OpenStack Foundation Update

We’ve come a long way since announcing in October in Boston that we planned to create an OpenStack Foundation in 2012. We set out to solicit as much feedback as possible (and on the second day, there was a town hall) and to participate in as many open forums as possible (mailing lists, webinars, meetups, and in person meetings).

At the start of the process, Jonathan Bryce and I spent the first couple of months learning as much as we could about successful open source foundations, like the ASF, Eclipse, and the Linux Foundation, reading foundation meeting minutes into the wee hours of the morning. We also talked to a lot of lawyers to get advice on legal structures, and received feedback from many of the folks in the community. We entered 2012 with a heck of a lot more knowledge and a good sense of what proposals to put forward (borrowing heavily from these amazing trailblazers before us!) that would best fit the “OpenStack Way.”

Since then we’ve had active mailing list discussions, held several webinars, meetups, and published a ton of stuff on the wiki, culminating in a Mission, Structure, and Funding Model that stay true to our values as a community, including:

  • An open development process that is driven by technical meritocracy
  • Making significant investments in community building and driving awareness and adoption
  • Encouraging the development of a healthy and profitable ecosystem of companies powered by OpenStack

Last month, as that framework started coming into focus, we published a “Framework Acknowledgement Letter” and asked companies to sign it if they agreed with the approach and were intent on joining as Gold or Platinum members once formed. Today are are very excited to announce that nineteen companies have signed the letter:

  • Platinum: AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE
  • Gold: Cisco, ClearPath, Cloudscaling, Dell, DreamHost, ITRI, Mirantis, Morphlabs, NetApp, Piston Cloud Computing, Yahoo!

What’s Next?
We are now forming a Drafting Committee, to take the framework and turn it into legal documents, with the help of legal resources from the above companies. The Drafting Committee process and timeline is outlined on the wiki, and they will be publishing drafts for community review & input, with a goal of getting to a final draft in Q3. The committee will not be making decisions in a vacuum, they will be putting the framework into long form legalese for all of us to review and comment.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that cloud computing will one day power our global economy, and that means there is a lot at stake. Seeing the caliber of companies putting serious resources into making OpenStack successful, who all believe deeply in the open development model, I am more optimistic than ever it will be an open future, powered by OpenStack.

Here are a few related posts about today’s announcement from participating companies

In closing, I’ll leave you with the mission we are excited to pursue when the foundation is formed later this year:

The Foundation Mission: The OpenStack Foundation is an independent body providing shared resources to help achieve the OpenStack Mission by Protecting, Empowering, and Promoting OpenStack software and the community around it, including users, developers and the entire ecosystem.

Mark Collier



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