Rackspace Opens the Cloud (and I Couldn’t be More Proud)

A little over two years ago, as I was talking to Rackspace Hosting about joining their Cloud Computing Division, I told Rackspace that I wanted to change the world (again). I was involved with creating WiFi – and I wanted to again make that kind of change for the world.

More than I wanted a J.O.B. – I wanted to change the world.

And here I find myself, at 4am, not being able to sleep – even though I need to be on a flight to Boulder in 4 hours.  I’m too excited to sleep – oh, I tried!  But every few minutes I would find myself peeking once more at the OpenStack Twitter Account (@OpenStack) – wondering if the hits were still coming in (they are) – and assuring myself this is real (it is!).

We’ve been hard at work for the last several years – working towards that end. Today, I think we have helped change the world.

By open-sourcing the second most popular Cloud Computing platform on the planet, I think we’ve just changed the world. Hell, by partnering with NASA, we may actually be changing more than this world. (I can imagine OpenStack running on the Moon, and on Mars!)

The list of partners is impressive – go look at http://openstack.org. There are a lot of forward thinkers on that list – and they are company I am proud to be in.

Mostly though, I am proud of the company I work for. This is a bold move by a Leadership team that has demonstrated exceptional thought leadership in our space. In the two short years I have been with the company we have more than doubled our customer count, drastically increased the number of servers and data-centers we have, and made bold moves in many other areas.

I’m sure there will be a lot of discussions and a lot of questions about our decision (there were plenty of internal ones!) – but I am confident that at the end of the day, a truly open cloud that is already in production will better serve the world – a cloud that has proven its ability to scale and serve real customers.

It is a great day to be a Racker. I’m very proud of what we have done, and what we will continue to do to change the world – one (open) code drop at a time!

Come join us at OpenStack – change the world with us.  Change your world!


  1. Paul Claessen says:

    Very smart move and good business decision.

    • Paul Claessen says:

      HOWEVER … having said that, there is a flip side to open-sourcing this.

      With the inevitable shift to more and more Enterprise Cloud Computing, the Cloud providers/maintainers are are under tremendous pressure to assure the Cloud is safe and secure.
      Internet Security is an incredibly complex issue and requires deep investments in state-of-the-art technologies and infra-structures as well as in highly trained security professionals.
      Putting you entire system out there for any Mallory, Eve, Chuck or Trudy to scrutinize it for vulnerabilities and exploitation is going to put an even bigger strain on the already thorny Security Threat that Cloud providers are facing. ONE successful attack can wipe out your entire company literally over-night!
      I can only hope that professional security companies have been consulted for in depth vulnerability research and pen-testing, before this is released in the open. (And that any modification and release is heavily scrutinized by similarly highly educated and trained security specialists).

      • Paul – as always, your thoughts are insightful. Of course, I know you also realize that open-sourcing will also give the security experts the opportunity to suggest/make changes and therefore increase overall security.

        NASA has done a pretty good job with security on Nebula.

        Valid concern, I agree. But the benefits outweigh the risks.


        • Paul Claessen says:

          Yes, once it’s in the open, security experts have the opportunity to suggest fixes.
          But what is their incentive to do so?
          Security specialists aren’t known for working for free! 😉


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