Red Hat goes for OpenStack's community jugular

Beating the community bat over OpenStack's head

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Red Hat has chosen to announce its new cloud management software Aeolus with a fresh spin of being more community-oriented than Aeolus' competitor, OpenStack.

I find that kind of funny because in the olden days, Red Hat was often accused of the same thing: not being a community player compared to distributions like SUSE Linux, Debian GNU/Linux, and Mandrake. Yet, here we are in 2011, with Red Hat pitching a cloud offering to counter OpenStack's by asserting the Aeolus development process is more open and participatory.

[Choosing sides in the cloud game and OpenStack: Commercial, open source aren't exclusive]

The Register's Gavin Clarke has the story, which contains statements from Red Hat Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Computing Scott Crenshaw that go straight for OpenStack's community jugular.

"'You see a lot of people dabbling [in the open-source cloud], but the question is: When do we get real code and real contributions from third parties? There's the OpenStack project that has a lot of people signing up, but when you talk to the people, the vast majority is the press release; a lot of people are keeping their options open,'" Crenshaw told The Register.

This is an interesting tactic, one that seems keyed on grumblings I heard at OSCON in July about OpenStack's lack of community governance. OpenStack, co-founded by RackSpace and NASA, is run by a for-profit corporation: OpenStack, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rackspace Hosting. The grumblings made me raise the question of governance to Jonathan Bryce, founder of The Rackspace Cloud and member of the OpenStack Project Policy Board (PPB) during the OSCON event and explore the notion of whether a commercial vendor or a non-profit foundation would be more appropriate to run an open source project.

The PPB is comprised by twelve board members, four appointed by Rackspace (and currently only two of those seats are held by Rackspace employees), with the other eight positions elected by the community at large.

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