cloud platform is thriving and detailed new efforts to keep momentum moving forward.

Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, announced that the OpenStack Foundation has now officially received tax-exempt, nonprofit status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While OpenStack as a technology is now five years old, the OpenStack Foundation itself was officially launched in 2012.

“I’m very happy to report that after a lengthy process with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including an initial denial and an appeal, the OpenStack Foundation has been granted 501c6 tax exempt status,” Bryce wrote in an OpenStack mailing list message. “This is clear recognition of the positive impact that our Foundation is having on the cloud computing industry.”

At the OpenStack Silicon Valley event, Bryce said that 501c6 tax exempt status means that, from a practical perspective, the OpenStack Foundation will now have more resources to invest in the community over the long term. The OpenStack community is continuing to evolve beyond its original roots of just server virtualization and storage. Where OpenStack succeeds, Bryce said, is when organizations use it to build a platform for innovation. “OpenStack operates as an integration engine,” he said. “It’s a layer that takes different types of systems and integrates it into a unified platform that developers and users can access.” Amit Tank, principal architect for cloud architecture and OpenStack at DirecTV, joined Bryce on stage to talk about how his organization is using OpenStack. DirecTV is one of many media companies that have embraced OpenStack, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T.

Tank said that OpenStack gives his organization a path to production to solve deployment challenges.

“OpenStack is probably the only platform that allows you to pick and choose best-of-breed technology and make it work with your existing infrastructure,” Tank said. “We see it as a way to bring containers and other emerging technologies into our production environment.

“Making use of emerging technologies is something that has helped to trigger a growing number of OpenStack projects. Bryce noted that there are now many OpenStack projects and it can be confusing for some people to understand what they are all about. He added that in the earliest stage are groups of projects, like OpenStack Magnum, which is a container effort, that are not yet mature. On the end of the spectrum are mature technologies like OpenStack Keystone for identity and access, which is widely deployed.

“Experimentation leads to breakthroughs, and that’s how you get into the winners circle,”

Bryce said.Bryce added that while experimentation with new technologies is a good thing, it’s also important for organizations to think about how to find the path to production for those new technologies.

“Compute, storage and networking are the pillars of every application and workload,” he said. “OpenStack provides a framework that lets organizations tie that into existing systems but also bring in experiments in a way where they can adopt them and make use of them.

“Ultimately, most organizations don’t care about infrastructure; they care about building out applications, which is why the OpenStack Foundation is now also developing resources, including a container whitepaper, according to Bryce.

“We just launched a new application developer section on our Website, and it has a bunch of content there to help application developers make better use of OpenStack clouds,” he said.