OpenStack is an open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds. The project aims to deliver solutions for all types of clouds by being open, simple to implement, and massively scalable. The OpenStack Foundation was founded by Rackspace Hosting and NASA.
Last week IBM announced that all of its cloud offerings would be built around OpenStack. But this could be more important than just an open platform for private cloud management. IBM seems to be interested in cloud portability, making applications portable between cloud vendors and avoiding cloud lock-in. Right now if you develop an application on Amazon Web Services, for example, it is not an easy matter to port it to run on Rackspace. IBM says that its objective is to make OpenStack a ubiquitous, open source infrastructure-as-a-service layer, analogous to what Apache represents in serving http. When you recollect what IBM's support of the Apache Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, and Linux led to, this could have major implications for the future of cloud computing.