Cloud platform OpenStack got its start at NASA

Large enterprises are betting big on the OpenStack cloud platform, which is deeply rooted in the space agency's ingenuity.

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IBM's decision to base its cloud services on OpenStack may prove to be a key to establishing the fledgling open-source platform as the enterprise standard.

The announcement earlier this month follows similar moves by rival enterprise IT vendors Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Cisco, Red Hat and Rackspace, whose products are used by many Fortune 1000 companies.

That rapid rise of the three-year-old technology may not have happened without NASA -- a fact that's worthy of note at a time of government budget cuts and retreats on government-funded tech R&D initiatives, which in the past led to the development of the Internet, GPS, lasers and other now widely used systems.

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