What On Earth Is OpenStack?

Graham Morrison | TechRadar | November 25, 2012

It was back in 2010 when Rackspace, the company famous for hosting lots of websites, got together with NASA, the agency famous for pretending to send astronauts to the moon. The whole project kicked off after a single blog post by a NASA contractor. The post read: "Launched NOVA - Apache-Licensed Cloud Computing, in Python. It's live, it's buggy, it's beta. Check it out."

Together, NASA and Rackspace went on to create a kind of online fantasy world, where storage, resources and performance would be no object, and small startups could build their ivory towers in the clouds, knowing that when their day came, they'd be able to scale everything up, quickly and efficiently, before quickly selling their stock to Facebook.

OpenStack makes all this possible because it's open source, and so works like Linux itself. In fact, some people refer to it as the Linux of cloud computing. You can pay for someone to run OpenStack for you, or you can experiment with it knowing you're playing with something that can easily be expanded. Just like Linux...