The OpenStack project originated in 2010 with a short e-mail from Jim Curry, then VP of Corporate Development at Rackspace, to Chris Kemp, CTO of NASA.
From this humble beginning, an open source project was born that is today the dominant private cloud platform and the foundation for a growing number of public clouds.
In those early days, Rackspace made a conscious decision to step back and allow OpenStack to become a community driven project. We succeeded wildly — today, no one would consider OpenStack to be a project controlled by, or existing solely, to benefit Rackspace.
That doesn’t mean, however, that we simply withdrew from the project; Rackspace has been contributing all along, with code and expertise gained from years running the largest OpenStack public cloud and some of the largest OpenStack powered private clouds in the world.
As OpenStack moves into its next stage of maturation, we are stepping back in as its standard-bearer, to help move the project and the great community around it forward. To be clear, this doesn’t mean Rackspace sees itself as the benevolent dictator of OpenStack. We do believe, however, that there is much more we can contribute to help OpenStack reach the potential we saw in it when we partnered with NASA to found the project six years ago.