Is OpenStack the new Linux?

OpenStack is an evolving mountain of Apache 2-licensed code billed as a “cloud operating system” for the data center. At the same time, OpenStack is a movement, confirmed by the high-energy jabber in the air around me. As with the early days of Linux, the buzz around OpenStack has risen to a roar, with thousands of community members flocking to conferences from Paris to Seoul. The level of interest and growth is phenomenal.

People with money are excited about OpenStack, too. Investors like True Ventures and big-name corporations like AT&T, Dell, Cisco, and HP, and IBM are jumping in the game. The conference is filled with true believers hawking OpenStack startups, developing for OpenStack startups, or just talking about OpenStack startups. It’s a late-’90s gold rush in miniature.