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Here's a good background article about OpenStack.
"OpenStack is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing project started by Rackspace Cloud and NASA in 2010. Currently more than 150 companies have joined the project among which are AMD, Intel, Canonical, SUSE Linux, Red Hat, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and Yahoo!. It is free open source software released under the terms of the Apache License. It is portable software, but is mostly developed and used on the Linux operating system.
OpenStack integrates code from NASA's Nebula platform as well as Rackspace's Cloud Files platform, and is included and released in both the Ubuntu  and Red Hat  Linux distributions."