When OpenStack got started back in July of 2010, Red Hat was not really all that interested. Stevens explained that Red Hat was concerned about open governance, a concern that is now being addressed. In April of this year, Red Hat officially joined the growing effort to build the OpenStack Foundation, which will provide an open and transparent governance model for OpenStack. Red Hat has also committed at least $1.5 million over three years to the new foundation.
“We took the risk to put a development team on it (OpenStack) last summer,” Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO said.
At that point, in Stevens’ view, Rackspace was saying all the right things about wanting to create a more open effort around OpenStack. Rackspace is one of co-founders of the OpenStack effort, along with NASA. Red Hat’s contributions now place it among the leading contributors to OpenStack in terms of code. Stevens now represents Red Hat in OpenStack board-level discussions and is working with the Rackspace team to help figure out the trademark issues around OpenStack becoming more open.
OpenStack code is already available in Red Hat’s community Fedora Linux distribution. The code is also now available to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 customers as a set of packages on the EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) repository.
“We already have customers today, taking Red Hat packaged OpenStack on top of RHEL 6.3 and going through all the PoC (proof of concept) stuff,” Stevens said. “We’re engaging with them on that, though there is no money changing hands or official support on it today.”