Scott Crenshaw (middle) gets help from Imad Sousou, and Darrin Hanson on the ribbon cutting of the OpenStack Innovation Center. Photo by Scott Ball.
Scott Crenshaw (middle) gets help from Imad Sousou, and Darrin Hanson on the ribbon cutting of the OpenStack Innovation Center. Photo by Scott Ball.

Rackspace and Intel officially launched the OpenStack Innovation Center at Rackspace headquarters in San Antonio on Thursday.

OpenStack is an open cloud operating system that ties together thousands of servers around the globe to enhance stability and usability. Rackspace partnered with Intel to bring together developers to strengthen an open operating system created by Rackspace and NASA in 2010. The engineers will advance OpenStack’s performance by writing software, developing code, fixing bugs, and building a shared platform that will be donated back to the community for everyone to take advantage.

Imad Sousou, Intel vice president of software and services and general manager of its Open Source Technology Center, said the number of devices that use the cloud for computing is growing, yet “the maturity is just not there” when it comes to the open cloud’s final product. Instead of furthering their own narrow goals, both Intel and Rackspace agree that the cloud should be created for the masses.

Vice President of Software & Services at Intel, Imad Sousou speaks at the OpenStack ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Scott Ball.
Intel’s Vice President of Software & Services Imad Sousou speaks at the OpenStack ribbon cutting ceremony at Rackspace. Photo by Scott Ball.

“We are strong believers in open source and complete transparency in order to accomplish our goals,” Sousou said.

Open source software can be freely used, changed, and shared by anyone. Sousou said Intel partnered with Rackspace because the two tech companies share core values.

“What we want to accomplish and how we want to accomplish it are things that we share with the OpenStack team, and this is what brings us together quite honestly,” Sousou said. Before leaving the stage, he added: “By the way, yes, we’re hiring.”

Rackspace partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Open Cloud Institute, home to the largest OpenStack cloud in academia, to select interns to train to become Rackspace employees. Rackspace Private Cloud Vice President Darrin Hanson said the company plans to hire up to 100 new software developers over the next year.

Scott Crenshaw, senior vice president of product and strategy at Rackspace, said OpenStack in only five years has become a leading model for open source software. He said the open source communities create better innovation and better outcomes through a diverse pool of contributors.

Scott Crenshaw talks with a fellow racker at the OpenStack ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Scott Ball.
Scott Crenshaw talks with a fellow Racker at the OpenStack ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Scott Ball.

“(OpenStack) is becoming the emerging standard for enterprise cloud architecture which is an amazing statement for something that is only five years old,” Crenshaw said.

Eight Intel employees, each wearing big smiles, gathered at their new workspace inside of “the Castle,” as the Rackspace headquarter building in the former Windsor Park Mall is called, to celebrate their new life in San Antonio. All eight of the software developers moved to San Antonio from across the country to work side-by-side with Rackspace employees.

“This is about bringing talent into OpenStack, it’s about bringing talent into San Antonio and creating a place of collaboration where two companies can work together to advance and deliver the promise of an open source cloud operating system,” Hanson said.

Vice President and GM of Rackspace Prive Cloud, Darrin Hanson holds up a pair of large scissors used for the ribbon cutting of the OpenStack Innovation Center. Photo by Scott Ball.
Vice President and GM of Rackspace Private Cloud Darrin Hanson holds up a pair of large scissors used for the ribbon cutting of the OpenStack Innovation Center. Photo by Scott Ball.

Mayor Ivy Taylor said in a statement that the partnership means more talented software engineers will now call San Antonio home while “seeing firsthand how much San Antonio has to offer. I know that Rackspace and Intel will enjoy great success in their partnership on continued development of Rackspace’s OpenStack platform,” she stated.

OpenStack was created by Rackspace and NASA in 2010 and has become one of the fastest growing open source communities in the world with more than 27,000 contributors spread across more than 160 countries.

UTSA Vice President of Research Mauli Agrawal said the OpenStack cloud at UTSA provides two main functions for students. The cloud is a resource for those students computing data, such as a business student crunching marketing data, and as a malleable platform for those students interested in software and hardware development.

Vice President of Research at UTSA, Dr. Muali Agrawa speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Scott Ball.
UTSA Vice President of Research Mauli Agrawal speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Scott Ball. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Agrawal said the open cloud will soon bring computing power to everybody. When Agrawal and his faculty need to conduct high-performance computing, they must access a super computer, which are limited in number and hard to access. He envisions a time in the near future when the average individual will log on a computer, pull up an open cloud website, enter a credit card number, and access data that today would require super computer power.

“Can you just see the liberation on research?” he asked rhetorically. “It’s another revolution … in my mind almost as big as the personal computer revolution that took place in the ’80s.”

Agrawal called San Antonio “Cyber City, Cloud City, USA.”

“San Antonio doesn’t always brag as much as other cities,” he said. “This time around we need to claim (the title).”

Just one of the many sections of desks at Rackspace. Photo by Scott Ball.
Just one of the many sections of desks at Rackspace. Photo by Scott Ball. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

*Top image: Scott Crenshaw (middle) gets help from Imad Sousou, and Darrin Hanson on the ribbon cutting of the OpenStack Innovation Center.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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OpenStack: NASA, Rackspace Partnership and the Open-Cloud Revolution

OpenStack: Three Years Old and Growing Fast

Open Cloud Institute Launches at UTSA With $9 Million Investment

Open Cloud Academy Open For Business: Bridging IT Employment Gap

Joan Vinson

Former Rivard Report Assistant Editor Joan Vinson is a San Antonio native who graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She's a yoga fanatic and an adventurer at heart....