OpenStack faces the terrible twos

The project is transitioning from an effort largely driven by Rackspace to a broader OpenStack Foundation with control to be spread among several vendors including Platinum members AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Red Hat and SUSE joining Rackspace. (Gold members include Cisco, ClearPath Networks, Cloudscaling, Dell, Dreamhost, Morphlabs, NetApp and Yahoo). There is precedent for this model succeeding. The Eclipse Java IDE really took off once IBM ceded control to a multi-vendor foundation.

Jim Curry, GM and VP of Rackspace Cloud Builder, one of the early instigators of the OpenStack effort, is clearly bullish on the project’s prospects but acknowledges its challenges as well. ”Any open-source project that is not controlled by one vendor but with lots of folks with their own agendas is at higher risk of fracturing — the advantage of single-vendor or close-to-single-vendor projects is that there is more control in the short term and a shorter time to market,” he told me in a recent interview.