The membership is distributed so no one entity can have too much influence over the board, Bryce said. OpenStack will only issue 8 Platinum sponsorships, so each Platinum sponsorship comes with its own board seat. The gold members each elect eight of their own to sit on the board, as do the individual members.
The current eight Platinum Members are AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat and SUSE. Current Gold members include Cisco, Dell, NetApp, Piston Cloud Computing and Yahoo, with Intel, NEC and VMware joining this month.
Alan Clark, SUSE's director of industry initiative was elected as the first chairman for the board in August. Lew Tucker, Cisco vice president and chief technology officer of cloud computing was elected vice chairman of the board.
No company can have more than two seats of the board, even if a company acquires a second organization with additional seats on the board. "As we are working though issues, everyone has one vote," said Eilleen Evans, Hewlett-Packard's associate general counsel for cloud computing, who was part of the drafting committee for the bylaws. "If we have more diversity, we will come up with better technology."
Additional provisions were added in to deal with deadlocks within a committee. The chairman of the board, for instance, can decide a split vote.
The technical committee, whose leaders are chosen by their own ranks, is a continuation of the Project Policy Board that was already in place. They will still define and guide the software development of individual projects. Today, OpenStack is comprised of three separate projects, Nova, which handles compute; Swift, for storage; and Glance, for the managing of virtual images. Additional components are being added for identity management and to provide a user interface.
"Active technical contributors are the ones who can vote for the technical committee leads," Evans said. "So those are really contributing are running the technical direction of the project."
The new user committee has been created to represent the voice of the end users. Tim Bell, the operating systems and infrastructure services group leader at CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research, will set up this group. Each quarter, both the board of directors and the technical committees have to allocate time to listen to a report from the user committee.
The organization has a code of conduct. Someone unhappy with how an issue is being handled can file a grievance with the board of directors, which has the power to respond in a number of ways, up to revoking an offending party's membership. With the technical groups, contributors can find additional reviewers for a body of work, should the first reviewers not adequately inspect the code to the contributor's satisfaction.