Rackspace has introduced a handful of new features for its OpenStack-powered Private Cloud Software, which the company named “Alamo.” While that’s not exactly the most optimistic of codenames, given how things ended for that particular Texas fort, Rackspace evidently expects big things from the platform it originally launched in August.
The new features include highly scalable Block Storage, which transforms external storage into an “additional storage volume for a private cloud environment, based on OpenStack Cinder,” according to the company. There’s also Object Storage, which lets IT pros build “massively scalable storage resource pools” for storing files and server images. Rackspace also built in Graphite and Collectd applications for monitoring and alerts.
This latest release also includes the latest build of Rackspace’s OpenStack Cloud Software platform, codenamed “Folsom,” a name that also carries some pessimistic connotations. Folsom, which was released in September, includes features implemented by hundreds of contributors.
Rackspace has pursued a more open approach to building platforms and features. Indeed, in a recent interview with SlashBI, Rackspace CTO John Engates argued that companies involved in the cloud-computing industry need to embrace what he termed the “Linux” model of development: “Linux opened it up and gave you vendor choice, with numerous vendors bringing their own strengths to the table.”
Rackspace joined forces with NASA to help develop the open-source OpenStack, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform that launched in 2010. After Rackspace started building the software, Engates said, “We saw fairly quickly was that it wasn’t necessarily the right path for us and in a broader context not the right path for anyone.” As a result, “We took all the software we’d developed so far and then gave it to the open-source community.”
Despite OpenStack’s open model, a number of developers have incorporated the software as part of a proprietary platform, something that Rackspace evidently views with equanimity. “Is it better to have a proprietary stack with no alternative?” Engates asked. “Or is it better to have an open-source platform here everyone has the source code at some level?”