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OpenStack Expands Mission

November 13, 2018

The board of directors of the OpenStack Foundation (OSF) adopted a resolution advancing a new governance framework supporting the organization’s investment in emerging use cases for OpenStack and open infrastructure. These include continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), container infrastructure, edge computing, datacenter and, newly added, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML). The board resolution, approved in a meeting held in Berlin on Monday, authorizes the officers of the OSF to select and incubate Pilot projects.

This new governance framework broadens the OSF’s mission to serve developers, users and the open infrastructure ecosystem. It does this by providing a set of shared resources to build community, facilitate collaboration among users and support integration of open source infrastructure technologies that are complementary to the OpenStack software project while hosted and governed independently. The framework is designed to help new projects progress from the ‘Pilot’ to ‘Confirmed’ phases. Under the framework, new projects must be relevant to the open infrastructure community and its open source integration strategy. The first four Pilot projects are Airship, Kata Containers, StarlingX and Zuul.

Current Pilot Projects

Airship: Lifecycle management; undercloud for OpenStack, Kubernetes, MaaS

Kata Containers: Secure, lightweight CRI compatible virtualized containers

StarlingX: Edge computing platform

Zuul: CI/CD multi-project gating system

“The open infrastructure strategy and new governance framework reflect the voice of our users,” said Alan Clark, chairman of the OSF board of directors. “We conducted research to explore the role of open source foundations in supporting users, and respondents voiced a preference for governance that makes production use of the software easier. Our new governance framework makes clear our support of that objective by formalizing the process for hosting a diversity of open infrastructure projects as well as by collaborating with other communities who share our open source vision.”

“When the OpenStack project launched in 2010, few people imagined use cases for cloud as diverse as edge, containers, AI and machine learning,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OSF. “These changes embrace a bigger vision, one that supports these use cases and the new demands they place on underlying infrastructure with open communities and technologies.”

An Evolution Driven by User Needs

The governance structure changes have been more than a year in the making. At the Sydney Summit in November 2017 OSF Executive Director Jonathan Bryce kicked off his keynote address by identifying integration as the biggest barrier to open source adoption.

He described the community’s four-fold strategy to serve as “an integration engine for open infrastructure”:

1. Documenting cross-project use cases, identifying the challenges users face;

2. Encouraging cross-community collaboration, including upstream contributions to other open source projects;

3. Fill technology gaps by fostering new projects; and

4. Coordinating end-to-end testing across projects.

The OSF then began to support new open infrastructure pilot projects, each with its own technical governance, contributors and branding, alongside the OpenStack software project. The first, in December 2017, was Kata Containers, which was followed during the first half of 2018 by Zuul, Airship, and StarlingX. Learnings from the launch of these pilot projects, community feedback and market research guided the development of the new project governance framework.

Additionally, the open infrastructure focus will be evident in a branding update to the twice-annual international summit. Effective with the Denver Summit, April 29 – May 1, 2019, the event will be branded the “Open Infrastructure Summit.” This name change reflects how the event has evolved to encompass new open infrastructure projects, the original OpenStack software project, and collaborative projects not managed by the OSF. This transformation has been ongoing since the Boston Summit in 2017, and its growth is evident in the agenda of the Berlin Summit, where more than 35 projects hosted by the OSF and other organizations are participating.

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