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OpenStack Community Q&A

If there are other open source cloud projects, why start a new one?
We wanted a community where people with similar philosophies about cloud architecture and open-source software can openly collaborate together. We believe in open source, open design, open development and an open community that is fully transparent? Not a cathedral, a bazaar.

Who is OpenStack for?
OpenStack is for service providers, enterprises, government agencies and academic institutions that want to build public or private clouds. Industries range from IT & telco to SaaS and eCommerce to finance and healthcare. You can read more about how organizations are becoming agile, reducing costs and avoiding vendor lock-in with OpenStack.

What does it mean for the cloud ecosystem?

Wide adoption of an open-source, open-standards cloud should be huge for everyone. It means customers won't have to fear lock-in and technology companies can participate in a growing market that spans cloud providers. Companies are already using OpenStack to provide public clouds, support, training and system integration services and hardware and software products.

A great analogy comes from the early days of the Internet: the transition away from fractured, proprietary flavors of UNIX toward open-source Linux. An open cloud stands to provide the same benefits for large-scale cloud computing that the Linux standard provided inside the server.


Is this a global effort?
Yes, in that we have users and contributors who are headquartered worldwide and deployments all over the world. There is also an ongoing translation effort that has content in more than a dozen languages.

Who is the audience for this?

Institutions and service providers with physical hardware that they'd like to use for large-scale cloud deployments. In addition, companies who have specific requirements which prevent them from running in a public cloud.

OpenStack is probably not something that the average business would consider deploying themselves yet. The big news for end customers is the potential for a halo effect of providers adopting an open and standard cloud: easy migration, cloud-bursting, better security audits, and a large ecosystem of compatible tools and services that work across cloud providers.


Who is supporting the OpenStack project?

Over 150 companies have agreed to support the mission of OpenStack by providing architectural input, contributing code, and / or integrating it into their business offering.


Who has contributed?

We expect many developers to contribute to the OpenStack project. The contributors can be checked through the Community Activity Board.


Where can I get more information on OpenStack?

The Official Documentation and OpenStack Wiki contains more detailed information for the project.


What is the long term goal for OpenStack?

Our goal is to produce the ubiquitous Open Source cloud computing platform that will meet the needs of public and private cloud providers regardless of size, by being simple to implement and massively scalable.


How does someone become a community member and/or participate?

Developers can download the code and submit patches at the via the OpenStack code review process, which uses Launchpad for bug tracking and GitHub for the code repository. OpenStack believes in open source, open design, open development, all in an open community so anyone can participate.

Non-Developers can get involved in documentation, reporting bugs, asking and answering questions, translation or by joining their local user group.

Companies can get involved in two ways:

First, fund their developers to contribute to the project.

Second, and most important: make money on it! The more companies that bake OpenStack into their offering to distribute, to put their code on top of, to provide consulting services, etc the more that OpenStack will be adopted and move to being a ubiquitous open platform.


How can I go work for the OpenStack project?

Start coding, writing or translating - it is an open source project! Many companies are also hiring developers to work on the OpenStack project. Please see the jobs page for a list of opportunities within the community.


Should I include licensing information in my contribution?

OpenStack requires contributions to be released under the Apache 2.0 license, and have licensing information in the header when uploaded to the public code repository. This submission method makes all contributions immediately available to all community members under the Apache 2.0 license.


What is the scope of patent grants made to OpenStack?

Our Contributor License Agreement is based on the Apache Software Foundation form, and we concur with their FAQ.


Who can I ask if I have more questions?

The best resource is the OpenStack project team. You can reach them through the mailing lists or by logging into IRC and joining #openstack on FreeNode.