Cloud Native Ecosystem

OpenStack Foundation Expands into Open Infrastructure

13 Nov 2018 5:27am, by

The OpenStack Foundation is extending beyond its core mission of providing support for the OpenStack private cloud software, with the aim of fostering the growth of open infrastructure software, a scope that would include not only OpenStack itself but integrations with, and perhaps even the creation of, other open source infrastructure projects.

Going forward, the organization’s flagship OpenStack Summit user conference will be called the Open Infrastructure Summit, noted Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack Foundation executive director, during the current OpenStack Summit, being held this week in Berlin. The first Open Infrastructure Summit will be held April 29 – May 1 in Denver.

There are no plans, at present anyway, to change the name of the foundation itself, Bryce clarified in a follow-up press conference at the event. But the organization itself is definitely taking on a larger mission.

“This is something we’ve been talking about for the past couple of years,” Bryce said of the expansion of scope. In large part, it stems from the realization that building out an OpenStack cloud often involves with integration with other infrastructure software.

“That is where a lot of challenges for getting to production come in: How do you take open source from many communities and make it production ready and operate it.”

The organization has added four additional non-OpenStack projects into its portfolio over the last year, namely the Airship configuration software developed by AT&T, Kata Containers, the StarlingX edge computing stack, and the Zuul continuous integration software (Not to be confused with the Zuul routing software developed by Netflix).

The organization has identified five OpenStack-centered technology areas/marketplaces it wishes to focus on: the data center, the hybrid cloud, continuous integration and delivery, container infrastructure for packaging applications, edge computing, and, most recently, artificial intelligence/machine learning.

“These are areas where we want to drive collaboration, improve integration and testing, and, in some cases, build new technology, either in OpenStack or as a separate project,” Bryce said. The foundation’s bylaws are being updated to accommodate additional projects and it is working with its community to establish strategic project governance.

This expansion comes at a time of abundance in new open source-centered foundations. Earlier this week, The Linux Foundation launched a separate organization to manage the open source Ceph distributed file system, the 32nd foundation that organization has created this year alone. And the Kubernetes-anchored Cloud Native Computing Foundation continues to accrue projects under its umbrella as well.

Nonetheless, the OpenStack Foundation does not intend to compete directly with any of these organizations.”It’s not a zero-sum game in open source. That’s the beauty of it. It’s people working together to build technology,” Bryce said.

In conjunction with the conference, the Foundation released its annual OpenStack User Survey.  The survey had found that currently, OpenStack runs more than 10 million computing cores across 60 countries. In particular, there seems to be growing adoption of the software to run services offering bare-metal servers to users, often in conjunction with Kubernetes. For instance, use of Ironic, an OpenStack bare metal provisioning tool, has gone up in use within the OpenStack community from 9 percent in 2016 to 24 percent of users in 2018.

On the development side, OpenStack has had 70,000 commits from developers worldwide in the past year, averaging about 182 changes per day during the development of its newest version, Rocky. Across all open source software, only the Linux kernel and Google Chromium get as many contributions, according to Mark Collier, OpenStack co-founder and chief operations officer.

The OpenStack Foundation paid for the reporter’s travel and lodging for this event. 

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the Linux Foundation, the OpenStack Foundation are sponsors of The New Stack.

Feature image: OpenStack’s Mark Collier (left) and Jonathan Bryce.