Three Years and Some with OpenStack

On July 19, 2010, the OpenStack Project was announced at OSCON. I was there.

But wait. On July 6, 2010, the OpenStack project group was created on Launchpad.

And yet. On April 11, 2010, I was at a social event for MySQLers, the day before the Oracle MySQL Conference (link). Monty Taylor was there, as well. Monty had been my coworker at MySQL Professional Services, and was a co-conspirator on the Drizzle project (along with Brian Aker, Stewart Smith, Jay Pipes, and others). He was working for Rackspace, most of the time working on Drizzle, and some of the time working on a new open source project he was helping get off the ground. That day, in a loud party in Sarah Sproehnle's kitchen, he told me the goals of the project, and it's newly chosen name: "OpenStack". That’s when it really began for me.

But even before that, Swift was already running in production at Rackspace, and Nova was running in production at NASA. There is a lot of secret history of the origin of OpenStack. Some of it published. A lot more of it, still has not.

The beginnings of important things are always messy, far more complicated and with many causes than a simple marketing narrative. Exactly when and how OpenStack "began" is almost not relevant. Celebrating the day that a NASA lawyer signed off on an agreement in the morning, and the evening of that same day the project was announced to the crowd at OSCON, is as good a day as any.

Three years is just the beginning. I've seen amazing things already. In twenty years, this will all seem like it was inevitable. But right now, changing the world is still hard work, there is so much to do, and it's being done by real people.

Come be one of those people.

Try out HP Cloud. Or one of the other public OpenStack systems. Join the OpenStack Foundation. Come to a meetup. Listen on the IRC channels. Learn some Python, contribute some code.

If you have any questions on how to get involved or what OpenStack can do for you, email me mark.atwood@hp.com

The next three, and the next thirteen years, are going to be even more amazing.