The OpenStack community got a shot in the arm reciently when news of Rackspace acquiring Anso Labs broke. The leading open source project in cloud computing stands to make big strides as a result of the combination.

The folks at Anso Labs created Nova, the project that led to the development of OpenStack Compute. With Rackspace already providing Swift (open-source object storage), however, some people worry that the acquisition puts too much control of the OpenStack community in the hands of Rackspace.

Lew Moorman, Rackspace’s Cloud President, gave an interview to GigaOm in which he pointed out that Rackspace never used its position within the OpenStack community to reject membership or code submissions. He also signaled in the interview that Rackspace would soon propose changes to the governance structure that would bring in the voices of more community members. Rackspace confirmed this a few days ago. (Note: Last year, we were just shy of landing an elected seat on the architecture board.)

As Randy Bias outlined in this article around the time of the release of OpenStack, we believe that a positive-feedback loop will emerge (and in many cases, has already). Here are the reasons why we see the acquisition as yet another positive development for the OpenStack community:

Gaining Vendor Momentum: The community continues to gain momentum with major enterprise vendors backing it along with small, nimble startups. Additionally, large organizations continue to join the OpenStack community. At 50 members and growing, recent new members include  Canonical, Cisco, Extreme Networks and Grid Dynamics. Other companies, like Microsoft, have signaled a desire to work more closely with the community. Microsoft has stated that Hyper-V will integrate with OpenStack.

Gaining Deployment Momentum: Just recently we launched the first OpenStack Storage (aka ‘Swift’) cloud, and we know of many other projects in flight besides ours.

Open Source Project Progress: Perhaps more importantly, OpenStack Compute (aka, “Nova”) is under heavy development and the latest release, Bexar, was recently launched with a raft of new features and functions.

Engineering Focus: With this acquisition, Anso engineers can spend their time and energy focused on building the world’s best open platform for compute and storage, without the distraction of running a consulting services shop. Not to be lost in this point is the fact that building such a platform for service providers is a much more complex engineering task than building for an internal, private cloud client.

Lowering Risk: New service providers who want to offer infrastructure-as-a-service will select OpenStack because it is a safe bet. It’s robust and reliable. It is supported by a sustainable community as opposed to a single company writing their own platform. Service providers will see OpenStack for what it is – an open source platform that will reduce their cost and reduce or eliminate lock in.

OpenStack’s Future With the current momentum and trajectory, OpenStack continues to emerge as the third ecosystem beside Amazon/Google and VMWare. Cloudscaling sees the acquisition of Anso Labs as a sign of Rackspace’s continued commitment to the success of the OpenStack community, not a death knell for collaboration.

Cloudscaling is one of the OpenStack community leaders and contributors. We have a very close relationship with Anso and Rackspace. This seems like a great match up to create a force for good and alignment around key strategic objectives within the community.

The cloud ecosystem needs a strong open source alternative. OpenStack is that choice, and the news of the past week only strengthens that conclusion.

Now, let’s get back to work and finish those OpenStack deployments under development.

Originally by Joe Arnold