Rackspace has just announced the Open Stack initiative which basically provides a free Open Source software stack for creating your own cloud environment. What does that all mean?
Well if you are a public service, company or even an individual with enough computing power (i.e. enough web servers), you can now download this software suite and create your own scalable, automated cluster of virtual computers to run web applications. Without having to hand over huge sums of cash.
This means that if you have the technical know-how (if!), you can set up a rival to Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, or any of the other mainstream cloud server services. It’s a superb move for all sorts of reasons. First, it encourages innovation, and crucially standardisation, by opening up the source code to let people contribute their ideas, patches and bolt-on products.
Second it provides an open, sustainable and global alternative to closed systems from traditional big system companies like IBM, Microsoft and the others. Web applications are getting increasingly hungry for more server power, and now this scalable infrastructure is going to be much more widely available than ever before.
For users it will mean more powerful, useful and portable web applications which will rival and even exceed traditional desktop applications in features and flexibility. Excellent news.
OpenStack is a collaborative software project among several big players in the cloud computing space, designed to create freely available code, badly needed standards, and common ground for the benefit of both cloud providers and cloud customers…The early Cloud offerings…are largely proprietary. No one benefits from a fractured landscape of closed, incompatible clouds where migration is difficult and true transparency is impossible.