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.

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.

OpenStack's beginnings can be traced to a NASA project called Nebula, which was launched in 2008 to build what eventually became what NASA called an "open-source compute controller."

Nebula researchers released the project's compute engine code as open source under an Apache 2.0 license, and the code was used by Rackspace in its development of a cloud-based storage product called Swift.

Rackspace and NASA then joined forces to use the technologies to create OpenStack. The first OpenStack code was released to the open-source community in 2010.

To continue reading this article register now

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon