Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Thursday, July 2, 2020
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Intel, Rackspace Target OpenStack Development 

Chipmaker Intel and OpenStack leader Rackspace are joining forces to promote enterprise applications and cloud scaling within OpenStack source code.

As part of a new cloud initiative announced by Intel, the partners said they would establish an OpenStack Initiative Center that would include an OpenStack developer cloud with a pair of 1,000-node clusters. The Hybrid Cloud Testing Cluster will be made available to developers for large-scale testing of OpenStack performance code and new features.

The testing clusters are expected to be available to developers in the next six months, Intel and Rackspace said. The innovation center will be based at Rackspace's corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.

The partners said the resulting enterprise features and enhancements would be "aligned" with the OpenStack Enterprise Working Group. Along with accelerating the development of enterprise cloud capabilities, Rackspace said the collaboration would boost the number of developers contributing to upstream OpenStack code.

OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage and networking resources throughout a datacenter, managed through a dashboard or via the OpenStack API.

The partners said they would also offer new courseware modules designed to increase the number of open source developers contributing to OpenStack. A joint OpenStack engineering group will focus on eliminating software bugs and developing new enterprise features. The group also will recruit new engineers to work on OpenStack development.

"We don’t believe in creating proprietary OpenStack distributions," Scott Crenshaw, Rackspace's senior vice president of product and strategy, said in a statement. The innovation center's "contributions will be made available freely, to everyone."

The OpenStack community currently includes more than 520 member companies and 27,000 individual contributors across 167 countries, according to Rackspace. OpenStack revenue is expected to reach $1.26 billion in 2015. Rackspace claims to operate the world’s largest production OpenStack cloud and manages OpenStack private clouds both in its datacenters and on customers’ premises.

Separately, Intel launched a "Cloud for All" initiative designed to "take the training wheels off [the] cloud." In a blog post, Jonathan Donaldson of Intel's Cloud Platform Group,          said the initiative would seek to speed deployment of software-defined cloud infrastructure (SDI). Those SDI stacks would then be optimized to maximize efficiency across different workloads, Donaldson said.

Also, the Intel initiative will promote standards and development to accelerate cloud deployment. "New cloud service providers are seeking to compete on a cost parity with large providers, and industry standard solutions that can help have been slow in arriving," Donaldson noted. "The industry simply isn’t moving fast enough to address these very real customer challenges."

The cloud initiative also seeks to ensure "that a choice of SDI solutions supporting both traditional enterprise and cloud native applications are available," Donaldson said.

The chipmaker added that it expects to announce additional cloud partnerships and investments over the next year.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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