Rackspace is formally launching its OpenStack open-source infrastructure-as-a-service platform in the UK in mid-August.
The UK launch is part of a rolling programme of launches that the company is doing at its datacentres across the world over the next six months, starting with the US today and the UK on 15 August. The rollouts include both the broad platform, as well as some of the various components that it offers.
Built largely in Python, OpenStack is billed as a "cloud operating system". It was pioneered by web hosting company Rackspace and the US space agency NASA, said Nigel Beighton, vice president of technology at Rackspace.
"NASA had a grid computing platform that formed the cloud service elements of a basic service it called Nebula. In 2010, we added cloud storage, which is what we call cloud files, and turned over all that intellectual property to the OpenStack Foundation," said Beighton.
Over the past couple of years, the Rackspace-led Foundation has progressively implemented and integrated a number of services into the platform.
"What you get with OpenStack is, first of all, cloud servers. So you can spin up a virtual server for anybody implementing OpenStack. Then, there is object storage, which is commonly known as Swift. Effectively you are able to drop in an S3-type service by dropping in object containers," said Beighton.
He added: "You then have virtual storage and there is a networking piece as well, which enables people to build multi-tiered networks that can be simply specified."
Indeed, VMware's recent acquisition of Nicira reflects the rising importance of virtual networking to cloud computing, to enable networking resources to be scaled up (and down) for individual needs or clients accordingly.
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