DENVER — Collaboration without boundaries is the focus for the OpenStack Foundation (OSF) at this week’s Open Infrastructure Summit as the foundation makes moves to remain relevant in the developing open world. This focus refers to collaboration both between the foundation’s own projects and with adjacent open infrastructure communities.
Today at the summit, the foundation confirmed two new pilot projects — Kata Containers and Zuul — as “top-level open infrastructure projects.” The confirmation of other open source projects is a new direction for the foundation, similar to the “graduation” status that the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) gives projects under its umbrella.
Confirmation, according to OSF, refers to each projects’ success in meeting the goal of the pilot process and further commitment from the foundation to continue supporting the project. A confirmed project has to demonstrate a strategic focus aligned with OSF and its mission; well-defined governance procedures; a commitment to technical best practices and open collaboration; and an active ecosystem of users and developers.
Alan Clark, chairman of the OSF board of directors, told SDxCentral at the summit that bringing in these projects is “broadening our scope to the whole gamut of open infrastructure.” And you will continue to see new projects added, “as long as there is new technology,” he said.
The reason for this, he noted, is that OSF started in the cloud and as the scope of the cloud expands to include virtual machines (VMs), containers, and bare metal, there are new open infrastructure requirements in order to find success.
The projects that OSF is choosing are related to its OpenStack software, Clark said, “but the technology itself is very different from OpenStack,” but they help to “deploy a robust infrastructure.”
This holds the foundation to the integrity of open source. “For the type of infrastructure needed for a robust cloud you need openness, and the technology is developing so rapidly. Bare metal is what you’re using for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data, and these all rely on things like bare metal and virtual GPUs,” he said. “The best support for those is coming through open source.”
Working With Adjacent Communities
And for the OSF this includes working with other communities as well (including say the Linux Foundation and CNCF). This is “key,” said Clark. “Because the hard part is getting all these technologies to work together,” and open source is the best and most compatible way to combine these emerging tools and technologies.
“The only way we create a world running on open infrastructure is together,” said OpenStack Executive Director Jonathan Bryce during a presentation with Clark. “Our [OSF] community is big and the problems we’re solving [in open infrastructure] are significant.” Bryce added that collaboration with other projects will lead to faster and more efficient problem solving.
Clark said that the OSF has been learning from others and doing this for years. He and Bryce gave the example of its implementations with Kubernetes, which is a CNCF graduated project. Working with Kubernetes — because 61% of its users are using OpenStack to run Kubernetes — the foundation was able to make sure that the two were able to run better together. “We need more of this,” said Bryce.
And according to Clark, the OSF met with the Linux Foundation to discuss working together.
For the OSF, collaboration — whether with other projects or with adjacent foundations and communities — starts at the use case. Bryce said that the open infrastructure market is driven by use cases (such as 5G) and looking at them will allow the foundation and its members to determine where open source can help drive support for those use cases.
None of this is to say that the foundation is moving away from its initial functions or away from its OpenStack software — this is very much the focus — collaboration is just the OSF’s way of building its base, Bryce added.